Bold is an empty word to describe this hard hitting comedy that will have you laughing or utterly disgusted. Either way it doesn’t give a damn.
Difficult People is a tour-de-force original comedy brought to you by Hulu Plus that made it’s splash on screens everywhere on August 5th. The show is written by the comedic masterminds Julie Klausner (Ugly Americans) and Billy Eichner (Emmy-nominated Billy On the Streets) where they play over the top self loathing versions of themselves aspiring to be comics living, working, and maneuvering day-to-day issues in New York City. While their friends and acquaintances (nearly everyone but themselves) move on to find success and love, while they continue to struggle with careers and relationships, and blame the world for their problems.
The hard hitting pilot finds our ruthless, unapologetic, perpetually ego-centric, hypocritical main characters, Billy and Julia, racing through the concrete jungle of New York dodging as many tourists as quickly as possible to get to their matinee showing of Annie where they find themselves quickly coming up with an entrepreneurial scheme to sell bottled library water fountain water while Billy, the pasta loving and self aware terrible waiter, is “Facebook stalking” his recent ex boyfriend and Julie, the Twitter-fingered, online reviewer, finds her self in trouble after sending a controversial tweet involving the beloved, Blue Ivey and R. Kelly.
In “Devils Three-way”, we find our relentless dynamic duo on quests to find approval from people other than each other. Julie goes on a voyage to find her high school crush and bring him back to bed with her and Arthur, while Billy auditions for a film and realizes he needs to find a father figure.
The first episode is seething with jokes and surprises that you wouldn’t believe were able to leave the writers room and sails the show in the right direction. Episode two continues it’s comedic triumphant reign and crosses the line that it has no plan on returning too.
In recent years it has been hard to find a sitcom that doesn’t flop after one season. But why? Is it poor acting? Corny dialogue that gives you second-hand embarrassment? Audience doesn’t get the humor? Or is it the confidence in the writing itself that doesn’t seem believable? A close friend of mine recently told me as a writer you need to write like you’re the best writer breathing. If you don’t believe in what you’re writing then how is the audience going to believe it? Most importantly how are your characters going to believe it? Create the content you want to see, don’t be afraid to say what you truly want to say, and most importantly be confidant in yourself.
That being said, Billy and Julie are the most confident comedic writers and actors in the game and their just getting started. Every joke is told with an assertiveness and a type of swagger that is unmatched to any show and an element that has been poorly missing in comedy for a remarkably long time. They know they’re the best and not afraid to put it on display. Which makes their show engaging and more importantly, believable. Difficult People is remarkably concise and wastes no time delivering the punch line. Every joke acts as plot point and propels the story forward. Every episode comes full circle. Most importantly, Difficult People isn’t afraid to trek into waters unknown and battle with the sharks. It makes for delicious over-the-top comedic situations that will have you digging your teeth into for hours and will leave you with a hankering for more.
Streaming service such as Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and the streaming champion that is Netflix have created their own original series such as, House Of Cards, Transparent, Daredevil, Bloodline, Grace & Frankie, Orange Is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, just to name a few. These shows have only risen the bar for television content that cable could only dream of having. We’re witnessing the most creative revitalization to hit our culture in long time and it’s only going to get better. Streaming services are giving their artists carte blanche to deliver the best product they can without any hindrance. Which has been an element that has been sadly missing from Hollywood and cable television and it’s beautiful to see there is still a chance for aspiring artists to have 100 percent creative control that they’ve always wanted. Difficult People may very well be the goldmine that Hulu Plus has been digging for to help give them a competitive edge and hopefully put them back in boxing ring with the other streaming services.
While we cannot judge the entire show or it’s entire season, we can safely say that Difficult People is off to an extraordinary start and only time will tell. You can catch Difficult People on Hulu-Plus every Wednesday for new episodes. Episodes one and two are available for stream and I recommend taking 46 minutes out of your day to watch the show that you didn’t know you needed and won’t be able to live without.