After seven seasons at Saturday Night Live, where she’s best known for impersonations like Sarah Huckabee Sanders and making all-female music videos like “(Do It on My) Twin Bed,” Aidy Bryant still has plenty of surprises up her sleeve.Last month, she became one of the only SNL cast members ever to simultaneously star in her own TV series (which she also co-created, co-wrote and co-executive produced): Shrill, a Hulu comedy based on Lindy West’s memoir and starring the two-time Emmy nominee as Annie, a plus-sized Portland blogger who is finding her voice and becoming comfortable in her own skin.Since Shrill debuted a month ago, it has been “one of our most popular shows across all of our metrics,” says Freer, including hours of viewing and bringing new subscribers to the service.So it’s no surprise that the streaming service, which has been steadily building on its Handmaid’s Tale momentum (see sidebar), has just renewed Shrill for a second season, as Bryant confirms for the first time in our interview with her.She sat down with Adweek in between production on SNL and planning Shrill’s second season to talk about forging her own path in Hollywood with Shrill, reclaiming the word “fat” and how much longer she’ll stay on SNL.After my second or third season on SNL, people would start to send me things, and I would read them and be like, “This isn’t a good fit.” I know that if I take on a role, I am “the fat one,” so if that role is that she can never find a boyfriend, that becomes a fat woman that can never find a boyfriend.
Many of the themes and stories found in Hulu’s “Shrill” will be familiar to fans of writer Lindy West — after all, it’s based on her book “Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman,” and she’s a writer on the series.But “Shrill” has mined the autobiographical material in West’s book to tell a fictionalized story about a young journalist played by Aidy Bryant of “Saturday Night Live” (she also co-wrote the first two episodes).When we meet Annie, she’s ignored or belittled by everyone — a random yoga instructor, her dismissive boss, her lunkheaded kinda-sorta boyfriend and even her mother — for being fat.Over the course of the six-episode season, Annie begins to understand her own worth, and to stand up for herself.On this week’s episode of the Original Content podcast, we’re joined by Devin Coldewey to review the show.“Shrill” pushes boundaries and deals with some pretty serious topics, but it has a light touch — Annie’s empathetic, optimistic outlook seems to be reflected in the broader story.
At the end of Shrill’s second episode, Annie, played by Aidy Bryant, scrolls down to the comments section of her first article and finds a photo of a pig.It lies prone on muddy ground, its grubby skin blackening under the blue flame of a torch.Annie, who had been feeling pretty good about herself, goes still.Hate is often so absurd that it’s funny, but you never really get used to it.Shrill is a show about Annie, a young, fat, female journalist who struggles not only with her job at a Portland alt-weekly but also with her self-worth.Humming through both plot-lines is a relentless troll—username: THEAWESOME—constantly harassing Annie about her work, gender, and weight.
In 2017, calling a web series about women’s experiences on the internet “Woman Online” is controversial, apparently.“I’ve already been criticized by men online for this web series,” said comedian Sara Schaefer in a recent phone conversation with The Huffington Post, explaining that some online users took issue with the name.“I’m not saying that other people don’t get harassed online, but this web series is about what it’s like to be a woman online.I’m sorry, that’s who I am and that’s what I’m talking about.”It’s a sentiment that likely many ladies on the internet could empathize with, given the frequent reports of gender-driven trolling women receive online.In the same year, writer Lindy West left Twitter after years of being the subject of harassment due to her work, calling the platform “unusable for anyone but trolls, robots and dictators.”
In 1929, Virginia Woolf observed that the books men had written about women offered a strange idea of womanhood.In these early years of digital culture, a new version of this old duality is becoming apparent, whereby women are simultaneously idolised and despised.A 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center about online harassment found that women aged between 18 and 24 are almost twice as likely as their male peers to be sexually harassed and four times as likely as the general internet population.Misogyny has migrated from the physical world to cyberspace.The writer Lindy West expresses a grim sense of resignation, saying, "Being insulted online is part of my job," while emphasising that the resulting pain feels "exactly like you would imagine it would feel to have someone call you a fat cunt every day of your life".For the corporations that harvest our data, a pregnant woman is especially prized because online advertisers regard her as a bonanza of long-term-buying potential.
Wednesday night, Amy Schumer sent a very cryptic tweet.In response to a call on social media for the comic and Inside Amy Schumer star to sever her professional relationship with comedian and Inside writer Kurt Metzger, Schumer tweeted, I didn t fire Kurt.Schumer came back to explain that the show wasn t cancelled, she was just focusing on her upcoming standup tour and book The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, out this week and as such there wouldn t be a Season 5 in the foreseeable future so she wasn t working with any writers.After another comic was banned from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater amid allegations of rape and sexual assault, Metzger took to Facebook to decry the proceedings.His point in the now-deleted post was that the comic was punished professionally, but that his accusers hadn t sought legal recourse.Following the comic s initial comments, Schumer received a barrage of tweets asking why she continued to support and work with Metzger whose Facebook profile currently lists his job as Former King of Feminism at Stand-Up Comedy .
Wish you could skip work to go see Hamilton, or the Copa América?We can t score those seats, but we can offer you five amazing podcasts about soccer and theater—plus paranormal powers, espionage, and self-worth.The Bright Sessions, Patient 12-D-10 Step inside Dr.Bright s office and hear the confidential stories of her therapy patients: unrequited teenage love and parent-child relationships, plus uncontrollable time travel and Kilgrave-like mind control.Thanks to the Copa América, Champions Cup, and Olympics, this is the best summer yet to become an American soccer fan.In this episode of This American Life, comedian and author Lindy West, producer Elna Baker, and writer Roxane Gay tell harrowing first-person accounts of how living as a fat person means being treated as a second-class citizen.