By: Brett Slaughenhaupt – Movie Columnist
Specificity is a difficult thing to come by in popular media as television and film attempt to draw in larger and larger crowds for higher profits. Doing this successfully involves a certain amount of pandering. However you want to make sure that everyone feels included and as a result, sacrifices have to be made when it comes to character and plot. Nuance is thrown to the wayside in order to dumb down the material and broaden its appeal. Luckily, risks are still being taken on new material, like the sitcom Take My Wife.
The first episode, of which I am solely referring to, is available on Vox and the entire series will stream exclusively on Seeso, an all-comedy streaming platform. It follows two stand-up comedians Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito (playing fictional versions of themselves) as they go through their daily lives in Los Angeles. Its normalized portrayal of a lesbian couple at the forefront of the series is groundbreaking in its very simplicity. Rhea and Cameron are not stereotypes of their sexualities, but characters who both happen to be women who are in a relationship with one another.
That is not to say that the first episode attempts to ignore its characters’ identities. Topics like sexism in the workplace and how relationships are altered by careers, and vice versa, are intelligently and truthfully handled . This allows the show to move at a pace that follows the characters rather than forcing them along. The only part of the episode that seemed shaky was the tone. They haven’t quite figured out if they want to be a sad-comedy (i.e. Louis, Bojack Horseman, etc.) or a quirky-comedy (i.e. New Girl, 30 Rock, etc.) ,which leads to sudden tonal shifts that displaces the audience from the moment . But as far as first episodes go, this has great potential to grow into something meaningful and excellent!
Take My Wife is available in its entire six-episode season on Seeso.