Shrill landed on BBC iPlayer this week. Straight from America – if you think straight is nine months – Shrill tells the tale of Annie Easton. Played by Aidy Bryant, Annie is an overweight writer (I can’t imagine why this would appeal to me), just trying to get on with life in this comedy series.
The logline is, ‘a woman seeks out ways to change her life without changing her body’. Indeed, although her weight is there for everyone to see, you don’t see her overeating or desperately dieting, which is refreshing. You do see other people’s reaction to her. This is actually played down, however painful it is sometimes. Clue, it is much worse. It helps that Annie is attractive. Even if the guy she has seen for six months still makes her leave by the back door.
Annie is not perfect. Sometimes she is selfish and sometimes she is thoughtless. Sometimes she is completely spot on, but the people around her don’t see her point. There are other people in her life. There is her friend and housemate Fran (Lolly Adefope), who is confident and encourages Annie to like herself more. There are her parents, an overbearing mother and her loving father who is going through cancer treatment. Her sort-of boyfriend Ryan (Luke Jones) who you somehow feel that Annie could do better, but she doesn’t see it. Then there are her work colleagues and her bitchy and judgemental boss.
Annie asks for more from people with different results, and she slowly learns to be confident in herself. There is a lot to like in this series. I consumed it all at once. It’s more Girls than fluffy sitcom. Some of the awkward experiences are based on the writer and Aidy Bryant’s real-life experiences. I don’t think it’s going to change the world. If you’re judgemental, that’s not going to change. May as well pick something that makes you feel superior to another. However, it does make you think.
It’s well written, executed and acted. I enjoyed it and would recommend a watch.