Girls & Their Party Goblins (Stand-Up Comedy Review: “Iliza Shlesinger: Freezing Hot”)

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Iliza Shlesinger: Freezing Hot is a hilarious glimpse into the inner workings of the female mind when set loose upon the unsuspecting American Male in the wild kingdom otherwise known as the Dating World.

SnapShot Plot

Admittedly, if it weren’t for the lobbying of my stepson and his girlfriend (who have seen all Iliza Shlesinger’s specials and have even attended one of her live shows) I would have dismissed this clever talent on purely generational grounds. Shlesinger’s 30-something perspective on comedy may seem geared to the Millennials and the Gen-Xers but it’s just broad and ubiquitous enough to appeal to anyone with a healthy sense of humor about the differences between men and women, no matter the age.

Her rapid-fire verbal delivery combined with inspired physicality and a real command of vocal parody make Shlesinger a powerhouse on the stage. When she begins by reenacting a classic scene in which a girlfriend nags her boyfriend relentlessly over the choice of outerwear, moving on to girls and eating, losing your car, plotting the perfect breakup, and navigating the hidden land mines of the first date (the cheek peck vs. the mouth kiss is priceless) the jokes are so fast and furious that you risk missing some in the time you take to laugh. And then there’s the bit on vaginal puppetry. And nope, that’s all you’re going to get. . .

Parting Shot

Some of you may recognize Iliza Shlesinger as the winner of season six of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, and she currently hosts the TBS comedy/game show, Separation Anxiety, which takes elements of the old The Newlywed Game and twists them to suit a variety of relationship categories. Currently, only one other woman in America is the host of a TV game show: Jane Lynch on Hollywood Game Night. The implications for that genre’s glass ceiling are not lost upon Shlesinger. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she said, ” I don’t think really women get a chance to express themselves sort of off the cuff and do what guys do, the way guys do it. I think when girls get a chance to do their comedy in a man’s world, they usually get dirty or they get crass, or everything becomes very sexual, and that’s just never been my path. So I didn’t really think much about the fact that I was a girl, but I did think about the fact that there was only one other woman doing it. And I am in good company with her. I’m in a good pantheon. She’s amazing!”

My only criticism of Iliza Shlesinger: Freezing Hot has to do with a mildly unrelenting depiction of young women as a kind of Valley Girl airhead, which sort of flies in the face of how smart this woman’s comedy is. Having said that, I must confess that on more than one occasion in my life, I too have forgotten where I’ve left the car and have assumed it’s been stolen, only to have a kind police officer come to my assistance. Oh, and everything she says about girls and the weather is also absolutely true. Such is the appeal of Iliza Shlesinger’s riffs on another generation’s dating rites and rituals that – instead of distancing the Boomers among us – it makes us all, young and less-young alike, recognize that insecure and bizarre face in the mirror who’s trying way too hard. . . as ourselves.

Iliza Shlesinger: Freezing Hot is presently streaming on Netflix.

Norma’s Streaming Picks is proud to announce squatters rights on a fantastic site for Baby Boomers, Midcentury/Modern as well as right here at home. I invite you to go there for more great content!

YouTube Trailer:

1 Comment

  • Piera says:

    Dear Norma Streaming Picks….

    Having had the opportunity to watch this gem with good friends, I applaud your choice for this week’s NSP’s.

    And, I love the cold too.

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