Michaeline: One Mississippi is Full of Love

One Mississippi image from Amazon. Tig Notaro pours lemonade from a pitcher, but misses the mason jar full of ice.

Small town Southern comedy drama really hit my spot for sick-day viewing. (Image via Amazon.com)

Despite my best efforts (well, my tired, six-months-of-this-shit efforts), I caught a stomach bug. If a stomach bug can sneak past the defenses we’ve got against infectious disease, I’m a bit worried about COVID-19 sneaking past. But maybe it was just a bad batch of homemade kimchi.

Anyway, I was feeling very under the weather this week, and I decided to travel back to my childhood, when a sick day was about toast and applesauce and watching all the bad daytime TV until I drifted off to sleep. Although, with modern streaming services, I had a better choice for TV; after some thought (but not too much – one side effect of this stomach bug was not wanting to think too much), I decided to watch Tig Notaro in One Mississippi, an Amazon Prime Original.

I’d seen Tig give interviews, and thought she was kind and funny; what I didn’t expect to find was a comedy-drama overflowing with love and heart.

The comedy was laced with a deep, deep love of people and place; it felt a bit like the Lake Woebegone stories in that sense. The characters weren’t perfect, but there was a deep love for them, and their Louisiana small town setting.

The drama? Well, the drama is certainly there. Southern Gothic? A white family full of secrets, and the story during the six episodes of season one slowly reveal them, and brings about a certain kind of healing by the end of the season two. I would give trigger warnings for mother’s death and child molestation by a family member . . . but the triggers are not played for tears and tragedy alone. They are important drivers to the plot, and I found their treatment to be very wise and healing.

Based on events in Tig Notaro’s life, Tig is brought back to Louisiana in time to witness her mother’s death in a hospital after a head injury. She stays with her stepfather, Bill, a man who seems to deal with his grief by sticking to his strict schedule, and her brother, Remy, a high school athletic star who is now an overweight history teacher with no lovelife.

However, everyone finds love in 12 episodes, and they are satisfying romances, with trouble and stakes and everything.

Now, let me get into SPOILER territory (but not too far – look for the SPOILERS OVER in bold to resume reading if you are sensitive). My favorite romance was between Bill and Felicia. They lived parallel lives in their office building for years, when Bill collapsed in the elevator, and Felicia stayed to get him help. From the first exchange, we knew they were a nerd match made in heaven.

Bill’s actor, John Rothman, said in a 2017 interview with Awards Daily TV, “Bill is very compulsive and orderly. He wants all of his ducks in a row, and he’s up against a world that won’t cooperate.” We see a few characters like that on TV – Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon comes to mind, although Bill is even more rigid in his ways . . . however, unlike Sheldon, he’s able to express love to an extent from the beginning (and we know he can feel love deeply – the episode where his cat got out of the house was heartbreaking).

Felicia shares that love of orderliness, but as a Black woman who has made it up the corporate ladder, she can give Bill new perspectives and things to think about. Both of them come with disorderly families that they love dearly (although they find it easier to express annoyance with them). It is so charming to see these very, very reserved “nerds” who don’t like change make very big changes in order to be with each other.

SPOILERS OVER.

If you need a sweet September binge or rewatch, let me recommend One Mississippi. Great story telling with multiple happy endings, and at 12 episodes of about 25 minutes each, you can binge it in a long Saturday afternoon and still have time to read a book on Sunday.


5 thoughts on “Michaeline: One Mississippi is Full of Love

  1. That sounds really good–way less terrifying than watching election coverage here.

    If you’re looking for a shorter watch, I checked out Enola Holmes on Netflix this week and really liked it. Now there’s a redoubtable heroine!

    • Thanks for the Enola Holmes rec, Jeanne! Everybody I know who’s seen it likes it, so I’ll put that on my list, too. (Gotta say, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books didn’t like it much, but I still plan to check it out.)

  2. I saw Tig Notaro on a talk show maybe a couple of years ago now, and I was really taken with her. And of course I’m always looking for new shows to check out. Thanks for the tip! And I hope you feel better soon.

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