3D Bulldog

Service: Prime Video

Show Title: "One Mississippi"

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No one gives Amazon Prime Video enough credit. Sure, its user interface looks industrial. Sure, the wild variation in possible membership packages is needlessly confusing. This aside, it is a nice left-field amenity for Jeff Bezos to throw our way. I got my Amazon Prime account so I could get two-day shipping on my numerous and frequent online purchases, but then, as an almost random bonus, I got the odds and ends of the streaming world. No thank you, Mr. Bezos. I will pass on Camilla Cabello's "Cinderella" reboot and the 2007 hyper-realistic animation rendition of "Beowulf" (which, by the way, features both Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie, which is weird).

I would, however, like to bring to the attention of our readers an undervalued Prime Video gem: "One Mississippi." Tig Notaro, a stand-up comedian from Jackson, Mississippi, wrote and starred in the semi-autobiographical story following both the death of her mother and a double mastectomy Tig got in 2013. It is a story about Mississippi, which is already somewhat uncommon, but beyond that, it is a story about Mississippi that is not about race, which I had not seen on television before.

Episode one begins with Tig picking up her partner from the airport for the funeral, and cuts in flashbacks to before her mother's death. The show finds subversive ways to talk about death such as: well-meaning neighbors coming over to share uninteresting stories or Tig's alien-like simultaneously standoffish and obsessively polite stepfather who desperately tries to convince Tig and her brother that they really can take all of the furniture in the house. The show does a wonderful job making jokes about death, but avoiding making death a joke, a thin line often missed by other dramatic comedies.

Beyond that, the show also takes a lot of time constructing subtle comedy about the everyday lives of Mississippians: Tig's high school football coach brother courting a player's mom, or band of well-meaning hicks who pitch in as best they can to find a lost cat. The characters are funny, but are not themselves the punch line, something I find genuinely refreshing. It takes Mississippians seriously and treats them like actual people rather than easy caricatures.

"One Mississippi" ran for two seasons back in 2016 and 2017, and both are available for streaming now on Amazon. Thanks Mr. Bezos.

Overall rating 8/10

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