Aidy Bryant’s ‘Shrill’ is Very Relatable to the Gay Community

Credit: Allyson Riggs/Hulu
SHRILL — Annie’s been putting herself out there more than ever and her life is becoming a tornado of both good and bad. She is forced to confront her boyfriend, her boss, her roommate, and even her troll. Annie (Aidy Bryant) shown. (Photo by : Allyson Riggs)

I’ve been a fan of Aidy Bryant for years. She, to me, is consistently one of the most underrated performers on Saturday Night Live, even though the 31-year-old holds her own in a bevy of fantastic talent like Kate McKinnon and Beck Bennett.

Aidy, 31, has finally been giving her own starring vehicle outside of the long running late-night program. Her dark comedy series Shrill premiered on Hulu this past Friday, March 15, and so far it’s been met positively by critics and fans alike.

I binge-watched the 6-episode (wish it was longer) series over the weekend and was left truly understanding who Aidy’s character of Annie really is. Annie, like me, is a struggling writer who is trying to change her life without changing her body.

She runs into a variety of problems throughout the show that directly correlates with how much she weighs. Her way of conquering each of those challenges shows the strengths and weaknesses her character has, and how it’s totally relatable to the rampant body issues going on in the gay community.

Gay men’s struggles with weight have gone on for decades now. This runs from body dysmorphia to body-shaming to going to the physical extremes in order to attain what one thinks is the perfect body. Annie goes through similar problems when dealing with her family, love and work life.

Her weight insecurities flare up several times, notably with a guy named Ryan (Luka Jones) who initially sees her as just a f**k buddy. Not only that, but he would make her go out the back gate in order for her to avoid running into his very annoying roommates. She takes this as a slight in that he doesn’t want her to meet them because she’s classified as fat.

Problems also exist at her work space as she battles with her boss to get any of her writing into their publication. She publishes a piece about body empowerment after visiting a local strip club, which becomes a viral hit with a ton of positive comments left for her. The only problem is that there’s a troll  named “awesome” who is constantly leaving Annie derogatory comments about her weight at the bottom of the article. Part of the series shows Annie’s quest to find this person and figure out why they are doing this in the first place.

Annie also takes on body shaming when it comes to her unawareness that you have to be a certain weight in order to use the morning after pill effectively, her micromanaging mother (played by Julia Sweeney) who points out her flaws a lot, and her boss seemingly hating overweight people. It’s a lot to take in, but she does it in stride and is able to find her inner confidence as the show goes on.

Shrill is a great series to watch, and my hope is that Hulu renews it for a second and much longer season as Aidy’s character of Annie has much more of her story to tell the world.

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This is the opinion of one contributing writer and not that of Instinct Magazine or other Contributing Writers.

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