I’ve just watched the most powerful hour and nine minutes of television that I think I’ve ever seen. It popped up in my Netflix feed as popular in the United Kingdom and I can see why.
Nanette by Hannah Gadsby (on Netflix): Australian comic Hannah Gadsby reshapes standard stand-up by pairing punchlines with personal revelations on gender, sexuality and childhood turmoil.
A lot of the comedy is very clever as well as being funny. Then, about a third the way in she suddenly gets very serious and I’ll admit it took me a few minutes to realise that it was not in the service of a punchline. This is a masterful and incredibly honest treatment of her personal history, and her clearly well-considered assessment of how societal norms and the implications of such things even existing have helped shape who she was and is. Given the content I found it incredible that she managed to retain the comedy aspect of the show without taking away from the points she was making. I am thoroughly moved and impressed.
I laughed, I cried. I felt shame, anger, disappointment and compassion. Most importantly she made me think.
I want to dive into some of the things she covers in a bit more detail in future posts, but for now I urge you to see this. If you don’t have Netflix find someone who does and watch it with them. I hope it has the same effect on you as it did on me.