A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Themes of self-love, supporting your friends and community, valuing your own worth.
Positive Role Models
As Annie finally starts to grow a backbone, she has occasional moments of solipsism that rightfully anger her pals, but it's pretty clear this is overcorrection after lifetime of being told her desires aren't important. In general, it's inspiring to watch her stop shrugging off daily indignities she's grown used to -- strangers commenting on and touching her body, the medical community treating her health as an afterthought, her boss dismissing her feelings because her point of view doesn't concern him -- and start reclaiming her space as a woman in the world.
Violence & Scariness
There's an online troll who constantly baits Annie with vicious and offensive comments on her articles.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of graphic sex talk, a few sex scenes, but the most that is seen is a woman's bare back. Someone takes a pregnancy test and morning-after pill.
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Swears include but are not limited to "s--t," "ass," "c--t," "damn," "d--k," "c--k," "bitch," and "f--k."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Alcohol is consumed at parties and on dates. Characters eat magic mushrooms and get high.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shrill is a series produced by and starring Saturday Night Live cast member Aidy Bryant, and is loosely based on the 2016 memoir of the same name by author Lindy West. Sexuality is a running theme in the series, with blunt talk about "raw-dogging" and "69-ing"; several sex scenes occur but are brief and not graphic. A male character is briefly shown nude, laying on his side (nothing sensitive is seen). Language includes "s--t," "ass," "c--t," "damn," "d--k," "c--k," "bitch," and "f--k." Adults are shown drinking booze at parties, and characters eat magic mushrooms and get high. The morning-after pill is used as a plot device, and a character gets an abortion -- it's handled very matter-of-factly. The show's main character, Annie Easton (Bryant), is a larger woman learning to stand up for herself and ask for what she needs in life, and the series has a clear focus on themes of self-acceptance and unlearning toxic behaviors.
Is It Any Good?
It's rare enough to see a fat, female lead character on TV, but to see one who isn't mired in self-hatred while undertaking repeated, miserable attempts to lose weight feels downright revelatory. Though billed primarily as a comedy, Shrill has a tender sort of humor and is unique in the way it allows Annie to be a multidimensional human being -- both goofy and serious, cocky and meek -- while exploring the many ways society at large can squash a person's individuality and confidence. The series poses questions about what might happen if we were all able to shut out the world's negativity and daily micro-aggressions and figure out who we really are, what we really want.
Bryant brings a bubbly charm to her portrayal of Annie, and although she can come off a tiny bit stilted in the show's more deeply emotional moments, this doesn't seem too out of place, considering that the character herself is only just beginning to be comfortable pursuing what she wants out of her life and the people in it. She's heartbreaking in her early interactions with her noncommittal "friend with benefits" Ryan, settling for the bare minimum of consideration and reciprocity from him because she fears she has no other options. These doormat tendencies frustrate her bestie, Fran (played with great warmth and wit by Lolly Adefope), who urges her to demand the respect she deserves and "stop thinking of yourself in such a brutal way." And through a series of cathartic events, she does, though the path to self-love won't be a linear one: Annie's likable, but also a selfish screw-up at times. Hopefully, future seasons will have an expanded episode count, as six episodes don't provide nearly enough time for the character or the series to truly find its voice.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.