Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
You know how they say, “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry …”? You really will when you watch actress-comedian Bridget Everett’s “Somebody Somewhere” on HBO. First off, it is truly hilarious — but more than that, it’s filled with hope. Everett’s character, Samantha (Sam), finds it hard to live in her hometown, Manhattan, Kansas, without her sister who died six months previously. The show covers complicated but touching family dynamics, as well as the heart of the matter — Sam just doesn’t feel like she fits in anyplace now that she’s returned home.
Through her job grading college entrance exams, she meets Joel, and he becomes her best friend. He invites her to something called “choir practice,” where a group gathers in a mall after hours. They’re supposed to be connected to a church, but Joel has gone out of the box with the group, and it’s basically a roomful of misfits who perform knockout music while they sip on spiked punch. Here we learn that Sam has got a really gifted voice that she hasn’t used in a while. Through the music and through her new group of friends, she begins to feel less out of place.
The best part is that as poignant as the message is, this series is filled with laughter. Sam comes out of the grocery store with her arms full of bags, walks up to a blue truck and gets ticked off when she can’t open the door. Then you hear the click of a key fob unlocking the door. She looks over and she’s trying to open someone else’s truck door. She apologizes and walks dejectedly over to her own truck. I’ve done that more than once myself. Some of the humor and the language is rough, but it completely fits the show. Give it a try.