It’s hard to say exactly what the title of Maria Bamford’s new Netflix series is meant to signify. It could be Bamford’s manic depression—her sense that, at any moment, everything in her life could explode. It could be her fear, common among introverts, that if she doesn’t please everyone around her, her fragile relationships might come crashing down like a demolished building. Or it could be the fact that Bamford, who has toiled in C-list obscurity for years, is finally, at long last, blowing up.
“They say we get the leaders we deserve,” begins Frank Underwood’s Oval Office address to you, his loyal fourth wall, in a recent trailer for House of Cards. Season four of the Netflix show premieres tonight and, frankly, the timing couldn’t be more appropriate. As Underwood claws and scrapes his way to victory, so do our own presidential hopefuls. Soon, all the campaigns will blur. Fiction and reality will become one. If we play our cards wrong, this November we may end up with a fictional character for president.
I have a strange sense of humor. I don’t watch stand-up, I don’t tend to like sitcoms, and to the horror of all my friends, I hate Will Ferrell. That’s why I was surprised a couple of years ago when I caught Aziz Ansari’s Netflix stand-up special, Buried Alive, and thought it was hilarious. I understood his frustration with millennials and the oversharing of baby photos. I laughed when he talked about how strange online dating searches can be: “Jewish and my zip code!” Basically, I was a fan.