I Finally Watched Nanette

Twitter was abuzz after the release of Nanette, and [curiously] so was Instagram. My Facebook wasn’t, which speaks to the kind of people on there I suppose. So, in the back of my mind somewhere, I had made a mental note: watch Nanette.

And I finally did. Two evenings ago.

I love stand-up comedy, even the bad kind. The only kinds I cannot stomach is the cringey type or the kind where the comedian/comedienne singles out a target from the audience. So, going in, I knew I was going to love Nanette.

To be clear, I don’t care whether the comic is male or female, straight or gay, black or white, Indian or not, and so on. There are several popular comics on the Indian circuit who I think are terrible. There are those that I thought were brilliant before, and suck big time now. There are those who are, in my opinion, chronically unfunny and just appear to be horrible people. So the fact that Hannah Gadsby, the creator of Nanette, was a woman? Didn’t matter. That she was gay? I didn’t know. Or care. I had never seen any of her work, so I had ZERO frame of reference for the show.

Except the rave Twitter reviews from people I know to be feminists. Gotta love the feminists.

I did love Nanette. It was poignant and funny and topical and touching and wonderful on some many levels. But it wasn’t really comedy. And that was fine, except it was touted as comedy. In fact, saying that it is comedy does this magnificent oeuvre a deep injustice. It is more like a TED Talk about humanity and compassion, rather than comedy. Nanette was powerful and beautiful, but it left me in tears.

It was undoubtedly the best thing I have watched in months.

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