Comedy Central's 'Another Period' Pilot Is All You Need To Realize That It's The Best Show On Television
When I first saw the posters for Comedy Central's new comedy Another Period — featuring Riki Lindhome and Natasha Leggero giving us haughty glances with crowns atop their heads and ball gowns on their bodies — I wasn't immediately sold. A period series about two Kardashian-esque socialites in early 1900s Rhode Island? As OMC would say, how bizarre. But, as it turns out, I should have been sold much earlier on, because Another Period is one of the best shows on television right now.
And, really, I should have given the show more credit — after all, I adore its two stars, Lindhome and Leggero. The latter is a stand-up comedy veteran who has made hilarious guest appearances on everything from Inside Amy Schumer to Modern Family. The former is one half of the hilarious folk comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates, and the co-star/co-creator of the short-lived-but-amazing IFC sitcom of the same name (oh, the heartache I felt when IFC cancelled Garfunkel and Oates). Plus, generally speaking, any comedy created by, written by, and starring two women fills me with joy, excitement, and hope for a better world.
Despite the fact that the concept is not the most relatable thing in the world — I live in Brooklyn in 2015 — out of loyalty to Leggero and Linhome, I forced myself to watch the pilot... and I kinda, sorta, absolutely loved it.
Here are all the reasons Another Period is definitely worth checking out, especially if you were as dubious as I was.
1. Natasha Leggero And Riki Lindhome Are So Funny
How dare I doubt their ability to make unlikable characters fun to watch? The Bellacourt sisters are truly awful, but Leggero and Lindhome are truly wonderful. The more terrible they are to each other, the maids, and their husbands, the funnier it becomes.
2. The Jokes About Traditions From The Past Are Actually Pretty Successful
Case in point: this incestuous love scene between two siblings having a "secret" affair... in front of eight servants.
3. The Absurdity Of The Class Politics Is Hysterical
"Your name is chair now!" cries Beatrice when the Bellacourts decide that the new maid's name "Celine" sounds too much like a rich person's. Yes, rich people in the early 1900s were their own brand of awful, and AP satirizes both the absurd class politics of the time and the classic dramas about those dynamics (i.e. Upstairs, Downstairs) to hilarious effect. The result is a thinly veiled but intelligent stab at modern class dynamics.
4. Christina Hendricks, You Guys
Mad Men's Christina Hendricks plays the duplicitous new maid, Celine-turned-Chair.
5. The Humor Delicately Navigates The Line Between Offensive And Funny
The fact that I was able to laugh at a scene in which Helen Keller gets into a drunken brawl with the Bellacourt sisters is a testament to the show's ability to push the boundaries of good taste and still be funny.
6. "Cocaine Wine"
Early 1900s Americans put cocaine in an awful lot of things, unaware of its negative effects. While cocaine wine might not be historically accurate, it makes me giggle.
7. The Clever Combination Of Two Types of Shows
The A.V Club described Another Period as "Keeping up with the Kardashians meets Downton Abbey" (I would personally add The Office into that mix, but, still, it's a pretty accurate description of the show's structure.) Just when I thought I was over faux-documentary sitcoms, AP uses British melodrama to breathe new life into an aging comedy format.
Image: Comedy Central (2); Giphy (2)