Aidy Bryant’s “Shrill” is the type of show I wish I had seen when I was growing up in the 1990s. Mind you, I was never an overweight young woman, but I was an awkward, chubby teenager with no self-esteem, and this show spoke to that version of myself that’s still there, lurking in the back of my head. In the lead, Bryant plays an overweight young woman living in Portland and forging a path for herself in the media world, and she’s completely believable every step of the way: Every wounded look on her face, every micro-aggression that hits her registers like a machine gun wound, and it’s pleasingly cathartic for anyone who has struggled with body anxiety to watch Bryant defend herself – and others, by association. The supporting characters are impressively well-developed as well, functioning not as plot devices but as flawed-but-good people who sometimes make mistakes and need to be forgiven, much like Bryant’s Annie. It’s a casually enriching show that’s more amusing than outright funny, but even so, it’s perfectly entertaining and has the potential to help others find the vocabulary to assert themselves as worthy of respect.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)