Let me hold nothing back here: Hulu’s “Difficult People” is the sitcom I’ve been dreaming of my entire life. It’s good at its best and fantastic at its worst. Of all the cult comedies out there right now, online or still on good old-fashioned television, it’s the best. And I don’t want to here any arguments against it.
If you’re anything like me then you don’t get offended easily. Especially when it comes to comedy. Crude jokes don’t bother me. I like Judd Apatow movies. “Difficult People” is that kind of shocking comedy. The main characters, Julie and Billy, tell it like it is and it can scrape the human condition a lot of the time. But it doesn’t sting so bad because the writing (done by Julie Klausner) is too clever and fast-paced for anything to really be mean. It’s just difficult.
But what makes “Difficult People” a brilliant sitcom isn’t the jokes themselves, but the fact that Julie and Billy’s opinions and rapport with each other is exactly how you talk with your friends on a typical Friday night after a long week of work. If you haven’t found yourself yelling at your computer screen, “YES! OH. MY. GOSH. They are me. This is me.,” then you’re lying to yourself.
It’s not to say that we are mean-spirited all the time, but sometimes we really do talk like that. Sitcoms fail a lot of the time because they just aren’t real enough. For example, “Modern Family” has worked for so long because, although you might not have that weird of a family dynamic, the story lines and characters are very relatable in tiny ways.
A sitcom needs both a relatable story and characters, but with just enough absurdity to make it funny. Two friends who hate everything and are failing miserably at trying to be comedians is just the right amount of abnormal and totally normal.
And if it ever gets almost a little too close to your personal life, they throw in things like Seth Meyers as a male prostitute to, you know, keep things weird.
Thank you Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner!