By Lauren Maier
I have to be honest, I never connected with the sort of comedy that relies on throwing characters into painfully awkward social situations to make the audience laugh. While my parents gleefully Netflix Arrested Development, I’m burying myself in my favorite book with the blanket over my head so I don’t have to witness the cringe-worthy social ineptitude the Bluth family members display. Ask them why they love the show so much and they’ll tell you it’s because the Bluth family is just like our own extended family, but with more money.
They know what it’s like to live with a mother like Lucille or have a brother like Buster. Yet that is exactly why I shy away: that sort of dark, awkward comedy cuts too close to home for me to experience the happy catharsis comedy wishes to create. I don’t want to be reminded that I get absurdly anxious when my housemates stick their food on “my” shelf and jam their salad greens into “their” already crammed shelf. I want to forget. Which is why I simply cannot enjoy Amy York Rubin’s web series, Little Horribles. If I were a 30-something lesbian living in LA, I know I would be Amy.
However, this is not to say I cannot appreciate the genius of the series. Quite the opposite: I firmly believe that my aversion to Amy and her exploits is a firm testimony to the strength of the writing and the acting in the show. If I didn’t feel awkward when Amy attempts to engage a clearly distracted date or a wave of embarrassment when she gets caught masturbating in gridlock traffic, then nothing would be communicated. Amy would be an entirely forgettable character and everything she stands for, particularly our incredibly awkward, uncomfortable moments that we would all just rather forget, would be forgotten as well. Rubin’s genius, then, is in her refusal to turn away from these moments and mercilessly laugh at them. She reminds us that our humanity comes from our cringe-inducing, awkward imperfections and unites us by inviting us to laugh at them.
As I said before, Little Horribles cuts to close to the truth for me, but for fans of Arrested Development and Seinfeld who may be interested in a candid take on one lesbian’s life, Little Horribles is just right (littlehorribles.com).
If you’re going to the Dinah Shore in Palm Springs, CA, be sure to get a ticket to the Dinah Shore Film Festival, and you’ll be able to meet Amy York Rubin in-person, the creator of and lead actress in Little Horribles. If you purchase a pre-sale ticket online by March 30th, you’ll also get a one-month subscription to Tello Films and a video on demand rental from One More Lesbian Plus.
Watch the First Episode of Little Horribles Here