Published May 05, 2016Exclaim! is reviewing every standup comedy special currently available on Netflix Canada, including this one. You can find a complete list of reviews so far here.
Standup comedian and game show host Iliza Shlesinger's second Netflix special is a blur of bad decisions, candid outbursts, Euro-trash whinging and barbed insinuations. Freezing Hot (2015) blows all Shlesinger's previous specials out of the water — her material is as layered as it is blunt, and her knack for high-octane dramatizations gives her best gags an impossible amount of life, while ably floating others that might not have fared so well with a less capable performer.
Shlesinger takes a few minutes to work her way into her A-material, lingering a little longer than may have been necessary on the weather — though considering the title of her special, that should be expected — but she soon hits her stride with a fantastic mental breakdown of towering proportions regarding wedding planning via Pinterest. Her ability to channel a lifetime's worth of emotions, characters and situations within the span of a few seconds puts her among the most dynamic performers in the biz.
Freezing Hot is a fairly topical hour of comedy for a diatribe revolving almost entirely around relationships. Shlesinger uses the tried-and-tested medium of dating to explore the internet, posh food, the petite bourgeoisie and all manner of high strung day-to-day nonsense. Avid comedy fans might find a full hour — and then some — of standup devoted to the interactions of men and women to be run-of-the-mill, safe or generally a bit much, but the depth and honesty of both Shlesinger's writing on the topic and her performance are certainly something to behold.
Shlesinger's Freezing Hot is quotable, memorable, relevant and at times poignant. While she does draw some bits out a little longer than might seem optimal, it's not for lack of material or purpose. With nary a one-liner in the entire set, Shlesinger builds her material up and stretches it out until there's no going back. Not every joke is a home run, but when she nails it, she brings the house down.