New episodes of Difficult People’s third season are available Tuesdays, only on Hulu.
The best part of the new season (number 3!) of Difficult People, available now on Hulu, is the contemporaneous feeling of the show. The scenarios (in the first four episodes released for review) which poke fun at the current Presidential administration provide new material for the show, allowing it to feel current and fresh. How are gay characters like Billy (played by Billy Eichner) and Matthew, his younger co-worker, (Cole Escola) faring in Trump America? This show does over-the-top sarcasm perfectly, and employing it for political humor works well.
However, the banter between the two main characters, which worked so well in the show in seasons one and two, is still the main focus. Billy and Julie’s (Julie Klausner) friendship, and their commiserating about their forlorn careers as comedians and their crazy families, carries the series. Their bewilderment at how the entertainment world treats them is so ludicrous, its funny. Their biting humor and critique of all their relatives, friends, employers and potential employers, as well as the “regular New Yorker” makes you bristle, but leaves you wanting to watch more.
The show has a strong supporting cast: Arthur (James Urbaniak), Julie’s boyfriend who works for PBS and cooks for her every night; Billy’s bosses at the diner, Nate and Denise (Derrick Baskin and Gabourey Sidibe); and the wonderful Andrea Martin as Julie’s mother. Marilyn, a therapist who is even more self-centered than Julie or Billy. This season has a great storyline with Billy’s brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Rachel, played by Fred Armisen and Jackie Hoffman. Guest stars this season include Vanessa Williams, Larry Wilmore, Maury Povich, John Cho and Rosie O’Donnell, some who play themselves.
When I first started watching this show, I questioned whether non-New Yorkers, and non-Jews, could relate to enough of the show to make it a success, since those two elements of Julie and Billy’s lives are so often plot points and the center of the jokes. It appears that Hulu’s bet on what would appear to be a niche show has paid off. Season 3 promises to be as funny (and as mean) as the first two and its appeal continues to spread. I look forward to watching the rest of the episodes!