Published Apr 18, 2019Amy Schumer doesn't care for preamble. Comedy specials tend to open with an anaemic sketch, or at least backstage footage. Growing begins with a simple overhead shot of Schumer walking to her mark, planting her feet, and, as the curtain opens, she begins. It is the sure-footedness that appropriately sets the tone here. She is deliberate, self-assured, ready.
"I'm contractually obligated to be out here, guys," the very pregnant and, apparently, very ill Schumer assures us. She reveals that she is suffering from hyperemesis, a condition that afflicts the sufferer with near constant nausea. "I should have Googled being pregnant," she confesses. "If you're someone who enjoys being pregnant, I hope your car flips over." Expecting a child hasn't softened Schumer, who is determinedly sharp, incisive, and appropriately dirty to begin her special.
Schumer touches on tampons, dick pics, Meghan Markle and sex, with funny takes on each, but this feels like familiar ground. Surely fans expect this of her, and it's all cleverly observed, but as compared to sections on her pregnancy and her marriage, this feels like filler.
"I want to get this right because I love him very much," is how she prefaces a truly unique section of Growing which, at least to me, is a career highlight for the prolific comic. From here she discusses life with a partner who is on the autism spectrum. But her husband isn't the joke. Autism isn't the joke. Amy puts the egg on her own face when she explains, for instance, how her husband's forthright, matter-of-fact honesty is refreshing, if brutal. When she asks if an outfit she's wearing "looks like shit," he responds, "Yeah, you have a lot of other clothes, why don't you wear those?" This is a new, worthy take on "my partner is different from me" that is the funniest, strongest material within a funny, strong hour.
Amy Schumer may not be as front-and-centre now as she was during the heyday of Inside Amy Schumer, her popular sketch show that seemed to offer something that went viral every other episode. But as a standup she is as strong as ever, and still growing. (Netflix)