When the creative team behind “Shrill” mapped out the show’s third season, premiering on Hulu this week, they were unaware it would also be the series’ final season. “But actually I kind of love the way it ends,” said star and co-creator Aidy Bryant. “I feel really satisfied by how things end up.”
After dumping her disappointing boyfriend, Season 3 picks up with Bryant’s 20-something journalist at a Portland alt-weekly uncertainly playing the field, while her best friend and free-spirited roommate (Lolly Adefope) is finally settling down in a serious relationship. “That’s sort of what the season is about, each of them trying on these new dynamics.”
A Columbia College Chicago graduate and a veteran of the local sketch and improv scene, Bryant performed with the Annoyance, iO Theater and Second City before making the leap to “Saturday Night Live” in 2012, where she remains a cast member.
When asked about a worst moment in her career, she replied: “I had a tough time choosing my No. 1 because I’ve had a lot of awful shows in my life. But there was one that happened to me at Second City that was pretty formative and probably my lowest low. It was the only time I cried after a show.”
My worst moment ...
“This was probably 2010 and it was my first revue at Second City. I had been doing a ton of shows around town and I had done the cruise ships for Second City, so I was definitely seasoned, but I was also 23, so I was pretty young. And I was still finding my own voice as a writer and a performer.
“There was this piece that I did on stage every night called ‘Bird.’ It was something I did with (fellow cast member) Tim Baltz. Basically, he played this bird that I caught. I sing this quiet, sweet little song about how I caught this bird and now he’s my boyfriend and he has no choice but he is my boyfriend and we love each other very much. It’s kind of similar to a sketch I did later on ‘SNL’ with Harry Styles called ‘Joan,’ where it’s this woman who has a dog and she sings a little song about how her dog is her boyfriend.
“Anyway, it always went over really well with many different audiences.
“But there was one night where we did something called a buyout, which is where groups can buy out the entire theater at Second City and have the whole thing to themselves. Normally when that happens, it’s some sort of corporate group that’s in town; they’ll have a big seminar during the day and then that night they all go to Second City.
“Normally the theater seats 200-some people. And this night we had a buyout, but it was a much smaller group, maybe 30 or 40 people, which is really odd because here’s this 200-person theater with only 40 people in it. It just feels bizarre. You’re not getting the same kind of energy back that you’re used to getting.