Monday, April 10, 2017

Going Inside of "Inside Amy Schumer"

Amy Schumer is a name that is impossible to ignore, especially in the world of entertainment. From her comedy specials in front of massive audiences, to her well received show on Comedy Central, and her various cameos and writing contributions, she is certainly a female powerhouse in the entertainment industry. Because she is such an popular comedienne who relies on shock and conventionally “inappropriate” humour, she is often lambasted by critics for only having one dimension of comedy. Despite this, she has managed to become an influential female comedian who is able to send poignant messages about feminism, American culture, and general problems in society, especially through her show Inside Amy Schumer.

Inside Amy Schumer is a sketch comedy show that premiered on Comedy Central in early 2013, and has since won two Primetime Emmy awards and a Peabody Award. The show has a variety of guests and bits, including from her own stand up, on the street interviews, and skits, all including Amy herself. Many times, her skits differ from her stand up, as her skits and sketches are can contain a strong feminist undertone, and are more than just simply humorous. They can speak to a real issue, and because she puts it in a humorous light, it is easier to relate to and therefore understand.

Perhaps the one of the best examples of this is with her skit, “A Very Realistic Military Game.” It opens with Amy and her boyfriend, who is playing a first person shooter game. She asks him to play, and then enthusiastically comments about their being a female character option. He makes a face, and snickers. As he leaves the room, it is implied through dialogue and Amy’s facial expressions that her character is raped in the game. When her boyfriend returns, he refuses to believe that the character was raped, stating, “You must have just pressed the wrong button," dismissing her and blaming the rape on her. The game then informs her that she was "Just assaulted by a fellow soldier," and asks her if she "would wish to report." Amy confirms she does, and the game's narrator begins questioning her, even mentioning that the rapist has a family in an attempt to dissuade her to continue reporting.

The next scene includes a shot of Amy controlling her character, but it is just a woman filling out a stack of paperwork, as her life force and health meter deplete rapidly and her "stigma" also increases very fast. Eventually Amy fills out the report and sends her victim to the Pentagon, in a final effort for justice. The attempt at retribution is feeble; as soon as she makes it to the center of the American military, she is barraged with questions like "what were you wearing?" and calling her an "occupational hazard." This direct slander, against someone who has just gone through a recent traumatic experience, speaks all too true to the reality.

Rape and assault in the US Military is an epidemic. As Amy Schumer portrays this sad fact in the form of a somewhat comedic short, she also implements an effective and somewhat emotional portrayal of what can actually happen. This is an excellent example of how Amy Schumer uses her show as well as her knowledge and passion for women's rights, and that she covers several different and pressing topics.

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