Shrill
GenreComedy
Based onShrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
by Lindy West
Developed by
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes22
Production
Executive producers
ProducerDannah Shinder
Running time21–30 minutes
Production companies
Release
Original networkHulu
Original releaseMarch 15, 2019 (2019-03-15) –
May 7, 2021 (2021-05-07)
External links
Official website

Shrill is an American comedy streaming television series developed by Aidy Bryant, Alexandra Rushfield, and Lindy West, based on West's book Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman. The series premiered on March 15, 2019, on Hulu, and stars Bryant in the lead role.

In April 2019, the series was renewed for a second season that premiered on January 24, 2020.[1][2] In March 2020, the series was renewed for an eight episode third season,[3] which was later confirmed to be the final season and it was released on May 7, 2021.[4][5]

Premise

Shrill follows "Annie, described as a fat young woman who wants to change her life — but not her body. Annie is trying to make it as a journalist while juggling bad boyfriends, sick parents and a perfectionist boss, while the world around her deems her not good enough because of her weight. She starts to realize that she's as good as anyone else, and acts on it."[6]

Cast and characters

Main

Recurring

Guests

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
16March 15, 2019 (2019-03-15)
28January 24, 2020 (2020-01-24)
38May 7, 2021 (2021-05-07)

Season 1 (2019)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Annie"Jesse PeretzTeleplay by : Aidy Bryant & Alexandra Rushfield & Lindy WestMarch 15, 2019 (2019-03-15)
Annie, the assistant calendar editor at a newspaper, is shot down by her boss Gabe when she asks to take on a real story. She goes to Ryan’s house and, after sex, he asks her to leave out the back door so she won’t run into his roommates. Later, she finds out she’s pregnant, then learns the morning-after pill, which she’s been relying on, doesn’t work for women over 175 pounds. Her roommate Fran accompanies Annie to get an abortion. Afterward, Annie breaks up with Ryan, telling him she wants a boyfriend who will take her out in public. Newly empowered, she again pitches a story to Gabe who rejects the idea, but offers Annie the chance write a restaurant review.
22"Date"Carrie BrownsteinAidy Bryant & Alexandra Rushfield & Lindy WestMarch 15, 2019 (2019-03-15)
Annie is assigned to write a restaurant review at a strip club and feels empowered by her conversation with the employees. Fran throws a party in honor of Annie's first "real assignment" but Gabe balks at the final product. Ryan tries to win Annie back by taking her on a date that goes bad. Annie talks to her mom about her mother's need to micromanage the people in her life. Annie spends the night at Ryan's but she insists there be no sex. She meets Ryan's mother in the morning. Annie's review earns her respect in The Thorn newsroom, but it also gains her a troll. Fran loses another girlfriend.
33"Pencil"Andy DeYoungDave KingMarch 15, 2019 (2019-03-15)
Fran's brother, Lamar, visits from London and confesses he has always had a crush on Annie. Gabe throws a party to exhibit his boyfriend's art and Annie invites Ryan to accompany her to the show for their "second date." Annie's troll gets more aggressive and she asks Gabe for support to shut him down. Ryan forgets the party and Annie discovers he is also sleeping with other women. Devastated, she returns home where she and Lamar get closer than ever.
44"Pool"Shaka KingSamantha IrbyMarch 15, 2019 (2019-03-15)
In a flashback to Annie's younger years, her mother encourages her to join the family in the hotel pool but Annie opts out. Fran establishes a "No Ryan" zone in the house. Annie pitches another story about an "inclusive" pool party for plus size women that Gabe rejects, but Annie attends anyway with Fran. While Fran flirts with a new girlfriend, Annie loses track of time and misses the bike ride. Gabe humiliates her, insinuating her weight is holding her back from success. Infuriated, Annie posts an article entitled "Hello, I'm Fat" on The Thorn's website. In another flashback, Annie goes alone to the pool.
55"Article"Gillian RobespierreSudi GreenMarch 15, 2019 (2019-03-15)
Annie's article goes viral and Gabe is angry that she posted without his approval but pleased with the website traffic. Bonkers (Fran and Annie's dog) eats mushroom pills and Annie asks Ryan to dog sit. Annie's visit to celebrate her father's positive cancer prognosis ends up in a family fight which sends her back home and into Ryan's arms while she ignores a commitment she made to Amadi.
66"Troll"Shaka KingCraig DiGregorioMarch 15, 2019 (2019-03-15)
Annie publishes another article that goes viral and Gabe writes a rebuttal to Annie's "Hello, I'm Fat" article. After a public argument with him in The Thorn newsroom, she quits her job. Annie asks Amadi for help in hunting down her troll. Annie makes up with her mother, who later makes an unexpected exit. Annie confronts her troll.

Season 2 (2020)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
71"Camp"Shaka KingAidy BryantJanuary 24, 2020 (2020-01-24)
Annie and Ryan go camping to escape the possible wrath of her troll. When they return, Annie learns that her mother has left town unexpectedly and Fran has been worried about Annie's safety. Annie announces her plans to become a freelance writer.
82"Kevin"Anna DokozaRob Klein & Hye Yun ParkJanuary 24, 2020 (2020-01-24)
Annie's mother returns but she is vague about why she went to Vancouver. Annie learns of Amadi's promotion when she returns to pick up her stuff at The Thorn offices. Emily tells Fran that Vic, her current girlfriend, is seeing other people. Annie interviews her troll for her first freelance article, but the blog post gets minimal attention. Fran is depressed and Annie agrees to go see Emily's cabaret performance to cheer Fran up.
93"Skate"Rebecca AsherTami SagherJanuary 24, 2020 (2020-01-24)
Annie's job search is going nowhere, but she overstates her prospects to her friends. Ruthie, the receptionist at The Thorn, hosts a 70s themed birthday party where Annie asks Gabe for her job back and Ryan bonds with The Thorn's distribution guys. Ryan takes Annie home where he tells her he loves her and they agree to be "gross" together.
104"Freak"Ally PankiwRob Klein & Clare O'KaneJanuary 24, 2020 (2020-01-24)
Gabe assigns Annie to write The Thorn's "Freak of the Week" and she meets the new calendar editor who is very popular with the staff. Ryan meets Annie's parents in an awkward dinner. Fran takes herself out on a solo date.
115"Wedding"Shaka KingSolomon GeorgioJanuary 24, 2020 (2020-01-24)
Annie and Fran go on a road trip to Fran's cousin's wedding where Fran faces her traditional Nigerian mother's expectations. Annie tells Lamar that she is now in a serious relationship, but they are later forced to share a bed for the night.
126"WAHAM"Natasha LyonneSudi GreenJanuary 24, 2020 (2020-01-24)
Annie attends a women's empowerment conference where she meets the keynote speaker who, at first sight, appears to be an inspiration. She tries to have an honest conversation with her mother about her impromptu trip. Ryan gets a job at The Thorn and Annie is mentored by Gabe.
137"Salon"Oz RodriguezLindy WestJanuary 24, 2020 (2020-01-24)
Annie and Ryan have sex in the office. Gabe invites Annie to one of his exclusive salon gatherings. Fran plans a party in her own honor. Annie takes Ryan to the salon where he doesn't quite fit in and she meets Nick, an illustrator, who introduces her to Sheila, The Thorn's publisher. Gabe seizes the spotlight at the salon, leaving Sheila unimpressed. Annie is "outed" for having sex at the office and she tells Ryan to go home alone. Amadi learns about Ruthie's back story.
148"HR"Andrew DeYoungAidy Bryant & Alexandra Rushfield & Lindy WestJanuary 24, 2020 (2020-01-24)
Amadi holds a sexual harassment training for The Thorn staff. Sheila invites Annie to lunch to gather input about management decisions, but Gabe shows up uninvited and Annie is called away for her father's latest health emergency. Annie finally finds out why her mother left. Fran Fest is a hit but Ryan crashes the party to give Annie some good news. Emily expresses her feelings for Fran. Annie makes a decision about her relationship with Ryan.

Season 3 (2021)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten by [7]Original release date
151"Ribs"Carrie BrownsteinLindy WestMay 7, 2021 (2021-05-07)
Annie goes on a date with a man who has his own insecurities. Amadi deals with business problems at The Thorn. Emily and Fran grow closer. Gabe sells his memoir. Annie and Nick start a flirtation. Fran deals with a problematic customer. Annie copes with a fatphobic doctor.
162"Will"Anu ValiaSudi GreenMay 7, 2021 (2021-05-07)
Annie and Nick's flirtation continues. Emily urges Fran to consider working in a progressive salon. Amadi sets Annie up on a blind date with his best friend Will that suffers from awkwardness on both sides. Fran appears on TV.
173"Retreat"Carrie BrownsteinSudi GreenMay 7, 2021 (2021-05-07)
The Thorn staff attends the annual "Brain Camp" retreat which, due to budget cuts, is being held in the office. Gabe's book is published. Fran makes friends at the salon. Annie, Fran, Ruthie, and Maureen enjoy a girl's night out. Annie ends up at Nick's house.
184"Ranchers"Andrew DeYoungRob KleinMay 7, 2021 (2021-05-07)
Annie visits the ranch of a group of white separatists for The Thorn. Emily and Fran try to make a porno. Annie cooks dinner for Nick, but when she tries to understand his mixed signals, he can't be honest. Note: this episode marks the final in-person appearance of Bonkers the dog.
195"No"Anu ValiaSolomon GeorgioMay 7, 2021 (2021-05-07)
The reaction to Annie's article about white separatists sends her into a professional tailspin. Emily wants to know more about Fran's background, so Fran plans a cultural experience that eventually introduces Emily to Fran's mother. Annie gets some tough professional advice which drives her back to Ryan who has moved on.
206"Sorry"Andrew DeYoungHye Yun Park & Clare O'KaneMay 7, 2021 (2021-05-07)
Annie's assignment to write a profile about Gabe gives her a glimpse of The Thorn's history. At Amadi's birthday party, Annie and Will have a reckoning about their disastrous blind date. Fran and Emily's trip to Emily's childhood home reveals a family history that Fran is not expecting.
217"Beach"Andrew DeYoungAidy BryantMay 7, 2021 (2021-05-07)
Emily and Fran take a beach vacation with Will and Annie, who have been dating for a month but have not yet had sex. The episode flashes back to Annie and Fran's college years as Annie seeks to lose her virginity and Fran faces her authentic sexuality. Annie makes progress in warming up Will. Emily and Fran decide to move in together. Warning: this episode will cost you money as it will trigger a vacation to the Oregon coast.
228"Move"Andrew DeYoungAidy Bryant & Alexandra Rushfield & Lindy WestMay 7, 2021 (2021-05-07)
Rumors abound about the future of The Thorn, so Annie writes a eulogy for the paper. Annie and Will Face Time with Annie's parents and Annie makes a surprising announcement. Fran has a change of heart about the progress of her relationship with Emily. When the fortunes of The Thorn take a positive turn, Annie and Amadi form a creative team with Gabe. When Annie ignores Will's request to take things slowly, the results are dire. Annie and Fran, alone again, decide they are going to need to change if they want their lives to open up for the future.

Production

Development

On April 24, 2018, it was announced that Hulu was developing a television series adaptation of Lindy West's memoir Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman with a pilot written by West, Ali Rushfield, and Saturday Night Live's Aidy Bryant. Executive producers were expected to include Lorne Michaels, Andrew Singer, Elizabeth Banks, and Max Handelman. Production companies involved with the series were set to consist of Broadway Video and Brownstone Productions.[8]

On June 13, 2018, it was reported that Hulu had given the production a straight-to-series order.[9] On August 1, 2018, the series order was confirmed and it was clarified that it was for a first season consisting of six episodes. It was further announced that the first episode of the series would be directed by Jesse Peretz and the second by Carrie Brownstein. Additionally, Rushfield and West were added as executive producers, Bryant as a co-executive producer, and Dannah Shinder as a producer.[6]

On December 11, 2018, it was announced that the series would premiere on March 15, 2019.[10] On April 15, 2019, the series was renewed for a second season that premiered on January 24, 2020.[1][2] On March 31, 2020, the series was renewed for a third season.[3] On January 27, 2021, Hulu announced that the third season would be the final season.[4]

Casting

Alongside the initial development announcement, it was confirmed that Aidy Bryant would star in the production.[8] Alongside the series order confirmation, it was announced that the series would co-star Lolly Adefope, Luka Jones, Ian Owens, and John Cameron Mitchell.[6] On September 5, 2018, it was reported that Julia Sweeney had been cast in a starring role.[11]

Filming

Principal photography for season one took place from the week of July 30, 2018 until the week of September 10, 2018 in Portland, Oregon.[12][13] Season two began shooting in July 2019 until the week of September 7, 2019 again in Portland.[14][15] Filming for season three started in October 2020, and ended on December 26, 2020,[16] due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Coincidentally, it started shooting around the time Bryant returned for her ninth season on Saturday Night Live, so she took time off from SNL to film the season (she appeared in the first episode of the season, and appeared once in a pre-taped segment in the third episode, during the first half of the season).[17]

Release

The series held its world premiere during the 2019 South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas as a part of the festival's "Episodic Premieres" series of screenings.[18]

Marketing

On December 11, 2018, a series of "first look" still images from the series were released featuring Aidy Bryant, Ian Owens, and Lolly Adefope as Annie, Amadi, and Fran, respectively.[10] On January 31, 2019, the first teaser trailer for the series was released.[19] On February 11, 2019, the official trailer was released.[20]

Reception

Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an approval rating of 93% based on 54 reviews, with an average rating of 7.91/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Sharp social commentary and a star-making performance from Aidy Bryant help Shrill overcome its familiar comedic sensibilities to create a show that proves self-acceptance isn't one size fits all."[21] On Metacritic the first season has a score of 74 out of 100, based on reviews from 27 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[22]

Kelly Lawler from USA Today gave the series a positive review, calling it an "unflinchingly authentic depiction of a fat woman in the modern world," and acknowledging that it "flies past positivity and shoots for fat acceptance".[23] Pop Culture Happy Hour's Linda Holmes, who is plus-sized, applauded the writers for giving the protagonist the best lines, instead of handing them off to secondary or supporting characters. Holmes writes: "seeing her perform such strong material is a delight".[24]

The Washington Post gave the show a more negative review, writing, "Shrill is mostly just another show that wants to make fun while also making essentially unarguable points about modern manners."[25] Robyn Bahr of The Hollywood Reporter criticized the series, opening with, "Warning: A fat woman has written this review" and later stating that the show is "not as sharp as it should be".[26] She also criticized the show's writing, saying, "her relationships are too underdeveloped to emotionally invest in."[26] Verne Gay from Newsday also criticized the series, writing, "Shrill too often feels more like that extended trope than fully developed series."[27]

Awards

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref
2020 Casting Society of America Artios Awards Television Pilot and First Season Comedy Collin Daniel, Brett Greenstein Nominated [28]
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series Shaka King (for "Pool") Nominated [29]
2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Aidy Bryant Pending [30]

References

  1. ^ a b Iannucci, Rebecca (April 15, 2019). "Shrill Renewed for Season 2 at Hulu". TVLine. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "First Look: Hulu's "Shrill" Season 2". The Futon Critic. November 4, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (March 31, 2020). "'Shrill' Renewed for Season 3 at Hulu". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Rose, Lacey (January 27, 2021). "'Shrill' to End With Season Three at Hulu (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  5. ^ Turchiano, Danielle (February 10, 2021). "'Shrill' Team Previews Final Season, Announces Premiere Date (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (August 1, 2018). "Aidy Bryant Stars In 'Shrill' Hulu Comedy Series From Elizabeth Banks & Lorne Michaels". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  7. ^ "Shrill". Writers Guild of America West. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (April 24, 2018). "Lorne Michaels, Aidy Bryant Adapting Lindy West Memoir 'Shrill' as Hulu Comedy (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  9. ^ Welch, Rebecca (June 13, 2018). "Lindy West Series 'Shrill' Staffs Up". Backstage. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Yandoli, Krystie Lee (December 11, 2018). "Here's The First Look At Aidy Bryant In "Shrill," Hulu's Show About Body Positivity". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 5, 2018). "Julia Sweeney Joins 'Shrill' Hulu Series From Lorne Michaels & Elizabeth Banks". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  12. ^ Turnquist, Kristi (August 1, 2018). "'Shrill' production begins this week in Portland, with Aidy Bryant of 'SNL' starring". The Oregonian. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  13. ^ Turnquist, Kristi (September 11, 2018). "Aidy Bryant and 'Shrill' cast prepare to wrap up Portland filming". The Oregonian. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  14. ^ Oregonian/OregonLive, Kristi Turnquist | The (June 25, 2019). "Portland-filmed comedy 'Shrill' looking for Season 2 extras: All shapes, sizes, ethnicities and abilities needed". oregonlive.
  15. ^ "@aidybryant on Instagram: "last shoot day of season 2 of shrillllll! 🌱"". Instagram.
  16. ^ https://www.instagram.com/p/CJRtbzdlEnZ/?igshid=1d6buhh97d89g
  17. ^ https://www.oregonlive.com/entertainment/2020/09/hulu-series-shrill-returns-to-film-in-portland-this-fall-and-extras-are-needed.html
  18. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (January 16, 2019). "SXSW: Seth Rogen/Charlize Theron Comedy, Matthew McConaughey's 'The Beach Bum' Among 2019 Feature Lineup". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  19. ^ Knight, Rosie (February 9, 2019). "Trailer Watch: Aidy Bryant's 'Shrill' Offers a Refreshing Take on Career Comedy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  20. ^ Iannucci, Rebecca (February 11, 2019). "Shrill: Aidy Bryant Learns to Love Herself in Trailer for Hulu Comedy". TVLine. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  21. ^ "Shrill: Season 1 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  22. ^ "Shril: Season 1". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  23. ^ Lawler, Kelly (March 18, 2019). "Hulu's 'Shrill' is a hard, honest and beautiful portrait of a fat woman, and I should know". USA Today. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  24. ^ Holmes, Linda (March 18, 2019). "Aidy Bryant Is Brilliant In The Funny, Smart And Thoughtful 'Shrill'". NPR.org. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  25. ^ "Shrill: Season 1 Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  26. ^ a b Bahr, Robyn (March 11, 2019). "'Shrill': TV Review | SXSW 2019". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  27. ^ Gay, Verne (March 11, 2019). "'Shrill' review: 'SNL's' Aidy Bryant is a revelation in an otherwise so-so show". Newsday. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  28. ^ "35th Artios Awards Winners". Casting Society of America. Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  29. ^ "NAACP Image Awards: Lizzo Named Entertainer of the Year; 'Just Mercy,' 'Black-ish' Among Top Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  30. ^ "Emmys 2021: Complete Nominations List". Variety. Retrieved July 14, 2021.