Quiz Lady (2023)
November 6, 2023 12:51 PM - Subscribe

A gameshow-obsessed woman and her estranged sister work together to help cover their mother's gambling debts. Streaming on Hulu

Kristy Puchko
"From the moment she storms onscreen, Oh is game to go outrageous. Her outfits signal from the start that Jenny is an attention-seeker who refuses to act her age (whatever that means). And there's a delicious freedom in watching Jenny chase down her dreams and mad impulses for better or worse. Sure, occasionally she may get hit by a car or accidentally dope her sister into a cartoon-painted hallucination. But she also offers us juicy experiences to live through vicariously, like telling off a smug B&B proprietor whose Benjamin Franklin schtick is all over the place. (To his credit, Tony Hale is absolutely hilarious as the hassled hotel clerk, sporting Franklin cosplay along with adult braces, and the ire that comes from combining the two.) "

Marya E. Gates

"During all of this, Oh and Awkwafina craft a prickly sibling chemistry, where shared memories and traumas from their childhood collide, evoking a myriad of mixed emotions. Unfortunately, Awkwafina’s muted performance often borders on one-note. Other than the particularly delightful drug trip sequence, she’s never able to convey what’s really going on under the surface for Anne. Oh, on the other hand, is clearly having a blast playing this hot mess. She nails her pratfalls and plays the comedy as broad as possible with aplomb. However, Oh can also find the hurt, love, and complexity beneath Jenny’s superfluous surface. "

Caroline Brew interview with director Jessica Yu
" We don’t see sisters in comedies so much, certainly not Asian American sisters. I think that for these sisters in particular, there’s a way that they felt like outsiders, partially being Asian American in their community, but also the fact that they were outsiders even in their own family. I felt like we could get very specific about their experience, so their mother being first-generation Chinese American, their father being second-generation Korean American.

Also, I felt like there’s a way that when you get together with your sibling, you’re brought right down to being in middle school. There’s a way that you’re not allowed to be a fully fledged grownup around your sibling. I felt like we could get very specific with that. "
posted by Gorgik (7 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This looks pretty wild from the commercials!
posted by rhizome at 1:07 PM on November 6, 2023

It's definitely not as over the top as Joy Ride, but it was very funny and very kind, in the final analysis. A lot of the reviews I read were pretty down on Awkwafina, but I thought she was good.
posted by Gorgik at 1:27 PM on November 6, 2023 [3 favorites]

A fun, heartwarming romp with a great cast! If Awkwafina’s performance is one note, I think it’s just because her character called for it. How she played the moment when she prepares to answer the quiz questions and reaches to pet Linguini—and she realizes he’s not there—was quite poignant.
posted by ejs at 5:39 PM on November 6, 2023 [3 favorites]

Very cute! I particularly enjoyed the lunacy at the audition.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 5:44 PM on November 6, 2023 [2 favorites]

Things I liked:

The cameos!

The casting against type for both Oh and Awkwafina, both of whom I enjoyed in this.

The jokes about the current level of internet discourse:
Click-baity online news headline: "You're racist if you hate Quiz Lady, and you're even more racist if you like Quiz Lady."
And Jenny having a ton of internet followers "from that time that Elon Musk yelled at me."

This bit in the Philly sports bar:

"Stop! These are people who punch police horses when they're happy!"
"Hey, that's a stereotype, okay? That happened two separate occasions."
posted by creepygirl at 10:17 PM on November 6, 2023 [6 favorites]

Very funny and very sweet, I thoroughly enjoyed Quiz Lady.

Things I liked:

The cameos!

I'm glad no one has spoiled them - - the final one brought me a great deal of joy. Bittersweet joy to be sure, but joy nonetheless!
posted by fairmettle at 1:18 AM on November 7, 2023 [2 favorites]

I really enjoyed this, especially that Linguini wasn't ever in real danger. The Philadelphia parts were excellent, right down to the sports bar booing all the football teams that Annie named in her answer.

The sisterly love was very sweet, and Sandra Oh was a delight. I was so afraid that Terry McTeer was going to be awful, totally different from his on-screen persona. Much better that he wasn't.
posted by gladly at 6:54 PM on November 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

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