The encore of Gina Brillon’s first Amazon Original comedy special is more powerful and moving than what precedes it, as she reveals who influenced her to even dream about comedy in the first place, and what it means to fulfill her dreams.
Everything else is very much 2020.
2020 is such a crazy year that some jokes continue to hit home perhaps more than they intended to when the comedians first delivered them. Such as Brillon’s initial boast as a South Bronx native, that: “New York ain’t for everybody. That’s how we like it.” She mocks those who move to New York City only to complain about the quality of life in the Big Apple, noting that nobody asked them to come here.
She then teases her audience: “Are you ready to receive comedy?” she asks. “I always feel like I need to poll the audience now ’cause there’s so much sensitivity, I feel like I have to be like, ‘Are you guys in a safe space for some jokes? Can you guys forget your trauma for a few minutes while I tell you about mine?’”
It’s tough to forget our individual and/or collective trauma right now, but sure, yes, please, by all means, go for it!
Thankfully, perhaps, Brillon’s own traumas are neither graphic nor lingering. Her family was broke enough that she and her siblings (including an identical twin sister, and a gay brother) had to make up childhood games (such as the titular “The Floor Is Lava”), but they eventually earned enough money for their father to make extravagant purchases. She keeps returning to the theme of balancing her “hood” identity with her “evolved” identity, clarifying: “By the way, when I say hood, I’m not Cardi B. hood, I’m like Drake hood.”
Marrying a white man from the Midwest (she jokingly refers to that as “organic” white) only forces her even more to confront her dueling tendencies, between the desperate single lady she had been and the “bougie” wife she is now.