Nanette: Hannah Gadsby Review

The Netflix special Nanette, by Hannah Gadsby an Australian comedian began streaming in 2018. Since it dropped, the series has established a lot of conversation around it as it openly deals with issues such as homophobia, sexism, and assaults that the creator has had to deal with personally in her personal life. 

There’s a reason why this special is a special. It’s one of those shows you watch that becomes a conversation starter. Think about breaking the ice with a conversation that goes “have you seen Nanette? Nanette has become a success due to different reasons. 

First and foremost the performance from Gadsby is exceptionally brilliant. She has quietly and intelligently broken the chains in a manner that should be studied by different intellectuals at various capacities. It is no mean feat to be as genre-breaking as Gadsby has proved to be and the hype around the show is well-deserved.

The main aspect of the show that has made it such a special is the diversity of the audience it targets. In most times, when there’s a female queer comedian tackling the issue of identity on a set, they would probably be addressing a limited audience of like-minded individuals. However, Nanette is a whole cultural event that no one should miss. 

It presents the life of a queer woman in a way that most people aren’t used to hearing. It doesn’t matter who you are, Nanette will tug at your heart strings and question everything you know about a queer woman trying to survive in a patriarchy. This is one of those shows that you watch and end up sending to everyone on your friends list to sample.

The thing with Nanette is that obviously, the writer created a beautiful masterpiece that’s laced with a raw, and honest emotional performance. It is also presented in a disarming comical manner. But, this isn’t what makes the show so special. 

What has created the buzz around it is that it’s thought-provoking, challenging even. Nanette thrusts you into emotional turmoil and you can physically fee the other person’s strength and pain in a way that forces you to question your role and your position on their experiences. 

Nanette isn’t easily comparable to other stand up specials but if there’s one that comes close, it’s Atlanta Ssn 1. While this isn’t a straightforward comparison and we know there are significant differences in the two shows, they’re both one of a kind works that had their predecessors thrust into similar situations.

The thing is that while Nanette forces an audience to evaluate their role in the happenings, it also plays an important role in breaking down a barrier in the genre known as stand-up comedy. In most cases, we don’t think about the barrier being present because we’ve always expected the orator to be on the forefront of addressing or entertaining the audience. 

One of the most unexpected questions the orator asks is “what do you think you’re buying when you pay money to laugh at someone?” With most stand-up comedy, paying money to laugh is the fair bargain since the orator is responsible for presenting situations of humiliation and other woes that are in their defence, benign. 

However, in Nanette, the orator gets people to laugh by making fun of extremely traumatic events in her life making the crowd question their action when they showed up and demanded entertainment.