Bridget Everett shines in HBO’s disarmingly serious drama Somebody Somewhere | TV / streaming


Created by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen, who are also credited with writing most of the episodes, “Somebody Somewhere” contains a significant autobiographical component for Everett, who is himself based in Manhattan. That authenticity shines through in a way that cannot be forged, in the specifics of the world and the characters that make the series absorbing.

“Somebody Somewhere” is a true master class in not only creating authentic, nuanced characters and building a completely captivating world, but also naturalistic dialogue. The series makes it seem effortless in the way that something expertly made so often does, but a closer inspection reveals the scope of the craft. Carried by star performances from the entire cast, the show demonstrates a rare understanding of the value of negative space and how to use it – when something is communicated more effectively through silence than with shoehorn dialogue, and how to shape these silences so that the unspoken is still conveyed with a wonderful degree of specificity.

Everett is remarkable as a woman hiding behind a mask of apathy and witty barbs. She’s hardly the kind who talks about her feelings of her choice, but Everett’s performance consistently manages to convey to the audience things that Sam refuses to say or acknowledge with crystal clarity. It’s a subtle and compelling portrait of depression, a sadness that creates an intriguing counterbalance to the bold and disgusting sense of humor that Everett is known for, which also gets ample opportunity to shine.

Joel presents an intriguing film to Sam, while also being a fascinating character in his own right, a man whose timid and painfully awkward exterior contradicts a surprising amount of charm lurking just below the surface. His strengths and weaknesses complement Sam’s own to a degree so that their friendship, and the way it forces them both to grow as human beings, feels completely organic. Among the more peripheral supporting cast is the delightfully theatrical local agricultural professor Dr. Fred Rococo (Murray Hill) a prominent, a member of the cheerful band of crooked and maladapted, Joel brings together during the show. The same goes for Sam’s father Ed (Mike Hagerty), a gracious family man who struggles to come to terms with the realization that his aversion to conflict has only enabled his wife’s alcoholism.

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