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There’s no savvy sneering at rural simplicity on Bridget Everett's Somebody Somewhere

  • "Sendups of small-town Americana are hard to resist, and nowhere are jokes of this kind more obviously set up than in Bridget Everett’s latest vehicle, Somebody Somewhere, a comedy set in Everett’s actual hometown of Manhattan (get it?), Kansas—a state forever haunted by its main cinematic referent, The Wizard of Oz," says Lili Loofbourow of Everett's HBO dramedy. "But the punchline never comes." Loofbourow adds: "What I’m trying to nail down here is how carefully Somebody Somewhere avoids caricature and other familiar comedic terrain. Because here’s the thing about stories featuring a self-aware protagonist coming home to a place where they don’t quite fit: Their awkwardness is usually a function of how they’ve 'outgrown' home by moving away. Typically they’ve moved a few notches closer to the cosmopolitan viewer’s sensibility, which lets them act as a 'fish out of water' point of view character for the audience. (This frees the latter up to laugh guilt-free at regional oddities; they’re aligned with the hero whose contempt for the place they can share.) Typically, this kind of protagonist is trying to negotiate the double vision they’re now blessed and cursed with as people conversant in two different realities, one of which includes their weird family."

    TOPICS: Somebody Somewhere, HBO, Bridget Everett