Hulu’s ‘Life & Beth’ Is Amy Schumer At Its Raw — And At Its Best
Great fidelity is expected from Amy Schumer, no matter the format.
Since the success of her Comedy Central sketch series Inside Amy Schumer, the comedian has stayed away from television beyond specials and eye-expanding three-part docuseries Looking forward to Amy. Now Schumer is back on TV with a passion project Life & Beth, following the familiar semi-autobiographical route favored by Pamela Adlon, Mae Martin and an upcoming business project by Pete Davidson. Considering how much Schumer has exploited her experience — stand-up special books, a memoir, a poignant documentary about childbirth — it doesn’t seem like there’s anything new left to talk about. said, but the Hulu script (which she headlined, directed, and co-wrote) proves otherwise.
Beth is Schumer’s middle name, but the pun on the title points to the protagonist’s ennui and broader themes covered in the 10 episodes. Beth is emotionally reeling both at work and at home with her boyfriend of six years. Schumer’s frequent collaborator Kevin Kane (he’s an executive producer and also directs Episode 5) plays brother Matt, who happily doesn’t know of Beth’s eternal unhappiness until she tell him. “I couldn’t feel anything for a long time,” she explained later about the numbness.
His ideas for romantic gestures include screaming to the top of his lungs while riding the “engagement horse” and hosting a badly timed flash mob, which is amazing when they sound. bar. While Beth couldn’t muster any emotions, Matt felt everything-at extremely high volume makes the sound more shrill when amplified by his lack of perception. Working and living together leaves them with no gaps, but even their co-workers think they are the picture of perfection. Her “I’m really happy” catchphrase never goes blank no matter how many times she repeats it.
The cracks in the rom-com façade are evident from Beth opening a liquor sale to potential customers, embodied by John Early and Kate Berlant with their impeccable fascination (whom I It’s fun to listen to drones for hours on “the fascinating story. It really is .” madness if you want to hear it”). She also has no desire to participate in the little bell-ringing ritual at the office (think the opposite of Sunset sale‘S clanger) to celebrate a sale. To make the job feel more like a living hell, karaoke is another authorized activity run by owner Murray (the excellent Murray Hill is having a moment; for the love of God, check out HBO’s Someone somewhere). It took a major life event to pull her out of this routine.
The bright lights of Manhattan are replaced by her hometown on Long Island, and Beth is forced to confront both her current inertia and long-buried memories. Hill’s role is not the only factor binding Life & Beth to the aforementioned brilliant Someone somewhere—And it’s not like Bridget Everett is actually IRL’s best friend with Schumer either. Similar to how Someone somewhere is a version of Everett’s life if she hadn’t moved to New York, this is Schumer’s no-holds-barred life. Unresolved family traumas are at the heart of both stories, which see both women confronting their past in order to move forward. The HBO series is perhaps more focused on this discovery, but it makes for a pretty solid dual relationship back to Everett’s frequent appearances on the TV show. Inside Amy Schumer (including the wonderful song “Titty Song”).
The complex dynamics are explored in this day and age, but are more evident in the recurring flashbacks of teenage Beth (Violet Young). Schumer drew on her relationship with her father — including the impact of his MS diagnosis when she was 9 years old — in films like Shipwreck, and the financial struggles Schumers suffered when he lost his business are addressed here (Michael Rapaport plays Leonard, Beth’s father).
Her tumultuous relationship with her mother shifted to focus on Laura Benanti as Jane, the matriarchal woman. At first, this casting choice caused me to pause and Google about the age gap between the actresses — two years, anyone wonders — and this distracted me from the original thrill. this head. However, it is all the more plausible in the scenes between teenage Beth and her mother, and there is an argument to be made that depicting young Beth could be independent without the adult part.
Early adolescence tends to be with Pen15 based on the awkwardness in my stomach at 13 years old, Big mouth candid discussion of puberty and even Pixar exploring this avenue with Turn red. But the power of Life & Beth exists at the contiguous position of these two definite ages. Young Beth remains unboxed, despite battling traumatic and formative personal demons—her obsessive-compulsive hair-pulling behavior is another brutal, straight-forward bow. And as the older version approaches 40, it’s clear that something has to change.
It is this tension that leads to a big life decision, a romantic change, and a cute encounter on a local vineyard, seemingly informed by Schumer’s marriage to the chef. Chris Fischer.
Michael Cera, with his patchy beard, is the awkward-looking John, who struggles to read social cues and can’t lie. You don’t need to know Schumer’s entire backstory, but check it out Looking forward to Amy with Life & Beth added to the overall experience—especially when it comes to romance and what appears to be John’s undiagnosed autism spectrum disorder. John isn’t weird with his lifestyle or unfiltered comments, and that’s the opposite of Beth not being able to say what she wants. Sure, he doesn’t own a TV or understand that Beth’s poor British accent is Love Island but he’s open to her pop culture hints.
One episode shows the pair taking magic mushrooms with their sister Ann (Susannah Flood), and it can’t help but feel pedestrian — and even cliché — compared to Broad City cartoon psychedelic trip, Nine perfect strangers’ psilocybin-infused smoothies under the guise of health and the horrors of consuming ‘shroom in Yellow jacket and Midsommar.
“In terms of the kind of work Schumer has created in recent years, it seems the more criticized she gets, the more her soul explodes. ”
But for all the sweetness and warmth of this particular first love, there are also the sexual encounters and late-night trips to the pharmacy that could be an anecdote in one of the most popular films. Schumer’s voice.
This one-night stand turns from awkward and unsatisfying to drowsy when he insists on accompanying Beth to the drugstore to pick up Plan B after he discovers the condom has broken. Different from the recent Hulu movie Plan B—Which showed how difficult it can be to get emergency contraception — and by Aidy Bryant Shril, it remains a fairly common occurrence in popular culture. This happened over a decade ago, but I still remember being stumped by the condom plot that broke in the past. The sisterhood of travel pants 2 because morning pills don’t seem to exist as an option. At a time when reproductive rights are under attack, it’s important to see how important body autonomy and access to contraception are.
Schumer leaned into the absurdity of this guy’s concern that she took the pill in front of him, and the sarcastic response was that the comedian pointed his nose at her. That’s the frankness that comics are known for, and these brief moments of emotion ensure that even when Life & Beth being at its darkest moment, it stepped back.
In terms of the kind of work Schumer has created in recent years, it seems the more criticized she gets, the more her soul explodes. This is the case with Looking forward to Amy. Life & Beth is another piece of Schumer’s puzzle. Like many people, Inside Amy Schumer was my introduction to the comedian and in recent years I haven’t been looking for her work as much as I used to. Still, this ambitious series is a reminder of why I’ve been hooked in the first place.
Life & Beth It’s not as funny as Schumer’s previous projects (nor is it trying to be), but I found the teenage flashbacks particularly rich for this story. Beth plays the protective sister, while navigating the difficult waters of puberty that include unsupervised boys and girls parties, the unbearable shame of revealing herself (both literally and figurative) and the suffering that comes from rifts with the BFF.
Sometimes these past moments are just crumbs, while other episodes take almost as much of the 90s as they do today. With each additional flashback, it becomes clear that today’s Beth is having a hard time feeling anything because she’s spent so long pretending she’s okay.
Beth isn’t as outspoken in her feminism as the woman playing her, but anger rises below the surface. Schumer has spoken openly about the obstacles she faces in the comedy world because of how outspoken she has been since the #MeToo movement began and her results have always been seen through a lens. glasses of her entire work — and the backlash she’s experienced for a multitude of reasons.
Though, for everyone in the comedy world against Schumer, the close-knit group of people who made the show add to the intimacy. The guest stars are impressive, including David Byrne, Jonathan Groff, and the aforementioned Laura Benanti.
Diving into her personal story makes it harder to separate fact from fiction, which in some ways feels like the point of Life & Beth.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/hulus-life-and-beth-is-amy-schumer-at-her-most-rawand-at-her-best?source=articles&via=rss Hulu’s ‘Life & Beth’ Is Amy Schumer At Its Raw — And At Its Best