My friend has commented that Hannah Gadsby's Nanette should be required viewing for every human on the planet and it's hard to disagree with her. I even suggested it should be on the secondary/high school curriculum. And why do we feel so strongly about what is technically a comedian's stand-up special on Netflix? Because Hannah Gadsby decided that it was time to tell her, some times truly shocking, truth about her life and what exactly it means to be a gay woman in today's society warts and all. What starts as a funny show soon gets turned on it's head as Hannah goes into great detail about why she has decided that comedy is no longer for her and why she feels it's time to bow out of the industry and it is a revelation.
I can't stress enough how profoundly this one hour and nine minutes of tv affected me. One minute I was laughing and the next I was crying. And not with laughter. When she tells her jokes or makes humorous quips they come from a place of experience, something that actually happened to her, like the time she came out to her mother or the time a random guy at a bus stop tried to have a go because he thought she was a he and hitting on his girlfriend. Funny stuff like that. But later, when faced with the decision to tell it like it really is, Hannah bites the bullet and suddenly those funny incidents are not so funny any more. In fact they never were and Hannah, quite rightly is now very angry.
With every fibre in her body she emotionally charges ahead explaining to the world what it was actually like to grow up, what really happened with those hilarious misunderstandings and how we as a society have been making excuses for the piss poor treatment of women and queer people like her, and anyone else who might behave or look “other,” since the dawn of time. This is a very unflinching look at one woman's life and yes, it has it's critics, but it also has the admiration of millions who have seen it or written about it. It's an eye opener that many will resonate with even if at times it makes for difficult viewing.
In her own words – “I have built a career out of self-deprecating humour, and I don’t want to do that anymore. Because do you understand what self-deprecation means when it comes from somebody who already exists in the margins? It’s not humility. It’s humiliation.”