Monday, May 10, 2021

What I’m Watching: Shrill

Shrill: Season 1, Episode 4 “ranchers” (B+)

I had a feeling that Annie going out to interview the separatists wouldn’t end up being a game-changer or a really big deal, one of the typical things this show underplays and smartly doesn’t focus on as too sensational. She was surprisingly casual with the people holding guns and espousing deeply problematic views, and while the pregnant women she said were to a degree caricatures, the main woman she spoke to was both complicated and serious. I first remember Beth Broderick from her role as Aunt Zelda on “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” which I watched when I was growing up, and I last saw her in the disturbing 2014 thriller “Two Step.” Referencing Annie’s abortion and recognizing when she was making fun of her helped Annie to get something authentic out of the experience before she returned home to her real life. It made sense that, after everything, Nick really was clueless and just thought of Annie as his best friend, but he did not represent himself well when he was defending the fact that he obviously gave her very strong signals of romantic affection. It was refreshing to see her stand up for herself, something she’s been doing a lot lately, and challenge him before telling him to get out. It was nice that, even in a moment of true serenity and love proclamations following an awkward sex tape experience, Fran and Emily were able to be there for her and welcome her into a positive space of supportive affirmation.

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