“I always knew that an altweekly office would make a great setting for a sitcom. “Shrill,” a short series on Hulu — just six episodes in its first season — makes good on that premise, though not in the way I would have handled it.
It’s based on the writings of real-life altweekly journalist Lindy West, whose time at Seattle altweekly The Stranger was marked by conflict with Editor Dan Savage, who is probably the most famous character in the history of our industry, if you don’t count Norman Mailer.
West’s work is channeled by “Saturday Night Live”’s Aidy Bryant, who plays Annie, a low-level alt staffer trying to move up from the calendar desk into something more substantial.
And while the series hits some off notes in its characterization of altweekly office life — nobody has that many employees anymore, let alone so many people of color — and takes some liberties with the real-life relationship between Savage and West as works of biofiction are wont to do, it’s a winner on so many levels.
Finally, a plus-sized lead that defies easy stereotypes and characterization. Finally, an exploration of the cultural divide between Generation X and the Millennials. Finally, something funny from Hulu!
Watch it for the sharp writing and fantastic wardrobes. Watch it because it’s about altweeklies, which are more important to American life than some people think. Watch it because it’s only six episodes, and you can probably knock it out before bedtime tonight.
And watch it so they will make more of them. Because I want to see more.