Lindy West’s collection of essays “Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman” was a culture shock that gave voice to the frustrations and inner thoughts of millions of American women. Now Shrill is coming to Hulu as a limited run six episode series that explores some of the themes that West explores in her book like fat acceptance, body positivity, and female empowerment.
The series Shrill follows a plus size female writer who is inspired by West herself as she grapples with trying to be heard at work and trying to get better opportunities while dealing with the complexities of navigating relationships and life in general as a plus size woman.
The show will bring to life a lot of different incidents that occur in the book including the one that is still being discussed today: when West tracked down a fat-phobic Internet troll who devoted crazy amounts of time and energy to trolling her and asked him why he did that and what he wanted to accomplish by doing it. She talked about the incident and played excerpts from the conversation with her troll on an episode of This American Life.
All six episodes of Shrill will be available to stream on Hulu on March 15th. You can watch the trailer for the show here:
Changing The Narrative For Plus Size Women On TV
The ShrillTV show is taking one step towards changing the standard narrative for plus size women on TV by creating an apologetically fat protagonist who is living her life and isn’t interested in losing weight in order to get validation from society or the people around here. That’s a ground-breaking position to take in an entertainment atmosphere where playing out the narrative of an overweight woman losing weight and then becoming popular and accepted and having all of her dreams come true is still the only way that plus size women are ever given main character status in a TV show.
AMC tried to change this narrative earlier in 2018 when it introduced Dietland as a limited series and gave it an aftershow to encourage discussion about the cultural issues that were raised in Dietland. But Dietland never really found its feet and AMC cancelled it after one season. By running Shrill as a limited series with a definite ending Hulu is in a better position than AMC was to challenge that pervasive narrative that the only way a fat woman can ever achieve success or be loved is to lose weight with Shrill. The lead character in Shrill is also a little more relatable than the lead character of Dietland was and that will make a big difference in the way that Shrill opens up the discussion about body positivity on TV.
In a media atmosphere where women are still getting bombarded with problematic shows like Insatiable, which really is just a masterclass in everything that is wrong with TV tropes about women, it’s refreshing to see Hulu break that mold and give women a show that promotes body positivity and opens a dialog about beauty, power, and culture which is something that really needs to happen. So watch Shrill on Hulu on March 15th and then tell us on social media what you think of the show.