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4 Reasons You Need to Watch Tig Notaro's One Mississippi on Amazon

4 Reasons You Need to Watch Tig Notaro's 'One Mississippi' on Amazon

4 Reasons You Need to Watch Tig Notaro's 'One Mississippi' on Amazon

It just might be the saddest comedy you’ve ever seen.


One Mississippi, the semi-autobiographical Amazon series starring Tig Notaro, follows a fictionalized version of the comedian's life during one very bad year. Those familiar with Notaro’s 2012 stand-up set Live—a candid retelling of being diagnosed with breast cancer, a life-threatening battle with C. diff and pneumonia, the death of her mother in a freak accident, and a breakup with her long-term girlfriend—will recognize the events that unfold in the six-episode half-hour tragicomedy. With the same dry humor she uses in her stand-up, Notaro explores the sometimes crushing, but often mundane process of grieving. Here are four reasons you should spend your weekend watching One Mississippi on Amazon.

1) Bill is brilliant.

We first see Bill (John Rothman), Tig’s impassive, blunt stepfather, when he comes to pick her up at the airport. "How’s Mom?" Tig asks. "She’s on life support. We’re going to take her off life support. That’s why you’re here," he answers stoically. Bill’s curt, quiet interactions with Tig and her brother Remy make him one of the funniest characters in the series. His halting attempts to connect with his adult stepchildren and slowly revealed backstory also make him the one of the most compelling.

2) It’s refreshingly raw.

One Mississippi deals with just about every terrible thing that could happen to someone. Tig’s mother dies. She’s dealing with chronic illness and is struggling to adjust to her body post-mastectomy. Her long-term relationship with her girlfriend ends. Returning home brings up memories of childhood sexual abuse. Her brother has been in the same rut since high school. Her stepfather is more comfortable expressing grief over a lost cat than her mother’s death. But all of this is shown through quiet moments. There’s no dramatic score. Tears are rare. The family goes on because they have to go on, and in the case of Tig and Remy, they often cope with comedy.

3) The supporting cast is fantastic.

John Rothman might steal the show as Bill, but the supporting cast as a whole deserves a shout out. Noah Harpster plays Tig’s brother Remy, a former high school jock in a rut who insists everything is fine when clearly everything is definitely not fine. Casey Wilson plays Tig’s clueless, self-involved, but well-meaning girlfriend Brooke, who has an L.A. New Age cure for all of Tig’s ailments. Rya Kihlstedt is magnetic as Tig’s mother, Caroline, and makes you wish every flashback or specter-like appearance would last just a little longer so you could see more of her on screen. Notaro’s fans will also recognize her wife Stephanie Allynne as radio producer Kate, who serves as a confident foil to Tig’s ongoing existential crisis.

4) Glimpses inside Tig’s head never feel forced.

I should reveal a personal bias here: I am not a fan of flashbacks. Any time the screen is sepia toned and characters are suddenly wearing a bad wig, I tune out. One Mississippi is one of the few exceptions to that rule. Flashbacks are used sparingly, and sometimes briefly flash before Tig’s eyes without interrupting the scene. The show also makes use of surreal glimpses into what Tig is thinking. When her mother is taken off life support, she asks the nurse if she’s supposed to leave, and pictures herself wheeling her mother’s hospital bed out the door with a crowd of enthusiastic doctors waving goodbye before snapping back to reality. In a show filled with characters who rarely express how they’re feeling, these devices only deepen the audience’s emotional connection to the characters.

Watch the trailer below, or stream all six episodes on Amazon.

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