Review: Urzila Carlson, “Overqualified Loser” on Netflix

You know the comedy boom has reached its over-saturation point when, even in the middle of a global pandemic, Netflix forgets or otherwise neglects to put out a trailer in advance for one of its own original stand-up comedy specials. Or is that all part of the branding for Urzlia Carlson’s Overqualified Loser?

Netflix did rectify the situation somewhat today, finally releasing a clip to share:

Carlson had a half-hour on Netflix previously as part of the overly ambitious Comedians of the World collection that premiered back on New Year’s Day 2019. She was part of the Australian/New Zealand quartet. Carlson, 44, grew up in South Africa but has since made New Zealand her home, and works extensively there and in Australia.

As I wrote for Decider:

She tells us she put “Loser” in the title of her show because of how we perceive that word. “You lose your keys, you lose your mind, you lose your dad: That’s negative. But you lose a bit of weight: Positive,” she says. “With everything else, if you love it, you want more.”

As an overweight woman, she cannot help but feel self-conscious about it, because society pressures her to, to the point where she scans the stock footage in TV news reports about our obesity epidemic to make sure she wasn’t wherever they filmed that day. A series such as The Biggest Loser only preys even more on the paradoxical cultural standards. Social media only compounds the issue, as Carlson notes “we put ourselves into situations where you feel like a loser” compared to everyone else on social media.

So she wants to put us at ease about what she feels are some of our more common behaviors, and letting us know we’re all OK for it.

As she concludes: “I think the only true losers in our society are those people who go online and attack people for shit that they cannot help.”

Read my full review on Decider.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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