I have no context of Taylor Swift other than she’s a popular singer, so I went into this show not expecting anything, really. I had no idea what it was about, all I knew is the promos were odd and had an undercurrent of something weird and subversive so I thought it was worth a look.
And yes. Yes it is.
The show explores the personalities of 7 of Swift’s exes, through video footage and monologues by the “idiot actor,” Tad Shafer, who impressed me with many many specific moments, one of which is nailing the Kennedy dialect, not the easiest pattern of American speech.
The show starts off funny, mostly, with the first three exes exploring their inadequacy as men in fairly obvious ways through juxtaposition of thought (recorded VO) and actual dialogue. Or at least I thought it was obvious.
The fourth ex, Jake Gyllenhaal, does a really fun way of showing the monologue mostly through a conversation on cell phones via text, between Gyllenhaal and Swift. It’s fun, low key, and revealing in ways I can’t really describe, not in a spoiler way, but more in a showing accidental vulnerability in character that one wouldn’t imagine there to BE vulnerability.
Maybe my favorite part of the show and huge credit to the writer of that scene, Joanna Bateman.
The last three are definitely more sober in tone, though still funny, but maybe less obviously so since we’re thinking about how we project our problems onto other people and we can do this to such a degree that we are unable to find and fix our own lives and make them better.
Which, I may be wrong, is a central idea behind this show.
It opens tonight at midnight, I really recommend it, you’ll have a weirdtastic fun time.