Comedy Central has sketch comedy shows coming out the wazoo and there’s none better than Inside Amy Schumer, which finished its second season on June 3 and has already been renewed for a third.
Stand up comedienne (or has that word gone the way of poetess?) Amy Schumer’s show features five sketches punctuated by on-the-street interviews and bits of her stand up. The stand-up comic transitioning into television is nothing new, see Seinfeld and now Louie over on FX, but she walks a thin line as a female comedian who plays up her explicit, alcohol-soaked lifestyle just as well as sending the perfect sext.
Schumer doesn’t come across as some feminine paragon trying to make her way in the predominantly masculine world of sketch comedy, but she is also not cornered into some butch caricature just because she wears sweatpants outside. Inside Amy Schumer showcases a feminist approach to comedy and that’s refreshing for any viewer looking for a tiebreaker among many brilliant sketch options.
This episode doesn’t send the season out with a bang, but rather stays on even kilter with the rest of the season. Still, in the grand scope of television, it’s top-notch comedy. The first sketch is like a combination of Sex and the City and 24 where Amy fights the clock detoxing and waxing to get ready for a nighttime booty call. A glossy, spot-on spoof relates a truth about Amy’s ludicrous drinking habits – really, that of any woman taking on a Friday night. Unlike the tweens on all those carbon copy CW shows that wear four-inch heels to middle school, Amy lounges in pajamas without a bra on but pulls it together when necessary – and that’s OK.
Next is a sketch that challenges Amy and a male opponent to see who can go without contacting their ex the longest on a cruel game show only inches away from GSN’s Thursday night lineup. The utter lack of dignity of all the characters, male and female, that illustrates the brutal awkwardness that makes shows like Louie shine, are not at all lacking on this show because Amy’s a woman – not that anyone is thinking about all this so directly, but gender politics are a subtle game.
Shifting the tone to slightly surreal, Amy spends the next sketch goading her boyfriend into acknowledging the attractiveness of men reaching a delightfully cringeworthy climax. Schumer’s brand of feminism is not the preachy kind people like Shailene Woodly shun, but rather a feminism of a subtler variety that shows it is alright for women to be tough as well as vulnerable, and the same goes for men.
The View/ The Talk spoof The Gab features the hosts lambasting a mutual friend, instead of an unfortunate celebrity, milking mundanity in the style of The Onion. The next and final sketch might not be the funniest, but definitely makes the show come together in terms of understanding Schumer’s style. Senator Schumer delivers a press conference addressing a series of senate sex scandals that are like Weiner times ten.
If the sketch featured a man in the same position I doubt it would be as funny, but the fact that it is a woman makes it seem so bizarre, it elicits a few more ha’s. The sketch brings up the point that there are far fewer high powered women in politics than men and none in recent memory have come forward with a sex scandal, which all seems sort of weird since that implies 100% of sex scandals are being done by 50% of people.
I doubt there is a feminist television theorist that sits in the show’s writing room offering constructive criticism, but I do think Amy Schumer is certainly aware of these factors. See for yourself – though I would not recommend either of the season finales because in both Schumer brings on her high shock, low substance mentor Bridget Everett to close out the show in lieu of the hilarious interviews with low-profile people she normally does. At ten episodes a season, you can marathon both in the time it takes to get through the majority of a Game of Thrones season, so check it out on Amazon Prime.