Watch Sarah Silverman's Pilot for 'Susan 313' & Fall in Love All Over Again With Tig Notaro
Sarah Silverman filmed a pilot for a sitcom called Susan 313 that never went to air, but today she posted the entire pilot on her YouTube channel, JASH. It's like seeing a comedy ghost! I'm not the biggest fan of Silverman, but I would have liked to see her show go to air because it also co-starred Tig Notaro, June Diane Raphael, and Harris Wittels. The pilot was created by 20th Century Fox and actually isn't half bad, but it isn't really half good either. You can watch it below, then come back up here for my thoughts.
This is what I'm thinking:
- Introducing A LOT of characters, really fast! Okay, so Sarah Silverman plays Susan, a woman who's just broken up with her boyfriend of 10 years and is moving home to the apartment she's kept during the entirety of their relationship. Already I am skeptical, because who can afford to keep an empty apartment for 10 years? It doesn't even seem like she sublet it. Also, is this in New York? Because Susan's apartment building is PHENOMENAL. It has an ELEVATOR.
- Yay, Tig Notaro! I love Tig, not least because of her amazingly brave comedy set in which she discusses having cancer. Apparently in Susan 313, she plays an empathetic, jean-jacket wearing, single mom neighbor. I like it.
- Ughhh, I don't really believe Silverman as a character of anyone besides herself. Maybe because the cadence of her nasal speech pattern never changes?
- Susan regarding her breakup: "The feelings haven't hit me yet, but I'm excited to feel the feelings and ride them like waves." LOL okay, that's pretty good.
- OMG so many plot points — Susan lives in Apt 313, that makes sense. June Raphael is her neighbor/ex-best friend who Susan hasn't talked to in 10 years yet she still lives in her building.
- Susan meets Harrie Wittels who is basically a sex-interest/way to introduce the fact that apparently Susan used to make music and had one LP but never hit it big. Yet somehow she has this big beautiful apartment.
- Susan doesn't know how to get water in her apartment and this is the breaking point. She starts to sob. THEN this weird thing happens where there is a freeze-frame voiceover flash cut to — Silverman watching the show on a TV screen in a black room in limbo with a bunch of old people, evaluating her life. I do not like this! I do not think this is clever or interesting! It's just a way for explicit/lazy character development. (Sidenote: one of the old women is definitely the voice of Mrs. Puff from Spongebob).
- Silverman is not a convincing crier.
- Tig Notaro looks great in cozy sweaters.
- About 11 minutes in, Susan is no longer sad. She is locked out of her apartment and then she and Wittels become instant buds and get naked, throwing all their clothes off the apartment railing. This makes little to no sense. Later he randomly grabs her breast. Also not funny.
- Susan uses a neighbor's bathroom and then has sex with him.
- The final scene is another flash cut back to the room in limbo; now Susan is playing the piano and recapping "the last 19 minutes." It's a little too meta for me. BONUS THOUGH: Jeff Goldblum makes a cameo as Susan's ex-boyfriend! They play the piano and sing together! I love Jeff Goldblum!
Overall, this pilot is a solid C. None of the characters were especially interesting, except Tig Notaro's, who basically plays herself. The short pilot is worth watching if you like Sarah Silverman, but not really for any other reason. I don't like the weird, overly self-awareness of the whole thing. Susan seems to get over her 10 year breakup completely in the course of one episode. Hmmm, maybe they knew while they were filming that it would never go to air?