Shrill: Shrill, season 1
March 15, 2019 1:19 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Annie is a full-figured woman who wants to change her life -- but not her body; she is trying to start her career while juggling bad boyfriends, a sick parent and a perfectionist boss.
posted by k8t (32 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I binged this today and was delighted: a couple of scenes involving Annie telling her perpetually befuddled f*** buddy to pound sand were especially satisfying.

Mild warning: the villains of the story are both GenX (appropriate); Annie's parents are (sympathetic) boomers.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 7:13 PM on March 15, 2019

I mean, I'm two episodes in, and so far the villain of the piece is thinly-veiled Dan Savage, who I guess is a GenXer, but I think that's just because actual Dan Savage is actually a GenXer.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:30 PM on March 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

I’m ready for a season two announcement, please. Give. Me. More.
posted by rewil at 10:09 PM on March 15, 2019 [5 favorites]

I love this show so much! Only three episodes in but I’m loving the friendships, Annie and her friends, the strip club scene and that memorable exit quote! So many relatable moments; I laughed out loud when Annie is jumping up and down in excitement and just holding her boobs because she already took her bra off. So much of this show feels real and true, from the little moments to the big ones.
posted by stellaluna at 11:05 PM on March 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've only seen the first two episodes, but I came here to say there is no way in hell someone dropped off a dress with her roommate that just happened to fit her perfectly. This is not a thing that happens to fat people.
posted by tangosnail at 6:44 AM on March 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

Ha, true. Oh, and I have the head canon that the designer she encounters at the pool party who makes the nice skirt goes on to found Universal Standard.
posted by rewil at 9:01 AM on March 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

Agree about the dress (but didn't mind it). I also agree she has great relationships with her friends and I really like all the friends! Despite all the obstacles she faces, she IS lucky to have such great friends. For commiseration and encouragement when the rest of the world is an asshole. (I am undecided about her boss.)
posted by Glinn at 1:24 PM on March 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Reporting in halfway through: this has some great lines.

Episode one:
Oh, this poor girl. Just everyone going on about her fatness except for her one friend. Being shamed by her moron fuckbuddy who won’t get her a pillow, shames her out the back door, sends head-shaking emojis and likes to “raw dog.” Finding out that the morning after pill doesn’t work at her weight. SIX ALMONDS?!?! Being pregnant by a guy who’s that much of a moron and yet he’s still her best and only chance for sex and being a mom.

I don’t have this girl’s weight issues but that “best and only chance” bit hit hard for other reasons, y’all.

I love her friend.

“I shouldn’t have to fucking trap you into treating me like a human being.” WOW.

“Return to Molly: Doing Molly Again?” *laughs*

“You’re a shitty cunt. And I like it.” -Gabe. Whaaaat?

Episode 2:
“I’m starting to feel like I don’t know anything about my own asshole.”
“I’ve got a fat ass and big titties, I tell THEM what to do.”
“You’ve got a fat ass and big titties, you should be telling men what to do.”

I loved that Fran maced Ryan. I think she knew it was him :)
“I don’t apologize to white people.”

When you make out with a guy who’s been maced and it burns you, is it a sign?

Well, at least Ryan sacked up and asked her out on a public date.

On Fran: “The one time we did it, we both cried in the morning.”

“Either 69 or get out of my face.”
“Both people be going for the privates at the same time.”

Ryan invites his bros, she makes him go through the back. “That was kind of hard.” “Yeah.”

“I’m the one with the fat ass and big titties, so I decide what we do, okay?” And she’s got the pillow.

“Ryan tells me you got my grandbaby aborted.”
“You told her to fuck off.” “Kind of....”
“That’s what I always wanted for you. A relationship that’s better than nothing.”
“Shut up, Bonkers!”

I won’t quote the bad thing.

Episode 3:
“Please dress like you’ve been to New York sometime in your whole life.” You're saying this to Oregonians?

”Yes, I am getting dick....It’s pretty straightforward, like a classic American dick.”

(to “were you going to show me your tits?”) “Yes, I was but now, I feel like the moment has passed.”

The best she can do to describe Ryan to parents: "He's very tall."

I feel better about the Richie Turner situation knowing that his life has boiled down to him always being in the Safeway parking lot. I assume he's a sign twirler or something.


“You have a troll! That’s great!”

pencil fight
“Oh, and it’s egalitarian because women can fully compete against men.”

“We have ... but not today...” “she’s in the rotation....”

“This dude’s a cunt.”
“Actually, in America cunt’s a much harsher term.”
“How about fuckboy?”
“Fuckboy works.”

“I told her not to tell you so she’d tell you!”

“Are we going to smash?”

Delightful. I hear #4 is the best but I should probably go to bed before I start it, sigh.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:02 PM on March 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

Okay, saw the other three, don't super have time to go into it all right now but really liked it.

* You knew she'd end up quitting but it's satisfying anyway.
* Oh dear lord, that troll.
* Oh, Ryan. Sweet in the end but stoopid.
* The pool party was indeed really fun.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:48 AM on March 17, 2019

I did not intend to binge this whole thing, but only 6 episodes? I really want more. And, I already know much of Lindy West's career, so I feel like I know what happens. I loved Aidy Bryant in this, and now I want her off SNL and doing way more interesting things.

The only false moment for me was Beck Bennett as Annie's troll. I really like Bennett, but he didn't pull this off. John Cameron Mitchell was fantastic as the Savage-like editor.

I loved that pool party too.
posted by gladly at 6:13 PM on March 17, 2019

Also being discussed on MeFi.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:21 AM on March 18, 2019

I'm really not sure how I feel about this show. That being said, I binge watched it all in one day so I guess I liked it? But my feelings are complicated.

I love the representation, the supportive friends, and getting to know Annie and her relationship with her family. I thought Annie was very quiet and I didn't really feel like I knew her, as much as her family, by the end. I also thought Ryan was as tool and I was ready for him to be gone the first time he appeared. But I think I felt so conflicted (rather than entertained) about these things because Annie's actions and thought processes echoed so many of my own experiences, many of which I'm still trying to "own." I've been the crappy friend sometimes, I've made regretful dating/sex decisions, and doesn't everyone have a complicated with their family?

Shrill has been on my reading list for a while. Looking forward to picking it up.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 7:12 AM on March 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Also loved how sometimes Annie was the asshole, and people called her on it

I loveloveloved this show and I identified so strongly with Annie that I may have just watched it from her character's perspective, but sometimes when others "called her" on it, I felt it wasn't because she was being self-absorbed, it was because she was finally not acting like a doormat.

For example, when her roommate spills shrooms and the dog has eaten them - sure, her roommate is off to an appointment, but she was the one who spilled drugs that the dog ate, so why is Annie berated for getting pissed?

Yes she definitely did some bad-friend things (and... having sex with Ryan on her apartment's couch? BAD ROOMMATE BEHAVIOR) but it sounded she was typically a Good Friend and a Good Daughter who was starting to behave more assertively. Some of the unease/anger other characters were expressing was out of proportion to her actions -- it was discomfort that she was no longer the reliable, eager to please, prioritizing-others-comfort-over-her-own person they were used to.

The only false moment for me was Beck Bennett as Annie's troll

I felt this too -- I watch SNL avidly and initially thought, "oh cool, it's Beck!" but then his troll character was basically ripped off of the SNL sketch Girl At A Bar where Beck among others play misogynists posing as "woke" dudes. If it had been another actor and not someone I am so familiar with in comic roles, maybe I would have believed it more?
posted by rogerroger at 8:24 AM on March 19, 2019 [5 favorites]

Watched it with my roommates, we were all amazed at how much happened and how much the main characters grew over the course of just six episodes. We binged it all in one sitting and easily could have watched another six, this series has my full attention. (The pool party scenes!!)
posted by Snacks at 3:31 PM on March 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

The pool party was fucking mindblowing! I don't think I have ever in my life seen that, beautiful fat women being happy on TV and zero attention paid to what any man thinks about it. God damn. I finished that episode and immediately wanted to rewatch all those scenes. Now can we have more of that in media?!
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:25 AM on March 22, 2019 [8 favorites]

For example, when her roommate spills shrooms and the dog has eaten them - sure, her roommate is off to an appointment, but she was the one who spilled drugs that the dog ate, so why is Annie berated for getting pissed?

I felt like that wasn't just a single incident, it was more that they finally got into how Fran is always problem solving for Annie but Annie is kind of wrapped up in herself and not figuring out how to support Fran. I kind of thought they were heading for a confrontation where Fran points out that she is not just Annie's sassy black friend.

I would love to know what the casting call for the pool party looked like.

I have to go do other things so episode 6 will wait, but hopefully this is the interactive episode where we get to throw smelly gym socks into the open mouth of Dan Savage But With David Spade's Voice*.

*I'm assuming that's what this character is called??
posted by Emmy Rae at 10:07 AM on March 23, 2019 [3 favorites]

Emmy Rae, that's a good point - I actually want to watch the series again with more of an eye on the other characters since I was so glued to Annie's story the first time.

Also, you will NOT be disappointed at episode 6.
posted by rogerroger at 11:17 AM on March 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

I live in Portland and am very heavily involved in our local fat community so I am friends with a few folks who were in the pool party scene and recognized like, half of them just from seeing them around town. I hear from folks in it that it was really tiring, long work over two days but they really did a fantastic job of including superfat bodies. Also it kind of blew my mind to learn that the roof was a giant retractable situation since it was cloudy in Portland that day (like usual). So cool! And it was nice that they featured so many locals. Of course that does mean there isn’t a ton of diversity — Portland is predominantly white.

The only person I know who didn’t get cast — because she’s been complaining about it all over Facebook — after going out for an extra part is this woman in a smaller body (I don’t think gatekeeping is often helpful but she’s a third of my size and I’m not sure she wears plus size clothing), she’s convinced it’s because she was too goth but I kind of assume it was based on her not being very visibly fat.

This gives me a chance to say that Portland is truly a paradise for fat community. I moved here basically because of it after feeling like Seattle would never get there (naturally Seattle now has their own Chunky Dunk and a fat social group and a Fat Girls Hiking chapter). I found friends and events to go to immediately. I’m so glad they chose to shoot here and am really excited that the folks who currently put on Chunky Dunk are trying to make it a more glamorous affair because everyone is so invigorated by Shrill. They’re joyous events but they’re held at public pools, not at a country club with margarita bars.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 6:27 PM on March 23, 2019 [8 favorites]

I would love to know what the casting call for the pool party looked like.

Due to a twitter/instagram beef that I'm not going to get into, the original casting call was actually tweeted over the weekend! They basically just asked for "fat babes" which seems pretty perfect.
posted by lunasol at 9:55 AM on March 25, 2019 [6 favorites]

Thanks, lunasol, that's basically exactly what it seemed like it would be from watching. "Do you want to have the best time ever? We'll pay you!"
posted by Emmy Rae at 10:31 AM on March 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

The actor who plays Dan Savage But With David Spade's Voice plays an alt-right first amendment "activist" in The Good Wife/The Good Fight, and it was very challenging for me to divorce my TGW/TGF views of that dude with this character... then again he's a douche too so maybe I don't have to work too hard.

the thorn bushes have roses, I am surprised to hear you observe Portland to be a paradise for the fat community. I grew up there, ABSOLUTELY did not feel that. (And that's perhaps my shit? Very open to the possibility/probability.) Is this a recent phenomenon? I'm very very curious to draw the line from my experience to what you're saying because I really want it to be true. I also left 11 years ago, so I'm curious if/how things have changed, or if I just wasn't connected to it despite its existence.
posted by emkelley at 12:50 PM on March 25, 2019

rogerroger, I'm with you. The whole thing about Annie being selfish seemed to come out of nowhere. And when it came up in the argument with her mom about her weight, it was confusing because that seemed unfair, so are we supposed to think it's just people reacting to her actually standing up for herself? But it was never really addressed/resolved. And it was genuinely selfish for her to stand her work buddy up, and her conversation with Fran where she accused her of being just as much of a fuckboy as Ryan seemed out of line. So ... all just kind of confusing, and I wish they'd drawn a clearer throughline there.

It'll be interesting to see where they take the Ryan relationship next season. Having them together at the end was disappointing but felt realistic. Drawing boundaries and standing up for oneself with a shitty partner is usually the first step before leaving that partner and finding someone better. Hopefully next season she'll break up with him and then meet her future husband, if they go with the real-life plot point, or just some better dudes if not. I did like how she asked Fran to just let her have this. There are times in life where you just have to say to your friends "I know this isn't the perfect choice, but it's just something I gotta do."

But oh man, that pool party ... shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. I had no idea how much I needed to see that. Partially inspired by Lindy West, I've spent the last year subscribed to a bunch of fat-positive hashtags on instagram, and it's really changed my attitude towards fat bodies (like my own). But that scene underwater, when all those bodies were filmed as being so beautiful and otherworldly and ethereal and yet natural ... wow, it really got to me. I immediately started googling things like "fat pool party Seattle" and didn't find much, so thank you for all those keywords, the thorn bushes have roses.
posted by lunasol at 1:37 PM on March 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

emkelley, aww, I'm bummed it didn't feel that way growing up here. I'm so new to the area (about 3 years) and Seattle was so cold and virulently body-shaming in comparison when I lived there that Portland just keeps lighting me up. It's 100% possible that this is a new trend, especially because there's more each year.

Here's a bunch of fat community things I've been involved with since moving or things that add to the "fat friendly" vibe (other than Chunky Dunk): lots of fat yoga classes, Anna Chapman is my yoga teacher and has two regular classes (and for whatever reason she's pictured in the casting call for Shrill that lunasol posted above, probably because she's a fucking babe); Fat Girls Hiking is based here AND so is Unlikely Hikers, though I've only been involved with the former; there's a yearly plus size fashion show, Knock Out, and Fat Fancy consignment; there's a big, active health at every size community for PDX metro on Facebook and at least six PDX based plus size or fat focused Facebook groups, including the group Big Fat Fun which is on FB but you can also find events through their website. And! there's not one but two apps that are based in Portland that are essentially "Yelp for fat people" (but they go deeper than just folks in larger bodies, both want to help people in marginalized bodies — fat, folks with disabilities, trans, BIPOC — find and review friendly spaces): Ample (with postings worldwide!) and AllGo (still in beta testing here in Portland). Some local restaurants (Byways Cafe for one) have responded to the Ample launch by pledging to have more seating options to fit all bodies, which really blows my mind.

This past year we also hosted the ASDAH conference (Association for Size Diversity and Health) and a few years back there was a NOLOSE conference (NOLOSE used to stand for "national organization of lesbian of size" but now is focused on a broader audience). There has also been a few years of a Body Love Conference which involved a whole bunch of people listed in my previous paragraph putting together two days of community building.

Also Portland-based: The Body Trust program, run by the two incredible women behind Be Nourished, one a registered dietitian and one a therapist, teaches healthcare providers how to, in their words, "be less awful to fat people." They also run workshops and other events for individuals and groups to challenge assumptions about health and body image. I've been to one and it was one of the most powerful experiences I've ever had. They're active in the community too, for example last year they hosted the book tour stop in Portland for the author and poet behind The Body is Not an Apology, Sonya Renee Taylor.

We've also had some fat studies classes at more than one local university, though I'm in my mid-30s and long done with college so I barely even know which ones are here. I just met a nice woman at the Shrill watch party I went to who is teaching one starting now at I think PCC?

Now that I wrote all this out I'm going to have to put this in my profile or something to get some use out of it! I no doubt will think of more.

And on that topic, lunasol, PNW Fattitude seems to be 99% based in Seattle and they're always having events that look awesome! They've convinced the Fat Kid Dance Party to hit up Seattle while on tour every time, which I'm a little bitter about because it has skipped Portland a few times :) I believe the main drivers behind that group are the wonderful people who do the Fat Face Feelings podcast, also Seattle-based, and those podcast folks are the ones who put on the Seattle Chunky Dunk!
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 6:59 PM on March 25, 2019 [7 favorites]

lunasol, I'm glad you feel the same way re: Annie's 'selfishness' - I'll be very interested in where they take that next season (I hope! I hope! There is a next season!).

I agree with the disappointment of her being with Ryan. In real life, Lindy West is married to Ahamefule J. Oluo, brother of writer Ijeoma Oluo, and I was wondering how closely they were going to mirror her real-life trajectory (answer: not much). I REALLY hope that they will have a second season and explore that a bit! Ryan is tiresome although unfortunately very realistic.
posted by rogerroger at 11:16 PM on March 27, 2019

April 15, 2019 - ‘Shrill’ Renewed for Season 2 at Hulu (Variety) -- and it's extended from 6 to 8 episodes.

ArbitraryAndCapricious: so far the villain of the piece is thinly-veiled Dan Savage

That's because, per Lindy West's book (and his own publications), Dan Savage was fat-phobic. He really did post his own response ("Hello, I'm Not the Enemy," Feb 14, 2011) to Lindy West's "Hello, I Am Fat" (Feb 11, 2011).

Seeing the troll confrontation changed was weird, but hearing West's response, it makes sense: “At this point, in 2019, I have less interest in redeeming internet trolls.”

So. many. good. lines. After binging on the series, this is currently my favorite:

"What do I look like?"
"Norm-core Ted Kaczynski."
(My wife and I had to go back for that response a few times.)
posted by filthy light thief at 12:36 PM on May 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also, her abortion was ... calm. Normal. Not the key event in A Very Special Episode. Which was, for lack of better word, nice. It wasn't A Thing, just something that happened, and in turn helped her understand who she was at that moment. I am surprised that Ryan's mom didn't have a bigger role in this season, given that she wanted a funeral for her aborted grand-baby, and she already knew about Abby from Ryan.

But in re-reading West's article on "What happened when I confronted my cruellest troll", I'm surprised the show hasn't addressed rape threats and rape "jokes," but that might be a bigger story for the second season (where Abby is more empowered, and takes on misogyny in comedy).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:54 PM on May 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Shrill is finally in Canada on Crave, so I watched it all as soon as I noticed it was on there. I just finished watching Girls, so this felt like a great transition. Aidy Bryant has the most charming giggle and I couldn't help but wonder if maybe her mom was actually stoned lying on the carpet listening to music in E6.

The guy who plays Gabe (aka Dan Savage with David Spade's voice) was Hedwig in the Hedwig and the Angry Inch movie, if anyone needs to see a better side of him.
posted by urbanlenny at 12:58 PM on May 5, 2019

aka Dan Savage with David Spade's voice

I think you meant Dana Carvey with David Spade's voice. For some reason, I can't un-see him as Dana Carvey, but older and with some decent make-up.

And I'm happy that Marv from Home Alone was able to put his criminal past behind him, and re-invent himself as a kind-hearted, goofy jazz-playing dad. ;)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:43 AM on May 6, 2019

The book is absolutely worth reading too.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 3:13 PM on May 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

I can't help but feeling that this is a very important piece of art.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:02 PM on May 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

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