Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Atsuko Okatsuka: The Intruder’ On HBO Max, A New Voice In Comedy Makes Herself Known To America

Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Atsuko Okatsuka: The Intruder’ On HBO Max, A New Voice In Comedy Makes Herself Known To America

In her debut HBO comedy particular, Atsuko Okatsuka will get very interactive with the Brooklyn crowd at her taping, whereas sharing with us how she and her husband handled a persistent intruder outdoors their Los Angeles residence.

The Gist: An unknown trespasser showing within the yard behind the house comic Atsuko Okatsuka shares together with her husband, and the way they handled the state of affairs, kinds the narrative arc for her hour of stand-up and storytelling. She additionally will get into how her previous experiences rising up and present experiences with youngsters may also help clarify her response to the intruder, how she initially bonded together with her husband versus how they bond now, and the way a visit to see “Magic Mike Stay” in Vegas didn’t go precisely as deliberate.

Born in Taiwan, she spent her childhood in Japan earlier than coming to America at age 10 together with her mom and grandmother. In case you’re an informal comedy fan who hasn’t seen her stand-up earlier than, you may’ve seen her affect on TikTok, the place her movies dancing and twerking in entrance of her grandmother have gone viral, and the place her #DropChallenge to a Beyonce tune went VERY viral earlier this 12 months.

Picture: HBO Max

What Comedy Specials Will It Remind You Of?: Tig Notaro directed Okatsuka right here, whereas Mike Birbiglia (for whom she toured as his opening act) served as a artistic marketing consultant on her debut. She undoubtedly displays influences from every, each when it comes to having a novel perspective and supply, in addition to in her capacity to precise herself via storytelling.

Memorable Jokes: Okatsuka describes her husband as a cool character in confronting the unknown man outdoors their residence, even when it’s awkward to search out out his description matches that of the intruder when she calls it in to the police. As for her, mixing in and never making waves matches proper into her character as an immigrant who was initially undocumented throughout her formative faculty years in California. Now an grownup and totally assimilated into America and its tradition, you’d suppose she matches proper in. And but, she jokes about how an innocuous query from one in all immediately’s teenagers — “ya skate?” — can cripple her. “I’ll crumble if an adolescent talks to me.”

Okatsuka’s difficult relationships together with her mom, grandmother, and her marriage to a white man all contribute to her sense of identification, and she or he will get loads of comedic mileage out of mining what makes her household totally different whereas displaying us how relatable all of them are. Immigrants can get gluten allergy symptoms? If we renamed psychological sicknesses after rides at Disneyland, would we really feel extra comfy speaking about them? How problematic is it that she desires her husband to decorate up like her to movie synchronized dance routines? These questions all get correctly humorous solutions.

Our Take: There’s one thing each mischievous and but fairly harmless on the similar time taking place with Okatsuka in her stage presence, and a vocally distinct supply sample that retains you hooked on her each quick-witted, fast-paced flip of phrase.

I’d seen Okatsuka do two earlier variations of this present reside (in Could in the course of the Netflix Is A Joke: The Pageant, then in August on the Edinburgh Fringe), and all the things feels tighter and cleaner now, particularly the ending. That’s regardless of her including fairly a bit extra interplay with the viewers at her taping, loosening issues up in the midst of her hour. The group work, masterfully environment friendly. She’s not losing time right here, or searching for jokes by probing the entrance row about what they do for residing. She performs off her incapacity to deal with the hazard outdoors her residence, looking for recommendation after-the-fact from the viewers and chastising them once they fall quick. She even reprimands them at one level for applauding an viewers member for lastly responding to her name for motion, telling them: “Y’all so unhealthy at this.” Then instantly quizzes them to see in the event that they’ve been being attentive to her.

By the point she brings out her husband Ryan and her grandmother on the finish, the reply is sort of clear: We’re going to be being attentive to Okatsuka for years to return.

Our Name: STREAM IT. Okatsuka brings an thrilling new voice and presence to the comedy scene. Will she develop your humor palette past the common mainstream? Or will society pigeonhole her as they as soon as did Margaret Cho, or as Okatsuka jokes: “for these of you who’re youthful, somebody more moderen?” That’s as much as you to let her in.

Sean L. McCarthy works the comedy beat for his personal digital newspaper, The Comedian’s Comedian; earlier than that, for precise newspapers. Primarily based in NYC however will journey wherever for the news: Ice cream or information. He additionally tweets @thecomicscomic and podcasts half-hour episodes with comedians revealing origin tales: The Comedian’s Comedian Presents Final Issues First.

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