Life and Beth, ID: a white man with brown hair and white woman with blonde hair sit on a log, they are wet, and looking at each other's his hand is in hers

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If they weren’t already fans of Amy Schumer, I think most all mothers of my generation became fans when she posted that picture of herself in the mesh underwear after she gave birth to her son.

screenshot of a white woman lying on her side with high mesh underwear on. she is holding a tiny baby to her, her eyes are closed and baby appears to be sleeping

She is deliciously real. Unpretentious, funny. I love her. And when she talked at length about her husband being Autistic and how she loves that about him, I swooned. 

In her 2019 Netflix special Growing, she talked about how her husband is her “dream man” because he is on the spectrum: “All of the characteristics that make it clear that he’s on the spectrum are all of the reasons I fell madly in love with him. He says whatever is on his mind. He keeps it so real. He doesn’t care about social norms or what you expect him to say.”

So, Life and Beth. Her new dramedy on Hulu. 

Life and Beth

In a nutshell, this show mirrors about 50% of Shumer’s own life. Exactly where it is autobiographical, I don’t know. The show carries the viewer through Beth’s sad life as a wine seller to her meeting her love (played by Michael Cera), healing past wounds with her mother, reconnecting and healing with her school friends, her sister.

The first many-few episodes felt overly dragged out with how meaningless, empty and awful her life was. The real juice starts when she goes back to Long Island and meets John. From there, the story turns poignant, painful, moving. It becomes something of a reflective mid-life coming of age.

Life and Beth is Not Funny

Life and Beth has funny moments in it but it’s not a funny show.

It’s not the show to turn on when you just want to kick back and laugh. It’s not an Amy Schumer (or Michael Cera for that matter) comedy. It felt a lot more sober, introspective, like it’s trying to grapple out past traumas, make sense of things. Heal. Forgive.

Inter-Neuro Love

The love between Beth and John sparkled, and honestly, I think it was the best part of the series. His forthright manner of speaker was the perfect foil to Beth’s chatter, and you could just see her dissolve in puddles of (slightly shocked) delighted goo with the way he unpretentiously cut through bs, right to her heart. Like Netflix’s The Mitchells vs The Machines, the natural integration of an Autistic character deeply resonated with me, leaving me feeling connected to the story and characters on a more personal level.

There are not many stories out there of inter-neuro love (is that what you call it? When one person is neuro-diverse and the other isn’t?). Even fewer movies portray autistic expressions stated in a normal way. What I mean by that is, Life and Beth is not about either Beth saving John or John inspiring Beth or any of the typical tropes surrounding disability; it’s just about two people falling in love. Neurotypicalness and neurodiverse and all. 

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