Hannah Gadsby’s “Nanette”is hands down the best comedy routine I’ve ever seen. It’s wildly funny, powerfully furious, and deeply personal. I may have snorted milk through my nose more than once (in retrospect, watching over a dinner of cold cereal might not have been the best idea), but I definitely came away with something to think about in relation to comedy, art history, feminism, homosexuality, mental illness, storytelling, and being human. I literally clapped at the end. Alone. In my flat. Clapping for a Tasmanian lesbian streaming through my laptop.
I instantly started sharing: Amanda — sent! Justin — sent! Family facebook group — ack!
I had pasted the link into the family feed and was about to hit send . . . when I paused. Hard to say why. Did I want them to watch the show? Absolutely. Did I think they’d enjoy it? I certainly hoped so, but I honestly couldn’t say. Some of them might like it — parts, at least. Some of them might feel indifferent. Some of them might even find it upsetting. I realized that I don’t actually know, and that part of me would actually rather not find out. Because even though the performance covers topics that resonate with me, that I identify with, and that I care about — and on which I would really like to feel some sort of connection with my family — deep down I fear that by sharing I would actually discover that some of those things are offensive or repulsive or simply not valued by people I really love; and that for them, watching the show wouldn’t bring laughter or connection but possibly anger and distance.
So I deleted the post.
This is not the first time I have done that. Better not to share. Not to rock the boat. Not to be vulnerable.
But I also don’t think that’s actually fair to my family. I’ve essentially prejudged them and, by removing the possibility of conflict and disappointment, I have also removed the possibility of connection and understanding.
So I’m putting it here. A sort of halfway share. And I’ll leave it at that for now.
P.S. If you don’t have Netflix, here’s a link to the trailer on YouTube.