‘Life & Beth’ Shows a More Subtle Amy Schumer

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Published April 3, 2022
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After Beth (Amy Schumer) hears some heartbreaking news, her mind starts going all over the place. Photo courtesy of Hulu

Amy Schumer has had a great comedic career so far, even with the many differing opinions on it. And this next chapter, with her new Hulu show, “Life & Beth,” seems like the perfect addition.

“Life & Beth” is about Beth (Schumer), who works as a wine seller, has a boyfriend who is not great to her and has just lost a very important person in her life. After that loss, Beth has to decide if she is actually happy or not and that involves going through her past traumas to understand her present.

Like in Schumer’s 2015 semi-autobiographical film “Trainwreck,” “Life & Beth” takes the best parts of Schumer but puts them through a more melancholic lens. This show features that melancholic comedy that has been a rising genre in many television shows and films recently. But, I enjoy it most when Schumer is the one doing it.

“Life & Beth” incorporates multiple parts of Schumer’s grown-up life like her relationship with her mother, her romantic relationship and most importantly, her relationship with herself.

After a pivotal moment in the first episode, Beth is at a work karaoke night and sings Ace of Base’s “The Sign,” showing in real-time how she processes what just happened with stress and anxiety while also catching a glimmer into her new life.

The brightest moments from the show are anytime Beth is with her group of girlfriends from her volleyball team. Every time she is with one or all of them, I laughed. The group has great chemistry together and perfect comedic timing, especially from Yamaneika Saunders who plays Beth’s friend, Maya.

Beth brings John to meet one of her best friends, Maya (Yamaneika Saunders). Photo courtesy of Hulu

Beth brings John to meet one of her best friends, Maya (Yamaneika Saunders).
Photo courtesy of Hulu

Another highlight from the show is watching Beth get closer to John, played by Michael Cera. He is unlike Beth’s previous boyfriend in so many ways, and you can tell why she ends up falling for him.

Cera was the perfect choice to play John because similar to his character, Cera is the equivalent of someone peculiar and sometimes odd, but you still love it. And since this show has elements influenced by Schumer’s real life, John resembles the quirkiness of her real-life husband, Chris Fischer.

Beth and John get to know each other on the farm John works at. Photo courtesy of Hulu

Beth and John (Michael Cera) get to know each other on the farm where John works.
Photo courtesy of Hulu

Since the show deals with the many traumas Beth has gone through since childhood, like bullying, her parent’s divorce, losing a best friend and dealing with a hair-pulling disorder, you can tell she longs for comfort. There is a significance about hugs in the show that you start to realize as the episodes go on. In the vulnerable or emotional moments of the show, Beth goes to whoever she is talking to and hugs them. You quickly notice these hugs are important to her and something nostalgic.

After Beth (Amy Schumer) faces a fear of hers, John (Michael Cera) is there to support her. Photo courtesy of Hulu

After Beth faces a fear of hers, John (Michael Cera) is there to support her.
Photo courtesy of Hulu

Schumer’s acting abilities really begin to stand out around the end of the fourth episode when Beth herself starts to shine as she puts these past traumas behind her and starts to own who she really is.

The soundtrack to the show is surprisingly great, featuring multiple tracks from artists like M.I.A. and Miley Cyrus. Particularly, the use of Cyrus’s 2015 song “Slab of Butter (Scorpion),” from her psychedelic album “Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz,” is a perfect choice for the scene, which deals with John, Beth and her sister going on a mushroom trip.

Schumer has found a new way to show us all a piece of herself and her comedy shines with this new series. “Life & Beth” is an enjoyable show that may have some more dramatic moments but never loses its comedic appeal.

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