Trailer Watch: Aidy Bryant's 'Shrill' Offers a Refreshing Take on Career Comedy

The Hollywood Reporter puts the spotlight on TV series that may fly under the radar.
Allyson Riggs/Hulu

Welcome to Trailer Watch, a regular feature that helps put the spotlight on series that may fly under the radar in the crowded Peak TV landscape. Each installment of Trailer Watch will explain what the show is and why it looks interesting. This week it is Hulu's Aidy Bryant-helmed comedy Shrill.

Honest, authentic and often awkward comedies seem to be something that Hulu is particularly interested in this year. The streaming service is following the release of its generally well-received millennial coming-of-age show PEN15 with a new series from Saturday Night Live's Aidy Bryant that looks to capture an entirely different part of growing up. Based on Lindy West's best-selling memoir Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman, the show (also called Shrill) sees Bryant bringing to life Annie, a young fat woman who wants to change her life but not her body. She's trying to start her career as a journalist while juggling bad boyfriends, a sick parent and a perfectionist boss.

The first teaser gives viewers a look at the cringe comedy the show will traffic in as Annie tries to traverse her burgeoning career, adult life and love. It will be refreshing to see a female-led comedy focused on a fat woman who's going through all of the romantic, life and career experiences usually portrayed by thinner, more conventional-looking actresses. Bryant has already proven herself as a comedic talent with an Emmy-nominated turn as part of the regular SNL cast, and she brings those skills to Shrill, which she co-wrote with West and Ali Rushfield.

Shrill also features a stacked cast with SNL alum Julia Sweeney playing Annie's mother and Lolly Adefope (Miracle Workers) starring as Annie's best friend and roommate. The ensemble also includes Luka Jones (People of Earth), John Cameron Mitchell (Mozart in the Jungle) and relative newcomer Ian Owens. West executive produces the series alongside Lorne Michaels, Elizabeth Banks, Rushfield, Max Handelman and Andrew Singer.

The teaming of West and Bryant seems like a great match. Bryant is at a great place in her career to take a lead role in a comedy — while still staying on as a regular SNL castmember — and West is a vital voice when it comes to feminism, cultural criticism and activism. She's not only a best-selling author but is also the founder of the teen advice blog I Believe You, It's Not Your Fault and the co-founder of the reproductive-rights destigmatization campaign #ShoutYourAbortion.

Though the comedy seems to be a more standard "girl in the city" outing, it's always great to see projects with thoughtful creators behind the screen, especially in the age of #MeToo, when more and more often shows end up being tarnished by the behavior of the people behind them. With a female creative team featuring a New York Times best-seller and an SNL star, Hulu seems to have a safe-bet success on its hands.

All episodes of Shrill will hit Hulu on March 15.