These days binge watching is a common event. While it has its critics, if you’re low on free time during the week it can be a relaxing weekend activity for one. While there is a surplus of season’s long shows to choose from, the “woke” viewer may have to dig a bit deeper to ensure an enjoyable session.
Playing a comedian struggling to pick up the pieces and settle back into work after being hospitalized, Bamford displays a funny and honest character that can be added to the list of realistic depictions of characters with mental illness. Other characterizations are not as kind and the mental health community has been vocal about the need for change.
Bamford has been diagnosed with bipolar II and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and speaks openly about her anxiety in her comedy. The show doesn’t shy away from discussing mental health and treatment but manages to avoid it being the punchline. In fact, mental illness, while always present, is not the focus.
Therapy intern Seva Felton, finds Lady Dynamite to be unique in that it is Bamford’s true story and that allows for a realistic portrayal.
“What I appreciate about her story so much is that it tells the story of her realizing that she is in a manic episode, seeking treatment and reinserting herself into society as a person of power,” Felton said.
Lady Dynamite is funny while evading stereotypes and ignoring stigma. The audience isn’t laughing at Bamford’s symptoms but at the story. Even when hypomanic, she isn’t the butt of the joke and her flaws aren’t alone in being visible.
If you’re in need of 6 hours of relatively guilt free laughs, Lady Dynamite’s 12, half hour-long episodes are waiting to be consumed. Learn more about mental illness in the media, here.