Sunday, March 17, 2019

REVIEW: 'Shrill' - Annie Writes Her First Article by Changing the Subject of Her Initial Assignment in 'Date'

Hulu's Shrill - Episode 1.02 "Date"

Annie's writing her first article, going on her first date with Ryan and, finally, asking more from the people in her life than she has before. Things are looking up, until an internet troll tries to drag her self-esteem back down where it started.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Hulu's Shrill.

"Date" was written by Aidy Bryant, Alexandra Rushfield & Lindy West and directed by Carrie Brownstein

There is a lot for Annie to feel excited about at the moment. She gets her first article published. Plus, she has the satisfaction that Ryan listened to what she had to say and is putting in the effort to make their relationship more healthy. Of course, it's also fascinating to watch as Annie tries to stick to her convictions while still wanting to hope that what she has said already is enough to make a difference in her world. She is speaking up when some injustices are done to her. However, so many people continue to make her feel uncomfortable. That includes her mother who says that exercise should be fun and it's easy once it can fit into a person's schedule. But that also includes a random appearance from Ryan's mother who just keeps touching Annie in ways that only make her feel more insecure and self-conscious. She wasn't expecting to run into this woman after spending the night with Ryan. That comes after a disastrous date with him as well. She essentially ended things with Ryan in the premiere because she understood that he wasn't mature enough for what she deserved in her romantic life. He still isn't. He is just trying to make her feel better. That's enough for the moment because Annie does like him and wants to believe that things are capable of changing. He knows that Annie wanted to go out on a date in public. It just turns disastrous because he also invited his brother and best friend along who turn the whole outing into a very loud confrontation about the name and scope of their podcast. It's so absolutely trivial and embarrassing. People in this restaurant are looking at them. Annie would love to shrink away and hide. However, she stays there for the duration. She even goes home with Ryan. That's miraculous because this date was never about her. Their connection may be limited to private conversations that they have in a bedroom. But that's not something that can build a lasting dynamic. It may be enough for both of them right now. However, Ryan remains immature in so many ways. He never understood the ordeal he put Annie through by making her go out the back of his place. Nor does he understand the embarrassment he causes by telling his mother everything about Annie which puts her in such an awkward position. And so, she may now be actively playing a service for the unborn fetus she aborted. That's not something she wants to do. She made the choice she thought was best given where she was in her life. She is only now starting to take action and demand to be respected by the world. She puts a new spin on the assignment given to her at work. Sure, it's outrageous that the food in a strip club needs to be reviewed for the local paper. It's even more incredulous given that the food simply comes from the Chinese restaurant across the street. It just ensures Annie is in a somewhat awkward position surrounded by women dancing solely for her. And yet, the show makes it an empowering moment in which these women are able to demonstrate to her just how to wield power. Society may tell women to look a certain way. And yet, men still wanted to be ordered around by women with big physical features. That's the way that these women see the world. Annie applies it to her personal life as well. Sure, her boss is right to yell at her for turning in something that wasn't the assignment. However, it's still insightful that he publishes the story anyway considering that it is actually good. That leads to her getting some respect at the workplace. It's something worth celebrating even though it also leads to an uncomfortable fight and break up between Fran and Sarah as well as the devastation that comes from reading the comments.