Joanna Gold (Vanessa Bayer) always dreamed of being on television: on the home shopping network SVN, to be precise. After a successful audition, she gets her dream job at the network, working with her idol Jackie Stilton (Molly Shannon). After Patricia Cochran (Jennifer Lewis), the company’s ruthless CEO, botches an on-air segment, she is quickly fired. In a desperate plea to keep her job, Joanna admits she has cancer, changing her fortunes and making her one of the network’s leading stars. only problem? Joanna doesn’t have cancer. Welcome to the fantastic world of Showtime’s i love this for you.
With tons of new shows being released every week, there’s never been so much great TV, but it’s also never been so difficult to watch. i love this for youcreated by Bayer and Jeremy Beiler, aired its terrific season finale a few weeks ago and hardly anyone has talked about it.
That’s a pity, because i love this for you is one of the brightest and boldest shows of 2022. It’s a comedy genius that does something amazing and gives us not one, not two, but three of the best TV performances this year. With the season wrapped and ready for your viewing pleasure and summer in full swing, what better time to make the show a top priority for your next TV binge-fest.
There is a grain of truth at the heart of Joanna’s lie. she did had leukemia… when she was a child and she hasn’t been sick in 20 years. Even though lying about cancer ranks pretty high on the list of things that are generally considered despicable, Bayer still manages to make Joanna endearing. Bayer, a SNL Veteran, as Joanna exudes an undeniable enthusiasm and passion for home shopping that allows her to feel endearing as she pushes ever further into her deception.
Watching Joanna continue to tangle in a lie is like watching a cat and mouse hunt where Joanna is both the cat and Mouse. Watching her weaponize her lie is exciting, in a sense that is obviously morally complicated to viewers, and it’s such a creative way of adding serious dramatic stakes to a workplace comedy. At some point the hammer will fall – and it does. Coming to such a stressful and harrowing climax for a character you’re immune to because of a horrible lie is complicated, to say the least. It’s all the more impressive that when it happens i love this for you does it with impressive clarity, humor and pathos.
Bayer’s trademarks are awkward comedic styles, but her performance is so incredibly controlled. In the pilot episode, just watch Joanna react to Jackie talking about her life. The way her eyes light up with genuine surprise and her mouth twitches with excitement says it all about how intensely she worships her idol. Bayer is in total control of her physicality, while Joanna so often has no control over her own, constantly taking a step too far and never knowing when to stop. It’s an intriguing dichotomy.
Of course there is no Joanna without Jackie. Jackie Stilton has been with SVN for 30 years (in one episode the crew aptly dubbed her Jackiversary) and is the biggest star on the network with a legion of fans known as the Jackalopes. She becomes Joanna’s mentor, and despite an initial hesitation, she softens and the two become good friends. They become an integral part of each other’s lives, with only one looming threat: there’s nothing on this earth Jackie hates more than a liar.
Jackie is a real star. Her television persona is that of an accessible woman who has everything, but behind the scenes, she’s starting to crack.
Her long-term marriage has ended and she is struggling with her position at work under her boss and longtime friend Patricia. Her inner crisis is perfectly illustrated by Shannon in a scene where Jackie tries to order a McFlurry at McDonald’s, but all she wants is the M&M’s without the ice cream. It feels like a full circle moment for Shannon, who showcases some of the great physical comedy she has delivered in her SNL days, but also manages to turn Jackie’s intense frustrations and emotions into hysterics at the heated moment. No one can make a breakdown seem as authentic and deeply funny as Molly Shannon.
While both Joanna and Jackie craft their TV personalities to feel down-to-earth and approachable, Patricia is anything but. She possesses a searing, unrelenting intensity that Lewis never finds to be a one-note. As CEO of SVN, her employees are quite afraid of her, but they also adore her.
Her fashion reflects her character beautifully: Patricia is always immaculately put together, with a whole wardrobe of divine outfits pointing the middle finger at corporate power suits. Seeing her seated in her beautifully designed office, accented with a beautiful glass bowl filled with rolos, is wondrous, and she feels just like the kind of person you’d hate to hate but at the same time so desperately want to be. As if that wasn’t elitist enough, her butler comes after her sexcapades to show her off with an extravagant gift basket. To put it simply, you never could.
It would be easy for Patricia to just be a wealthy, powerful slut, but it’s not i love this for you Interested. It’s a show fascinated by complicated, messy, and hilarious women, and that extends all the way to the leader of SVN.
In the season, Patricia has a cancer scare that forces her to reevaluate her priorities, allowing Lewis to do some wonderful dramatic acting. Thankfully, the reveal doesn’t cause a drastic character shift — some kind of crisis of conscience or a promise to live a healthier life — a trap that a smaller show would fall into. Patricia is incredibly sure of who she is and nothing is going to change that. But it allows her to soften around the edges, if only a little. Lewis’ natural charisma and sharp wit make her a perfect match for the character, and she gets an absolutely flawless monologue in the season finale that oozes power, ferocity, and surprising vulnerability, all in the name of the pursuit of the almighty dollar.
Television is obsessed with the idea of a strong female lead who regularly comes to the fore as the “girlboss,” a character working to achieve success on her own terms. i love this for you takes the idea of a girl who can have it all and makes it a lot more complex and interesting.
Joanna, Jackie, and Patricia are so much more than just dudes: they’re messy people who cause problems, make mistakes, and process the ramifications of their actions. As in life, there are no easy answers or solutions for this trio. They are among the most amazingly realistic characters on television, fleshed out with endless little details and three of the best performances I’ve ever seen. To top it off, they’re super fun too!
If you’re missing a hilarious and unique show featuring some of the best performances television has to offer, look no further than i love this for you.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/i-love-that-for-you-is-the-best-tv-show-to-catch-up-on-this-summer?source=articles&via=rss I Love That For You is the best TV show to catch up on this summer