In this recent Hulu original, Aidy Bryant explores her many talents in a more serious, but still funny, and unique way. Bryant is a long-overlooked SNL comedic character performer now receiving well-deserved attention not only for her comedy but also as one of the executive producers of Shrill along with SNL’s Lorne Michaels and others.
Bryant is Annie, a young woman trying to change some aspects of her life—but not her larger body. She wants to make her mark as a journalist but is stymied by a demanding, often ignorant boss, clueless boyfriends, and parents coping with late-life illness who never quite “got it” about how trying to make her lose weight throughout her life may have been well intentioned, but did some damage. While the body image–obsessed culture judges her because of her weight, she realizes that she’s just as good as others and starts to use her talent to prove that one size does not fit all.
This series is a must-see for social workers, therapists, health care professionals, and any others who understand that fat-shaming is real, is harmful, and can be a catalyst for anxiety and depression. You may need to look past the profanity-laced dialogue, but it is well worth it. To make sure it was not only my 50-plus perspective, I asked a 30-ish professional whether her friends had real conversations like that and she said not in her circle, but that is one young person’s experience. Producers may want to scale that back, so that all folks including older adults, professional and nonprofessional, are not deflected from this gem of a new project addressing important issues about a body image–obsessed world.
— Marianne Mallon, Editor