Original Content podcast: ‘Shrill’ stays positive, despite bad boyfriends and terrible bosses lede

Many of the themes and stories found in Hulu’s “Shrill” will be familiar to fans of writer Lindy West — after all, it’s based on her book “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman,” and she’s a writer on the series.

But “Shrill” has mined the autobiographical material in West’s book to tell a fictionalized story about a young journalist played by Aidy Bryant of “Saturday Night Live” (she also co-wrote the first two episodes).

When we meet Annie, she’s ignored or belittled by everyone — a random yoga instructor, her dismissive boss, her lunkheaded kinda-sorta boyfriend and even her mother — for being fat. Over the course of the six-episode season, Annie begins to understand her own worth, and to stand up for herself.

On this week’s episode of the Original Content podcast, we’re joined by Devin Coldewey to review the show.

“Shrill” pushes boundaries and deals with some pretty serious topics, but it has a light touch — Annie’s empathetic, optimistic outlook seems to be reflected in the broader story. While at least one of us had some reservations about the writing (which can feel a little too on-message), we all agreed that Bryant’s performance is terrific, making the character’s empowerment feel real, specific and earned.

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