Hannah Gadsby: Douglas (2020)
May 26, 2020 5:47 PM - Subscribe

I loved this. It's not Nanette but it's not meant to be. It was weird and funny and I laughed until I cried. And then I just kind of cried. She does something that's so disarming and playful. It's so much fun. She's a wonder. This put together so well. I loved it. I will probably watch it again.

(While not everyone does it, I'm very much into this newer aesthetic of standup that's about a larger narrative and storytelling and not afraid to go to darker or weirder places. Comedy -- even standup comedy -- can be so many things. It's baffling to me that people didn't think Nanette fit into that. It's more than that, sure, but I still think of it as a standup special.)
posted by darksong at 6:15 PM on May 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

I didn't love it, but I liked it. I don't think the 'setting of expectations' intro tactic worked for me entirely, but it's a good special.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:41 PM on May 26, 2020

I dug it, really hit the spot for me.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:05 PM on May 26, 2020

I was lucky enough to be in New York last August when she was there as part of the Douglas tour, and it was great. What a joy to see her performing live, in a small theater, part of an audience of fans.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 5:51 AM on May 27, 2020

I may be wrong, but I feel like standup is getting more fractal, and I'm into it. There was a graphical breakdown of Ali Wong's Baby Cobra a few years ago that got me thinking about the recursive structure of stand-up routines, and how my favorite routines feel like this cascade of stories that all fit into a nested, layered structure where the seams are highlighted and concealed at the same time by the skill of the storyteller and their ability to maintain momentum and pace.

Sara Pascoe's Lads, Lads, Lads did a similar thing that left me feeling almost dizzy by the end of it, with each anecdote forming this weird causality loop that required future jokes to reveal the full humor behind the first anecdote.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this, and I'll probably watch it again in a couple days.
posted by wakannai at 7:10 AM on May 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

She needs to teach a Masterclass that’s just making fun of Renaissance paintings.

Funny you should say that. Her 'prelude' reminded me of her art history show on our national broadcaster from a decade ago. I can't find the shows on youtube, but here's Renaissance Woman: The three wise men and entourage (6.51min) from 2015. The video includes actual dog tax of Douglas.
posted by Thella at 3:36 AM on May 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

We watched this last night and loved it. As one who has sat through innumerable art history classes, the Renaissance art history stuff was unexpected and so, so good. And, I think the pufferfish is now my go-to self-image whenever a wave of outrage strikes me.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:07 AM on May 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I was looking forward to this since it was announced. Given the success of Nanette, and the nature of that show - mirroring its performance seemed both ill-advised as well as impossible given the nature of the material. Her acknowledgment of this - shoving all of her trauma into one show instead of creating a trilogy was well said - and then it allowed her to really explore a tangential space to it.

Douglas is awesome; the prologue may be a little... forced, but because of the forced change of tone - oddly unavoidable, and it laid out her show with a fair amount of freedom. Most importantly, she doesn't have to do it again - she created a fair amount of future freedom by resetting expectations. Her cheat worked.

I've spent the better part of 3 days trying to figure out what other comedians are like her in delivery and story structure... there really aren't any that cover her subject matters in the manner in which she's covered... Mike Birbiglia has done some solid autobiographical storytelling, but - ignoring the *him*... *he* still winds up with an introspective set... and *his* set just misses the connection.

In contrast, Hanna Gadsby is something very different and refreshing - with the how she takes the piss out of the patriarchy - and identifies broader social dissonance while bringing it to something extremely personal. I really can't think of a long form comedian I've heard so far keeps long form and can punch the way that she does... Even minimizing the trauma comparatively from Nanette to Douglas - she kills with both broad brush stroke and pointed personal interaction. Seriously - this is another masterclass worthy set as Burhanistan stated.
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:48 PM on May 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

Definitely different and refreshing but I found myself having flashbacks to Eddie Izzard’s Dress to Kill during parts.
posted by annathea at 5:40 PM on May 29, 2020

I liked it a lot (and really liked the prologue). Nanette is an all-time classic work of art. This was funnier but not quite as good.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:05 PM on May 29, 2020

"Karen's Handful" is instantly immortal.
posted by tzikeh at 5:05 PM on June 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

Another masterpiece in my opinion.
posted by pjsky at 9:43 AM on June 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

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