Amy Schumer The Leather Special Review

The Plot

Following a meteoric pop culture rise Amy Schumer is given a further celebratory Netflix original comedy special.

The Good

If you already have a Netflix subscription you don’t have to pay to watch this.

The Bad

Schumer’s entire special is unashamedly devoted solely to the one subject, herself. Obviously it’s not uncommon for stand-up comics to draw heavily from their own daily existence as a source of anecdotal humour. In fact it’s an industry standard cliché. Unfortunately in Schumer’s case her material is an unrelenting and often uncomfortable blend of demeaning self-loathing and poorly disguised narcissism.

For those that care to dwell on it there’s also an obvious irony and irritating hypocrisy in the fact that Schumer has become the most unlikely of feminist icons. While mainstream recognition is often regrettably elusive for female comics it’s somewhat tragic that so many feel obliged to award Schumer de facto ‘role model’ status merely due to fortuitously becoming a household name.

Given an unconscionable amount of public attention and apparently free comedic reign it’s very depressing that Schumer only seems able to use her implausible fame and this latest comedy special to regurgitate lazy misogyny mistakenly passed off as some kind of ironic self-empowerment.

Despite Schumer’s frequent headline grabbing social media rants about the cruelty of trolls and everyday sexism, her entire comedic act has always been and sadly remains built around endlessly ’body shaming’ and ‘slut shaming’ herself. It’s increasingly hard for even Schumer’s fiercest of supporters to deny or defend the bizarre schizophrenia of persistently virtue signalling about feminist issues and yet chronically undermining them in the worst ways possible.

To put it in some context just how depressingly dire the situation actually is, an entire third of this high profile ‘comedy special’ is exclusively comprised of jokes about how bad Amy Schumer’s vagina smells. That’s a huge chunk of material spent literally wallowing in disgust at her own genitals and asserting that the same criticism actually applies to all women.

To sum up the rest of Schumer’s set she makes awkward jokes about being an obnoxious blackout drunk, binge eater and self-proclaimed slut. Constantly reminding audiences how inspiringly self-confident she is then immediately lamenting how increasingly fat, butch and unstylish she feels.  Schumer offers up ‘inspiring’ epiphanies such as the reassurance that men will at least always want to have anal sex regardless of how slovenly unattractive women allow themselves to become. Anecdotes about explosive diarrhoea and being frequently covered in messy male ejaculate round out Schumer’s grim assault on her own self esteem.

The one time Schumer lurches away from self-abuse she spends a few minutes defending her very public intervention into the acrimonious American gun law debate following a tragic shooting at a screening of Trainwreck.  Whilst providing temporary relief from the tirade of self-deprecation it’s a heavy handed attempt to be suddenly ‘serious and important you guys’ that will only further irritate those that disagree with her politics or merely dislike obvious Social Justice Warrior antics.

The Ugly Truth

Much like Schumer’s overly hyped big screen outing Trainwreck there will be those that do find this new special highly amusing. It’s just ironic those people will likely be a strange mix of misguided 4th wave feminists and apologetically sexist men. Those looking for feminine themed comedy treats on Netflix would do much better to check out Iliza Schlezsnger’s offerings instead.

Review by Russell Nelson

Leave A Comment