There is a moment early in the first episode of the new Hulu series Shrill when Aidy Bryant’s character Annie puts on a shirt and checks herself out in the mirror. She doesn’t feel comfortable in it, so she squats down and pulls the shirt over her knees to stretch it out a bit. It’s such a normal, relatable moment. Yet, when you really think about it, when is the last time you saw this exact move — which you’ve probably performed at least once in the last few months — on television? It’s moments like this that make Shrill feel special.
“When watching things, you want to see people who resemble you or the people you know and your life. It’s not realistic to not have that.”
According to showrunner Ali Rushfield, people who have seen the show often cite another favorite moment that is equally relatable in its glaring normalcy — It happens in the second episode, when Annie removes her bra the moment she gets home, before she does anything else. “It’s details and things that everyone does, but you don’t necessarily see.”
There’s something else viewers will notice about Shrill, which was inspired by Lindy West’s memoir — Annie is fat, but unlike most larger-bodied women on television, she isn’t trying to change her body. While Annie’s size inherently informs her specific point of view, Rushfield cautions that “it’s not what everything is about.”