Wednesday, January 22, 2020

REVIEW: 'Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens' - Nora Fails Numerous Pursuits After Moving Out of the House in 'Pilot'

Comedy Central's Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens - Episode 1.01 "Pilot"

Nora takes her first steps toward financial independence, trying her hand at a couple jobs in an attempt to move out of her dad's house.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the series premiere of Comedy Central's Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens.

"Pilot" was written by Awkwafina, Karey Dornetto & Teresa Hsiao and directed by Lucia Aniello

Nora Lum has clarity on the fact that she needs to move out of the house where she currently lives with her father and grandmother. However, that may be the only thing she is certain about at the moment. She is in her late twenties. She can easily be the butt of a joke. And yet, she wants to take her life in strides knowing that she is doing her best and just hasn't found the one thing she is passionate about. That is perfectly okay. But she still feels this pressure. It's as if she can't find that passion so long as she is choosing to shackle herself to her family. They are seemingly indifferent about it all too. Nora may want to make it a big thing. She wants it to be sentimental and sweet when she is saying goodbye. That really isn't necessary though. They still remain in each other's lives. And yes, there is the clarity that she is right back in the same bedroom by the end of this premiere. It rarely feels like a pilot acting as if it isn't trying to create a unique premise either. Nora yearning for more is the precise point. She feels the importance of doing so. She just may have to find the comfort that can only come from family as she is figuring it all out. Of course, it's also hilarious to watch her struggle. Life can be difficult especially for someone who is just doing whatever it takes in order to make it by. Nora is a terrible driver. And yet, she is trying to make money through a ride share app. That's insane and crazy. She talks nonstop with her passengers. She is easily distracted too. It's the other people who get hurt though. That's what ultimately derails this as a potential way for her to make money. That too is a prominent part of this story. Every option she pursues doesn't work out immediately. This ride share app is good for a couple of days and less than a hundred dollars. But it quickly flames out. Meanwhile, that literally happens when she tries her hand at being a cam girl alongside her friend. That relationship is fascinating because it's one seemingly built on a lie. Her friend isn't going to work as a lawyer every day. Instead, she is just filling her time to keep the fantasy alive while having this special room where she makes her actual money. It's a lucrative career for her. Nora may feel cheated because she helped her friend study for the bar exam. But this too presents as a way for her to make money. It seems like a smart idea for the two of them to do a show together in order to cater to the various perversions that are out there on the Internet. Nora is in a ridiculous dragon costume. She questions the logistics of it and how it could potentially be fulfilling some need. It is until it isn't. That all implodes the moment that she catches fire. Again, that's an outrageous and insane visual. It means she literally burns this bridge with her friend. The apartment catches fire and does so much destruction both physically and emotionally. Nora would rather be sleeping in her car than admit that she isn't prepared to be out there on her own just yet. The world may be forcing her to accept that reality though. Her terrible driving extends to her parking where she doesn't read the signs correctly and slept in a no parking zone. She can't make her smooth getaway either because a boot has already been strapped to her vehicle. This presented as her last remaining shred of dignity. Of course, it's also important to point out that she has no shame about her life. She just feels this outside pressure that internalizes itself into fear. She is open and honest about her life. She is more than willing to call her father for help and accept the pep talk he gives her. But she is also the type of person who refuses to let go of anything. She may start a lot of projects. The absurdity of it all can be entertaining too. It may be one-note as well though. The series doesn't present with a huge amount of depth or extreme laughs at the moment. That is somewhat disappointing. However, the core trio of performers seem like a loving family who will enter these comedic situations with as much enthusiasm as they can offer. That's an encouraging sign.