Are you there, Andrea? It’s me, Alison.
Sometime between the series finale of Gossip Girl and the birth of Kate Middleton’s second baby, I gave up emulating the women I saw on TV. For too many of my teenage years, I had found myself struggling to pull off that wavy CW hair and awkwardly speaking in pointed sound bites à la ABC’s Revenge. Eventually, when I got over myself (and consequently, my collection of rhinestoned Claire’s headbands), I wrote off the idea of idolizing anyone with a primetime cable slot.
Then came I’m Sorry and with it, its star and creator Andrea Savage. This blisteringly funny comedy series has given me not only one of my favorite TV shows ever, but also a sense of comfort and confidence in looking up to a woman who doesn’t seem to be taking any of life’s shenanigans all that seriously despite working in the high pressure world of comedy writing. With the premiere of I’m Sorry‘s Season 2 this past Wednesday, here is my best sales pitch on why Savage’s remarkably delightful series should be your next laugh-out-loud binge.
Before I’m Sorry began airing on truTV in 2017, I knew very little about Savage and her impressive comedy career. Of course, I’d seen her in Step Brothers and on Veep, but I’m Sorry represented for me and many others the first opportunity to fully appreciate Savage’s talents. Taking center stage as a heightened version of herself, Savage steered her semi-autobiographical show’s first season through the anecdotes of her real life, adding in other stories from her writers room along the way. What resulted was an unapologetic and fresh five hours of quality comedy, centered around—dare I say it—a bonafide role model.
Watching Andrea wait in line for a cup of coffee could give most 30 Rock hijinks a run for their money.
Throughout I’m Sorry‘s first season, Andrea and her husband Mike, played by Tom Everett Scott, face relatively run-of-the-mill obstacles, situations, and people. Living in Los Angeles and raising their young daughter, the pair copes with a healthy combination of successes and hiccups, none of which are particularly noteworthy. (Okay, the ass cubes thing was of note.) As a result, the comedic beats of the show are delivered almost entirely through the cutting observations and witty back and forths of its imperfect, but lovable characters.
Under the harsh spotlight of a limited plot, I’m Sorry‘s edgy and tight dialogue rarely falters. From the dark side of The Sound of Music to the ritualistic nonsense of goddess parties, Savage rips through topics with a fervor and finesse rarely seen outside the world of late night stand-up. Simply put, watching Andrea wait in line for a cup of coffee could give most 30 Rock hijinks a run for their money—not an easy feat.
There’s something about I’m Sorry that makes you not only want to laugh, but cause loving laughter in others as well.
That being said, I’m Sorry‘s hefty comedic chops are not its main selling point. At the core of every zinger, Savage has maintained a loving warmth for her characters and audience, an often overlooked ingredient in successfully sharp comedy. By allowing her messy characters to consistently present with well-intentioned kindness as well as quippy retorts, Savage has made the best of two regularly opposed worlds. Despite the show’s need for juicy, mockable source material, Savage has carefully crafted a world blissfully devoid of low blows—inviting her audience into each joke with a rare, but welcome “we’re all friends here” mentality.
To wit: Now on my fourth rewatch of Season 1, I can confidently say, I’m Sorry tends to bring out the best in its viewers. I have watched this show with friends, family, coworkers, and even airplane acquaintances. Each time, as the credits have rolled, my viewing partners and I have fallen into surprisingly zesty banter, a contagious side effect of the show’s irresistible rhythm.
The hysterically cringey, but relentlessly forgiving world of Savage makes you not only want to laugh, but cause loving laughter in others as well, mistakes be damned. That desire, to be good while still having a good time, is one worth celebrating—even if it has to start and stop with an “I’m sorry.”