EVERYONE CAN RELATE to the huge level of depression that is felt when you get ‘the understudy’ after you have spent money and time to see a show, especially if it is ‘Annie’.
This situation, which occurs in the opening third of the first episode of DIFFICULT PEOPLE, is an apt allegory for the lives of the two main characters: Billy and Julie, both played by the brilliant Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner respectively. They are two thirty-somethings who are stuck the the purgatory that is usually reserved for twenty-somethings. They are repeatedly being dealt ‘the understudy’ in life.
Billy works in a coffee shop and Julie makes a living recapping reality TV shows. neither are where they want to be. It’s understandable then that they are a little bit grumpy, but they really take it to the next level, and deliciously so. Between ignoring a woman with cancer to tweeting an inappropriate, if not hilarious, tweet about Beyoncè’s tot Blue Ivy and R.Kelly; they unequivocally have no ‘off’ switch.
I think this is the best thing about the show though, they really are living out a narcissistic daydream. Who hasn’t wanted to berate loud children, or point out the stupidity of someone’s phone cover. they are acting on primal instincts, and it is glorious.
The obvious comparison is with ‘Seinfeld’. These people are awful at times, but you can’t help but love, even envy, them. Whether it meets the ‘show about nothing’ idiom remains to be seen. So far it has shown glimpses of some depth, which hopefully will be explored as the show goes on.
DIFFICULT PEOPLE definitely has legs to keep going. It’s funny, with a lightning quick pace and the two mains have the chemistry of the friends they are in real life. I went in to it expecting to like it, but I think I may already love it.