Longtime Saturday Night Live star Aidy Bryant has already won audiences' love through her popular song-and-dance moments on SNL. From rapping as Lil' Baby Aidy in holiday sketches to welcoming hosts during their monologues, Bryant has proved she's talented, but she's about to show off her skills in a new way. She's starring in a new TV series, and the full trailer for Hulu's Shrill shows that Bryant has never been more relatable.
Based on Lindy West's memoir Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman, Shrill stars Bryant as Annie, an aspiring writer who repeatedly feels dismissed in different aspects of her life. As the trailer shows us, the guy she often hooks up with appears to find her embarrassing, asking Annie to leave via the back door when his roommates are home. Meanwhile, Annie's mother pushes diets on her while her boss refuses to give her bigger work opportunities.
But when Annie attends a "Fat Babe Pool Party," she recognizes the value of feeling comfortable in her own skin. The party inspires her to write a blog post about her views on body positivity, which resonates with thousands of readers. Following the thrill of being heard, Annie is inspired to change her attitude about her life, saying to a friend in the trailer, "I feel very powerful right now."
While this early footage teases Annie essentially saying "thank you, next" to the negativity in her life, it also includes comedic moments for which Bryant is best known. We've all had awkward exchanges with a CVS clerk, but Annie's search for the morning-after pill at a pharmacy counter takes the cake for uncomfortable shopping experiences. The trailer also ends with a debate about an internet troll's anonymous comment that sounds straight out of a SNL cut-for-time sketch pile.
While co-writer Bryant and her colleagues incorporated fictional elements into West's actual experiences, Bryant related to Annie's ability to ditch the haters and love herself. She told The Hollywood Reporter:
Until I was probably 19 or 20, I was constantly on Weight Watchers, the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet. I reached a breaking point where I started feeling like maybe my value wasn’t in the width of my thighs but in my brain and my comedy and my ability to do improv. Then I kind of just said, 'F*ck it, I'm not going to do this anymore. I'm going to take all this time, money and energy and put it into trying to achieve my dream, which is to be a comedian.' Two years later, I was hired by [comedy club] Second City. Two years after that, I was hired by SNL.
Slated for a March 15 debut, Shrill is executive produced by Elizabeth Banks and SNL creator Lorne Michaels. She has her boss's literal stamp of approval on the series, but Bryant has still fielded fans' concerns that her Shrill role means her time at SNL is coming to an end. Bryant, who began as a SNL featured player in 2012, told Deadline:
I think I’ll definitely go back next season. I’m going to take it as it comes. Especially being at SNL, I’ve really learned to not plan ahead, but being in the moment. But I know I would be incredibly sad if this was my last season and I’m not ready to go.
With Bryant seemingly ready to balance both SNL and a possible second season of Shrill, it looks like her fans have a double dose of her work to anticipate. Seeing as Shrill was filmed last summer when SNL was on hiatus, here's hoping any future seasons become a recurring summer project for her. Congrats, Lil' Baby Aidy!
Shrill premieres on Hulu on Friday, March 15.