She has and continues to have comedic potential, but if you were hoping to see that utilized in this special, you will be disappointed.
By Sean D. Hartman
For some reason, Iliza Schlesinger is still popular, and for the life of me I cannot understand why.
Don’t get me wrong, I was a big fan of Shlesinger. Her first two specials were brilliant pieces of comedy. But comedy requires evolution, and while many great comics come up with new jokes and tropes to entertain a changing audience, Shlesinger has not changed her tropes. In fact, she doubles down and adds in politics to the mix.
Shlesinger’s comedy has a style of humor focused exclusively on relationships, usually from a female perspective, which itself is not an issue, but it becomes exhausting when it encompasses an entire special, and even more so when it encompasses four.
Schlesinger goes even further in her comedy, not just making fun of relationships, but critiquing the patriarchal dynamic with a layer of feminist political commentary.
Now most conservatives, including some reading this article, may take offense to her critiques. I personally could care less, as unlike some conservatives, I’m not a whiny little snowflake who gets offended when someone has different opinions than my own.
Ironically, Shlesinger does utilize factual arguments promoted primarily by men’s rights groups. She discusses the biological and realistic nature of dating between men and women, with men playing the rescuer and women playing the “damsel in distress.” This has been something meninists have promoted, a traditional approach to courtship.
But Shlesinger seems to take a more negative approach to this ideal.
Shlesinger also takes on media portrayals of women in relationships, positing that the stereotypical “damsel in distress” trope is the cause of contemporary views of gender roles.
Her special is not a feminist special, it just has feminist parts. And with her repeating the same style and tropes from previous specials, those feminist jokes were the best part of her act.
Shlesinger hit a decent mark after Last Comic Standing, but like many comedians, she fizzled out by her own typecast. She has and continues to have comedic potential, but if you were hoping to see that utilized in this special, you will be disappointed.
Sean David Hartman is a reporter for the Central Florida Post, covering entertainment and public affairs. He describes himself as a “Professional Political Nuisance” and goes after politicians on both sides. Hartman is an autism rights activist, and #ProudlyAutistic.