12 Reasons “Shrill” Is One Of The Best Shows You’re Probably Not Watching

The full final season just dropped on Hulu.

On May 7th, the third and *sniffle* final season of Shrill was released on Hulu, and I’m here to tell you why you need to drop everything you’re doing and watch it immediately.

Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

Okay fine, if you’re like, in class or at work or operating heavy machinery, you can wait until tonight, but otherwise, you need to start watching ASAP. No excuses.


First of all, Aidy Bryant is utterly hilarious and winning as protagonist Annie Easton.

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Shrill centers on the evolution of Annie, who begins the series as timid and self-doubting, having been told her entire life that her weight meant that she should diminish herself to please thin people. Bryant does a wonderful job of capturing Annie’s wit, warmth, and occasional selfishness as she grows up and learns to assert herself.


Lolly Adefope is undeniably brilliant as Annie’s no-bullshit best friend and roommate Fran.

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Shrill is one of those shows where the supporting cast is just as strong as its lead (and clearly Aidy Bryant has set a high bar) but no one stands out more than Lolly Adefope as Fran. Adefope could riff on water boiling or paint drying, and it’d probably be the funniest thing I heard all year.


Annie and Fran’s onscreen friendship is a true pleasure to watch.

Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

If the Banter Olympics existed, these two would be gold medalists. Despite the fact that the show spends a lot of time on dating, it’s clear that the real love story here is the one between Annie and Fran.


Luka Jones as Annie’s shitty sort-of boyfriend Ryan has pulled off a delicate balance between “absolutely detestable” and “sort of likable, sometimes.”

Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

Ryan is one of the most compulsively hateable boyfriends to ever grace our TV screens, and he’s even more infuriating for the moments when you think maybe, just maybe, he could be worthy of Annie.


The rest of the cast is seriously stacked, too.

Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

From John Cameron Mitchell as Annie’s eccentric editor at alt-weekly The Thorn, to comedian Jo Firestone as the eerie and socially inept staff photographer Maureen, to fellow SNL alum Julia Sweeney as Annie’s well-meaning but overbearing mother Vera, this cast is a who’s who of who’s funny.


Shrill is the rare show about a woman’s transformation that doesn’t require its hero to alter her appearance.

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There’s no makeover montage here: Annie grows more confident in her style as the series goes on, but otherwise, she doesn’t fundamentally alter her “look”, only her relationship to it. It’s so refreshing to watch a show about a woman realizing that she doesn’t need to catch up to mainstream beauty ideals, they need to catch up to her.


Speaking of appearances, the costumes are wearable works of art.

Hulu / Via, Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

The options are so limited for plus-size shoppers that costume designer Amanda Needham actually had to make a lot of the looks from the show herself. Which is a shame, because I’d find literally any excuse to buy and wear that sequined minidress: A first date, doing my taxes, going grocery shopping, who cares?


The show isn’t afraid to show the ups and downs of Annie’s writing career.

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Annie’s career isn’t a fixed quantity. It develops and changes just like she does, and while she’s clearly a talented writer, her relative lack of experience can lead her into some extremely sticky situations, both in her physical workplace and online.


Ditto for her romantic life, which is a believably mixed bag of experiences.

Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

Annie sees multiple people over the course of Shrill‘s three seasons, and some of them seem great but aren’t, and some of them are great but she can’t see that, and some of them are Ryan (ugh).


The show approaches issues of body positivity and fat acceptance with complexity and sensitivity, but also with a healthy dose of joy.

Hulu /Courtesy Everett Collection

This quality is best demonstrated in Season 1’s iconic “Fat Babe Pool Party” episode, and also whenever Annie and Fran are in a room together.


If you fall in love with this show as much as I did, you can check out the book of essays it was based on: Lindy West’s Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman.

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Like Annie, Lindy wrote for an alternative weekly paper (Seattle’s The Stranger), and many of the moments from Annie’s life are adapted from West’s own experiences.


And it’s just really, really, really funny.

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Look, if you’re watching The Handmaid’s Tale right now and need to feel even the faintest glimmer of hope for humanity, make the most of that Hulu subscription and watch Shrill, too.

All three seasons of Shrill are streaming now on Hulu.

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