Netflix has gone from dropping MAD HITS on us here and there to quietly repopulating with progressive series and movies what feels like constantly. It’s become a bit hard to keep up with everything they’re producing, even when you watch TV constantly, like moi. I got a tip from my friend Stacia that I should check out a new show called Easy.
Featuring a lot of “oh yeah that guy” talent like Michael Chernus (Cal from Orange is the New Black) and Dave Franco, it seemed just recognizable enough to be intriguing while still indie enough to look cutting edge. Easy was created by mumblecore master Joe Swanberg, who traffics more in authentic vignettes of people than punchline-dropping comedies.
The story is a collection of subtly-connected mini stories tied together by, well, tons and tons of sex. I mean, the show is called Easy. The depictions of sex range from topics like “trying to make a baby while feeling emasculated” to “inviting Kate Micucci (from Garfunkel and Oats and Don’t Think Twice) into a 3-way.” In most episodes, there’s a very mumblecore dissatisfaction with either changing circumstances or inertia gone rotten.
Occasionally, heavy hitting players drop in, from Orlando Bloom to Hannibal Buress to The New Girl’s Jake Johnson. Another recognizable face is Kiersey Clemons from the movie Dope. She gives one of the best performances of the whole series as she attempts to go vegan to please her new girlfriend.
Easy fluctuates between understated and super authentic to a bit obnoxious in its moral lessons. In Brewery Brothers, gender roles of a couple expecting a baby get examined in a way that is like, “Ok, we get it, yes.” At other times, the show restrains itself from any kind of moral conclusion, especially in Controlada, which features what Amy Schumer would call “grape” (gray area rape). It’s hard to watch, and it ends before you get to fully understand what happened.
Overall, the show reminded me a little too much of The Little Death, an Australian movie that centers on a bunch of couples and their orgasms. If you liked Easy, you’ll probably like it just as much, if not more.
Easy is easy to watch. You can binge-watch it in a couple hours. That said, it’s a bit easy to forget too. Unlike other Netflix hits like Master of None, it’s missing a certain earnestness or even weirdness that would make you want to watch it twice. I’ll be curious to see if there’s a season 2.