Nanette | Official Trailer

You want to watch this.

No, you NEED to watch this.

But you probably won’t, you probably won’t log into Netflix, and when you hear the half-hour of soft-spoken lesbian jokes you’ll be wondering, is that all there is? Is she even gonna get back to Nanette?

No and no.

I’ve had a weird day. I woke up early to go to the cancer ward, to get a rituxan infusion for my pemphigus. No, I don’t need no sympathy, I’m doing quite better as a matter of fact, other than the fact that I’m still taking prednisone, albeit only 5mg, but it still might take me three or more months to get off it. You see you can’t go cold turkey, you crash, they told me this, I didn’t believe it, I dropped two milligrams…and I was climbing the walls. So now, the doctor wants me to alternate days, starting in two weeks, that’s right 5mg one day, none the other, she wants to “wake up my adrenal glands.” And I’m scared, I don’t want to do it, even though I have to. I’ve got to get off this damn prednisone, it’s messing me up, making me eat everything in sight.

So the Cedars-Sinai cancer infusion ward is at 9090 Wilshire. The southeast corner. You wouldn’t recognize it from the outside. Looks like an office building, an expensive one. But you take the elevator to the second floor and…

There’s a wide open space with about thirty to fifty chairs, I haven’t counted them, and in each one sits a cancer patient, getting an infusion. They give you your own personalized TV, the seats are plush, but the experience..?

I can’t speak for anybody else. I don’t have cancer, except that I do, but not one that needs chemo, but first they start with the Benadryl, which puts you out while it simultaneously gives you restless leg while the medication drips into your arm and you want to be anywhere but there, physically, never mind emotionally. You’re locked to your seat. Oh, you can go to the bathroom, you just take your tower of medication with you. But then it’s back to the seat. It’s an endurance test. And since I’ve endured it three times before, they make it faster, but still, you just grit your teeth. It’s like having a baby, when it’s done you forget about it, but during it…

And you’re surrounded by all these people. Young ones, old ones, rich ones, poor ones…cancer doesn’t care about your bank account. Some come with loved ones. The Big C is the greatest equalizer. That’s right, rituxan is a lymphoma drug, but they get it much more often, every two weeks ad infinitum. I get more, but I only get it every two weeks every six months.


I Ubered there and back. You can’t drive yourself. And when I got back to the house I felt like crap. I normally go out for a celebratory meal, a hamburger, but there was no way I could drive, I held my head in my hands, Felice suggested I take a nap, I ultimately did, and when I woke up…

I ate a bag of potato chips. That’s right, Garlic & Onion. After I finished off the bag of Ridges as well as the Salt & Vinegar one. Wise sent me a bunch, you can see them here:

and I can’t resist. I’ve been through too much. I wanted to feel good, and food is my way to do it. My father always thought a good meal would help. I used to turn to alcohol, you can live without that, but food..?

And then we finished watching “Goliath,” I don’t recommend it. The first season was superb, Billy Bob Thornton was exquisite. But it should have ended there. Too many times they continue series they should not, then again, the second season of “Fauda” was better than the first, but I’m not sure they should have a third, what other storyline could they pursue? But this actress Nina Arianda, who plays Patty Solis-Papagian in “Goliath,” she’s a talent, she’s a star, you can see it when… You can see Meryl Streep acting, you believe this person is the character. But it’s more than that, she’s a marvel. And the stunt casting gets in the way. My old friend Steven Bauer, he gets fifteen minutes. David Cross? Mark Duplass? Lou Diamond Phillips? Why? Are these actors that down on their luck, or did they believe this would enrich the story or..?

I don’t know.

Now one perk of my gig is people make recommendations. Let me set you straight, when you send me your own stuff, forget about it. When you send me something with ten YouTube views, no. We live in a world if even the work is fantastic, I can’t make it a hit. And almost nothing is fantastic. It’s your job to get it noticed. Sorry, but that’s the world we live in. Unless I trust you.

But I neither knew nor trusted the guy who recommended “Nanette.”

But I did Google it. I was somewhat intrigued. A comedy special on Netflix. An Australian woman. And when “Goliath” finished, I pulled it up, I told Felice to humor me, give it a few minutes.

It was shot in the Sydney Opera House. I’ve never been inside. But amazing how great architecture can draw tourists, isn’t that what you think about when you think about Sydney? Or the Frank Gehry Guggenheim Museum, in Bilbao?

And, like I said, the star of “Nanette,” Hannah Gadsby, is a lesbian.

She describes herself as a fat, ugly lesbian, as a matter of fact. But she’s done with the self-deprecatory comedy, she may be done with comedy all together, she keeps repeating that mantra.

They don’t let you stretch. Garth Brooks tried to be a rocker and was rejected. But his shows are closer to KISS than Willie Nelson. But we don’t allow people to change, we want them to be the same damn thing over and over again. We laugh at them when they experiment.

But when it resonates…

“Nanette” resonates.

So Hannah says she’s afraid to give up comedy. Because all she’s got is an art history degree, and that was nearly twenty years ago. What is she gonna do for a living?

That’s the little voice in our head, that’s what makes us sell out. At dinner last night I met a woman who started in finance, she gave it up to be in entertainment, she’s very successful, although she moonlit for a while before she committed. She went to Duke. It’s a path, they don’t want you to color outside the lines, and if you do…

You may end up broke, or behind.

So Hannah Gadsby says she was accosted by a guy who thought she was hitting on his girlfriend. But when he realized at the bus stop that she was a girl, he stopped shoving her.

But much later, Hannah said this was untrue. He beat the crap out of her. And she didn’t go to the police or the hospital because she was too ashamed. She’s a self-hating homosexual, they taught her this in school, growing up in Tasmania, it’s hard to get rid of your upbringing.

And when a man tells her to stop taking antidepressants for her art, Hannah disabuses him of the notion that Vincent Van Gogh was unmedicated, arguably that’s why he painted such vivid yellows.

And suddenly, you’re getting a survey course on art history. Hannah hates Picasso. Is down on cubism. And it’s all because Picasso took advantage of a seventeen year old girl, while he was married, as a matter of fact.

And then there’s a whole riff on celebrities, especially men, how we don’t want to ruin their reputations, we must save their reputations, but how about those who were hurt?

And then back to Picasso, how cubism offered multiple perspectives. But where was Hannah’s perspective, where is a woman’s perspective?

And the lesbians think Hannah doesn’t do enough lesbian jokes. And she doesn’t want to jump around in the gay parade, she doesn’t fit in there either. She’s got to apologize for herself, make jokes, but tonight, tonight, she’s gonna tell her real story.

And she reveals personal details that illustrate she knows what she’s talking about, I ain’t gonna ruin it by telling you those now. But she makes you realize, we’re all just people, women have gotten a bad shake, but it’s not only them, but all the oddballs. She just wants to connect with someone, feel a member of the group.

Just like me.

Like I said, you’re gonna be disappointed at first. But then you’re gonna be riveted, and what Hannah says will not leave you, it will be stuck in your brain, ain’t that the power of art, when the work itself changes lives as opposed to the penumbra, the hype, the shenanigans.

This is powerful stuff. It changed me, it’ll change you.

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