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Lindy West's fearless revolution: On creating "Shrill," Hulu's brilliant new comedy

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21.03.2019

Shrill” may be the only comedy to feature its main character getting an abortion in its first episode. The episode doesn’t revolve around the procedure, and the comedy’s heroine Annie, played by “Saturday Night Live” star Aidy Bryant, doesn’t express any trepidation over the procedure or fear any consequences.

Rather, it’s an action she has to take to course-correct her life. Ryan (Luka Jones), the casual sex partner who got her pregnant, makes her leave his place by the back exit, forcing her to climb over his backyard fence and fall into a patch of weeds in the alleyway on her way out. That man is not father material. He’s not even boyfriend material . . . but that's another story. The point here is that Annie has a life to build, and having this loser's baby isn't part of that plan.

To Lindy West, whose 2016 autobiography “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman” provides the inspiration for Hulu’s comedy, depicting Annie’s abortion as a positive, paradigm-shifting action was an absolute necessity.

And West decided to call upon her own life experience to inform the lead up to procedure. “I was like, ‘Oh, I'm certainly not having a child with this person. I'm going to go get this abortion and I'm going to move on with my life.' It was an active decision that I made to make my life better,” she told me in a recent interview. “And I'm not a passenger in my life, I'm the driver."

West is a co-founder of Shout Your Abortion, a movement dedicated to removing the implied secrecy, fear and shame surrounding a procedure that is normal and safe. (Read her essay on why she tells the story of her abortion.) Naturally, then, “I really wanted to put that right up front and say ‘This is what kind of show this is going to be. We're not afraid of this because no one........

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