Thursday, April 20, 2023

Slip, on Roku

Mae Cannon is sort of like a Marvel or DC hero, because she travels through the parallel realities of the multiverse, but she does so with more sex and more Buddhism. On paper, that might sound like a more enjoyable way of doing it, but the experience quite confuses Cannon. The new lives that come with each reality are very different, but she assumes the similarities must mean something in creator-star Zoe Lister-Jones’ seven-part Slip, which premieres tomorrow on the Roku Channel.

Cannon always thought she had a cool job being an assistant museum curator, but she is starting to tire of her underachieving, somewhat boring husband Elijah. On the other hand, Eric, the hipster DJ she starts flirting with after her Buddhist-influenced, “Hungry Ghost” exhibition opening, is not boring at all. In fact, she goes home to his place. One thing leads to another—and suddenly, Cannon wakes up married to Eric, but they are both very different. He is now a bigger celebrity than Steve Aoki and she is tabloid fodder, who has been in and out of rehab.

Already reeling from her new reality, the stress of the paparazzi pushes the new Mae to her breaking point. However, she finds a safe harbor in the arms of Sandy, the owner of a lesbian bar, which leads to another reset, triggered by the consummation, so to speak. As the pattern repeats, each Mae always finds her best friend Gina. She also desperately seeks out Elijah, with varying degrees of success.

Slip is largely presented as a sitcom, the multiverse travels and the Buddhist references are surprisingly smart and intriguing. However, viewers should be warned there is more sex in the show than you would have seen in vintage late-1990s HBO programming. Just keep in mind, it is definitely not for kids.

In fact, maybe a little less sex and a little more Buddhism wouldn’t have been a bad call. Frankly, one of the best scenes of the entire inaugural season involves Mae seeking enlightenment from Monk Dawa, memorably played by Nicco Lorenzo Garcia, with understated intelligence.

Lister-Jones’ writing is sharp and she milks a lot of laughs from Mae’s freak-outs, melt-downs, and clueless befuddlement. She is consistently engaging amid the madness, but her bestie chemistry with Gina, played with distracting shtick by Tymika Takari, just doesn’t ring true. It is hard to get why they are friends.

Although the first season (thus far) only lasts runs seven episodes, each parallel reality is well-defined and clearly distinguished from the others.
Slip is smartly conceived and generally well-executed, even when it is not well-clothed. In the case of the latter, sometimes a little more would have been a little more, but it is still represents one of the few sf comedies that really is funny. Recommended for fans of Everything-esque Everywhere-ish multiverse sf, Slip starts streaming tomorrow (4/21) on the Roku Channel.