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 Post subject: Nanette
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:17 pm 
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The opening post is the title of Hannah Gadsby's Netflix special. I hadn't heard of it until today and watched it this evening. I won't put any spoilers in this post, nor do I expect anyone to actually comment on the thread. I am not sure if it would be everyone's cup of tea...either.

But I want my daughter and my wife to watch it when they have some time. It's a comedy special unlike any other. I originally thought it would be in the vein of 3 Mics by Neal Brennen and there are some similarities. But Gadsby's time on stage was profound. There's probably no other way to describe it, and frankly to try to explain it would do damage to it. If you have the time and access to a Netflix account, and also - and this is big - aren't looking for some Netflix and Chill time but want to have an experience then I recommend you've found something to turn an hour of your time into a chance to find out something about yourself, and maybe see something in a new way that you needed to see that way.

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 Post subject: Re: Nanette
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:34 pm 
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honorentheos wrote:
But I want my daughter and my wife to watch it when they have some time. It's a comedy special unlike any other. I originally thought it would be in the vein of 3 Mics by Neal Brennen and there are some similarities. But Gadsby's time on stage was profound. There's probably no other way to describe it, and frankly to try to explain it would do damage to it. If you have the time and access to a Netflix account, and also - and this is big - aren't looking for some Netflix and Chill time but want to have an experience then I recommend you've found something to turn an hour of your time into a chance to find out something about yourself, and maybe see something in a new way that you needed to see that way.

I seen a lot of people saying this and have been curious how much of that is buying into the marketing hype and how much of that is honest reaction. I'm sure your reaction is sincere, so don't misread me there.

I'll report back after I see it.


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 Post subject: Re: Nanette
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:32 am 
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Thanks for the recommendation. Just started watching, looks good.

If you like unusual female acts South of the Equator, might I recommend the Topp Twins?

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 Post subject: Re: Nanette
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:46 pm 
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MeDotOrg wrote:
If you like unusual female acts South of the Equator, might I recommend the Topp Twins?

I checked out the trailer and it does look interesting. Thanks for the recommendation!

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 Post subject: Re: Nanette
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:51 pm 
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I thought her material was predictable and trite...cliché' even. "marketing hype" is accurate, but the whole comedienne taking jabs at comedy was just more of the hipster irony for profit schtick.

But make up your own mind about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Nanette
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:08 pm 
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subgenius wrote:
I thought her material was predictable and trite...cliché' even. "marketing hype" is accurate, but the whole comedienne taking jabs at comedy was just more of the hipster irony for profit schtick.

But make up your own mind about it.

Kuddos to you for watching it. Can't say I agree at all with your review of it being trite or cliché, nor can I see how a person who watched it came away with the conclusion her motive was to be ironic rather than sincerely express how being a comedian has affected her internalizing her own life. But to each their own I guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Nanette
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:30 pm 
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I thought it was so-so. The humor was good, but not great. I realize the reason it is getting such high praise is due to the mixture of vulnerability and woke content delivered with the fire of a charismatic sermon, but I found most of that either to be cliché' or debateable. The people I personally know who are calling it genius already think what she is saying, and I now suspect this is a backdoor way of praising themselves for thinking what they already thought. The vulnerability is admirable, but it didn't move me much.

Her most provocative line - that self-deprecating comedy is a just form of self-humiliation marginalized people must use to have their voice heard - I kinda suspect sounds neat, but has the downside of being probably wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Nanette
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:49 pm 
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I've been a fan of comedy for most of my life. Early 90s Comedy Central was my social group's background soundtrack for hanging out on many a summer afternoon. I've posted on the fact my favorite aspect of Netflix is how it's made access to so many new comedians possible, with my disappointment being the more recent second or third wave specials by good comedians often feeling half-baked because the money was good.

So it shouldn't be a surprise that comedy routines are a source of bonding with others who also watch a fair amount. It was a co-worker who is a Marc Maron junkie who asked me if I'd watched Gadsby's special yet, and when I hadn't even heard of it his response was I needed to so we could talk about it. He didn't want to say anything more that would spoil it. That intregued me so I went in with expectations but not of anything specific other than another comedy junkie was chomping at the bit to have someone to discuss it with.

Many recent specials have left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth for how aggressively liberal they were. Examples include W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu who I came away from feeling the same way I feel when hanging out with my more virulent Trump hating friends...somehow less in agreement with them coming out than I was going in. And it took away from the comedy.

When it comes to comedians playing with the genre, Neal Brennen's 3 Mics was magnificent while I was left disappointed in Fred Armistead's Drummer's Only bit. Maybe because I'm not a drummer.

So going in to Hannah's routine, I wasn't sure what to expect but I was comparing it to a lot of other comedy sets. And again to avoid spoilers, if I had to encapsulate my take on it in a couple of words they would include "sincere" and "profound". I should also say, I'd never describe myself as woke, and often think I'm more of a Bro at heart with enough awareness to see it but also enough of it to not give ____ about people's opinions about it. For me, what worked in Nanette was that the unspoken contract between comedian and audience wasn't broken while it went into territory that normally means the show is collapsing around the performer. And it managed to do that because at no point did I doubt her sincerity AND I was included in the conversation the entire time as audience member as well as participant.

When subbie said he didn't care for it and found it cliched or trite, it didn't surprise me. Honestly I suspected he must have just watched the Netflix trailer which had a bit that could explain his entire review. But he also could easily have watched the whole thing and came away with that opinion...but also surprising for it's lack of attack on subject material I would have bet money would have been his focus. Gun to the head, I'd say he only watched a trailer or teaser. Otherwise, he'd have had much more obvious complaints.

I suppose it will be the sort of thing that attracts bandwagon fans who are jumping on to make sure they are giving the right signals, and it will not connect with everyone which is also reasonable given it's a risky art piece.

More fundamentally, though, it seems we have completely different takes on her underlying bit about how her use of self-depreciation as a comedian has impacted the reality of how she has dealt with being who she is with the relationships she's had. I didn't take it as her saying it was how marginalized people need to get heard as the primary message. Rather, that she was saying to be successful as a comedian she needed to tell her stories in ways that made people feel the tension that comes from being a marginalized person but then turn it into a punchline that releases that tension. And while good for her job it's been damaging for her as a person. And given the times we live in, maybe it shouldn't be the job of the comedian to releave that tension but make us more accutely aware of it. Even more, perhaps as a person it may not be worth remaining in comedy if it prevents her from expanding the story to a full three acts rather than always reducing it to set-up and punchline.

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