Debrastating

Mitra Jouhari, Sandy Honig, and Alyssa Stonoha as/in “Three Busy Debras” (2020)Last week saw the debut of a delightfully deranged new Adult Swim “short-form” series called Three Busy Debras, which my reductive brain wants to describe as a suburban cousin of The Heart, She Holler, dealing as it does with the surreal, blood-soaked misadventures of the eponymous (super-privileged) housewives, in the white-picket purgatory of Lemoncurd, Connecticut. The show is written by its stars Mitra Jouhari, Sandy Honig, and Alyssa Stonoha, who’ve been performing together as a comedy trio since 2015, and previously played the same characters in a couple of startling/stylised YouTube skits on topics such as “fashion” and “brunch”. As established in the sneak-peek preview, the pilot episode finds the Debras attempting to cover up the careless manslaughter (?) of a pool-boy, and sticks to that plot throughout (despite the title’s suggestion that it should be a (mid-spring) Christmas special), as ‘Debra #1’ (Honig) “auditions” replacements (ahem!), ‘Debra #2’ (Stonoha) infiltrates the local police department, and ‘Debra #3’ (Jouhari) disposes of the body*… all to avoid getting their “tubes tied” as punishment for making a mess of the neighbourhood! It’s a real trip, and beautifully shot/designed, cheerfully running the gamut between both kinds of “funny”, and having a ball(gown) doing it. I know this sort of sweet-and-sour absurdity won’t be to everyone’s taste, but personally my appetite is well-and-truly whetted now, and I’m hungry for more! Is “six seasons and a movie” too much to ask…?

Incidentally, this show is produced by Amy Poehler, who also co-created the existential Netflix comedy-drama Russian Doll (2019), which I’ve only just brought myself to watch, despite claiming to be a Natasha Lyonne admirer from way-back. I think it’s more fun if you go in “blind”, as I did, so I won’t give any plot details away here… suffice to say there are some great jokes and colourful/lovable characters, every episode ends with a real mind-bending/heart-wrenching cliff-hanger, and broken romantics should absolutely adore it.** Meanwhile, not only does Lyonne deliver an incredible lead performance and look cool AF, she also co-created the show (with Poehler and Leslye Headland), and wrote-and-directed the brilliant and beautiful finale! So, a hearty “Bravo!” to her… and a shout-out to Greta Lee, who plays her bestie ‘Maxine’, somehow managing to keep the character fun and engaging despite the inherently annoying nature of her role.

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* I numbered them in the order they first speak in this episode, no offence meant!

** SPOILER: Assuming you can quell your happy-ending-envy, which isn’t always so easy for me…

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action.
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