Watch it for...
The reminder that staying true to oneself can pave the road to happiness, as demonstrated through endearing French characters that are very funny!
This inspiring French drama/comedy follows four developing stand-up comics as they navigate life and love while hoping for their big breaks at a Parisian comedy club. Awkward newbie Apolline, and bold Aïssatou, are both women who refuse to bend to others’ expectations. Apolline struggles to detach from her wealthy, controlling mother while Aïssatou, a Black comedian, is balancing motherhood with her career. Nezir, of Algerian descent, wins hearts as the friend everyone needs, and someone who is determined to follow his comedic dreams. Club owner Bling is afraid the rest of his life is passing him by because he’s too afraid to take center stage. Together, they question gender roles, financial insecurity, race relations, and ultimately, what they’ll sacrifice for success.
Yes, I watched with subtitles, but the words on the screen quickly melted away as I dropped into this series—and by the way, it’s from the creator of Call My Agent, another superb and hilarious show! When I started watching, I was immediately struck by Apolline’s unique beauty. She somehow oozed self-consciousness and singular French style simultaneously. Many shows have generic characters; this was not one of them. I saw myself as she tried to follow her intuition, and I envied how she challenged herself. One of my favorite moments was when she arrives at a place called “The Laundromat” to do standup, only to find out it’s an actual laundromat that periodically moonlights as a comedy club. She somehow perseveres, as do all the characters when faced with impossible situations…and finds a way to laugh through and from it.
Standing Up is a standout that shines a light on the struggle of wanting to grow, even when it makes others uncomfortable. This show accomplished what few shows do. It made me laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time! When season two drops (here’s hoping), I won’t be able to click on it fast enough.