I’ll admit it. I have had a crush on Janeane for ages. I always loved to see her standup appearances and I always loved her in movies, even though as she criticizes herself, for the most part got cast in the most unrewarding of roles. That means in particular that there have been tons of movies, where she is cast as the “smart, but not as attractive friend”, next to a supposedly “hot” lead actress, that fits the stereotypical male audience better, because of her blond hair and her size zero figure, but isn’t even a fraction as cute as Janeane.
For her Stanhope routines, she had to face criticism more than just a couple of times, but I thoroughly enjoyed those much more than I
did the work of many of her more successful peers. Yes, what she does is not necessarily classic standup, but more a lose connection of thoughts and anecdotes and yes, on occasion she takes notes with her on stage, but yet most of her work is funny and charming.
There is one risk with this kind of act though and that’s that it only works as long as you yourself are funny and charming and as long as what you are saying is interesting and relatable.
That’s exactly the problem with this program in particular. It is not that I suddenly stopped liking her, but over the years it seems like what had been a cookie and odd view onto the world has slowly, but steadily grown into a somewhat bizarre viewpoint. I am a cynic myself, yes even somewhat misanthropic, but during this video there was more than one occasion, where even I thought to myself “alright, this is getting out of hand, isn’t it?” and at least once it went as far as me thinking “girl, have you lost your goddamn mind?”. Now, I am not so shallow that I have to agree with a comedian to laugh at his work. In fact I directly oppose some of the views that one or the other of my favorite comedians vastly believes in, but as long as the material is funny, I will enjoy it. The problem here is, that the material or let’s say anecdotes only work, if you find the anecdote itself funny, while in her earlier work, Janeane took the time to add enough exaggeration to each story, to make it funny no matter what you thought of the anecdote itself. In this program, as opposed to earlier ones, the stories are either boring, weird or downright unappealing. There is a long segment e.g. about sex and poop that feels like nothing else than a 15 minute array of WTF moments, which is the lowpoint of the show even though it might be Janeane at her most honest.
Even though I would love to think that the opposite would be true, but I have the feeling, that it just gets worse from here. We will see.
Anyways, if you haven’t seen all of her earlier work yet, just skip this one for now and keep up with her other stuff. In fact, if you like her earlier stuff, you might want to skip this one altogether.