Learning that Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher are getting their own original show about being lesbians, comics and married was exhilarating. As a gay comic married to a punk rocker (the comedy of music), I felt like I finally had a chance to see myself reflected onscreen. I immediately threw out my own pilot script and ordered my contacts at Netflix never to speak to me again. I shouted from my rooftop: "Cameron's got it covered! We are seen!" So, imagine the egg on my face when I found out that the series is a Seeso Original and therefore not available in Canada.
Despite our well-established international appeal, The Brunch Club—like the CBC or having maple resin scraped from your arteries—is actually a Canadian operation. We try not to be too showy about it, given that seemingly everywhere else in the known world is running at least a seven out of ten on the end-of-days index, but if you check our IP address there's no denying we're north of the 49th. Normally this geographic fact doesn't infringe upon our ability to relay the hottest comedy goss and hardest hitting industry news, but every now and then we're reminded of the cost of our universal healthcare and handsome head of state.
Not one to let a simple hiccup like international distribution issues get in the way of me supporting my sisters in the struggle, I'm happy to present you with my thoughts on what I'm forced to imagine must happen on Cameron and Rhea's new show Take My Wife.
Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher play a loving, supportive married couple in an idyllic suburb outside of Los Angeles. After years of slugging it out on the comedy scene the pair have finally attained their dream: a two story house with four dogs, three kids and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of cash. Little do they know, the real work has just begun! One stormy Los Angeles evening, old friend of the pair Henny Youngman shows up at the door with his long-time spouse Sadie Cohen.
"Henny Youngman? Cameron, I thought you said you ordered Vietnamese, not violinist!" Rhea quips.
"No time for jokes, Rhea!" Henny says, "I don't have time to explain, but we're on the run and I need to go into hiding."
"Henny, you've been a true friend for as long as I can remember. Anything you need, I'm here for you," Cameron says. (She is the more serious of the two.)
"I'm going to make for the Canadian border. The people looking for me will never follow me there; there's no way they could survive being unable to easily stream all of Monty Python, Fawlty Towers and an ever expanding roster of Originals and Specials available on Seeso," Henny explains.
"Unfortunately, I too refuse to travel up to that godforsaken wasteland," Sadie chimes in, "I just don't care to see those Canadian Heritage Moments, I prefer to keep Wikipedia my only source of historical information."
"So what are you trying to say?" Rhea asks, the seriousness of the situation clearly sinking in.
Henny responds, his face grave and visibly weathered by his time on the lam:
"What I'm trying to say, Cameron and Rhea, is take my wife… please!"
What follows from this point is what some are calling "a more provocative, gritty Three's Company" and "a nuanced exploration of the nature of friendship, love and the individual's relationship to the structures of law that both repress and empower." Particularly impressive is the fourteen minute uninterrupted take in the fourth episode where Cameron and Rhea first try to convince their landlord that Sadie is an exquisite antique lamp rather than an unsanctioned third roommate, then failing this, wrestle with the options of either killing the elderly dowager or letting her in on their secret. It's incredibly compelling television and powerful evidence that digital distribution is here to stay.
Also, as you may have heard, no lesbians are killed at any point which does prove to be a breath of fresh air.
If this sounds at all appealing to you, then you'd best hurry up and get your tickets to see the sneak-peek of Take My Wife's pilot on July 29th where both Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher will be in attendance for a Q&A. Further, don't miss Cameron Esposito: GOLD at the Montreal Improv on July 27 and 30th.