Performer of the Week: Aidy Bryant

TVLine | 3/23/2019 | Team TVLine
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THE PERFORMANCE | We already knew that Bryant could make us laugh from her time as a Saturday Night Live cast member. (Full disclosure: “Do It on My Twin Bed” happens to be a staple in our YouTube rotation.) But in a pivotal episode of her new Hulu dramedy Shrill, Bryant proved she could make us cry, too, with a stunning, triumphant performance that drilled all the way down to the root of her character Annie’s lifelong insecurity.

Annie is overweight, and she’s actually fine with that, thanks for asking; much of Shrill centers on her learning to accept herself even when the world has told her not to all her life. In Shrill‘s fourth episode, she got a big confidence boost when she attended a “Fat Babe” pool party filled with plus-size people wearing swimsuits and having fun in the sun without fear of judgment. Bryant played Annie’s epiphany with masterful subtlety: At first, Annie was guarded (we see in flashbacks that she avoided the pool as a kid), but eventually, she got fully into the spirit… and the pool. The sheer, unfettered joy on Bryant’s face when Annie finally let herself dance with abandon along with her new friends was positively infectious — and damn near revolutionary. Later, Annie tearfully voiced her frustrations with her boss’ fat-shaming to her friends, with Bryant unloading decades’ worth of pain and shame in a single rambling monologue.

Shrill‘s - Message - Self-love - Weight - Thanks

Shrill‘s message of self-love at any weight is a powerful one, not to mention long overdue, and it comes across thanks to Bryant’s delicately empathetic, admirably resilient performance as Annie. We don’t exactly want her to leave SNL anytime soon… but now we’re extra excited to see what she does next.

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