Exclaim! 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.
Recorded in Dallas, TX at the Lakewood Theater, War Paint is Iliza Shlesinger's first standup comedy special. Her material is beyond polished and executed with high precision delivery. Given the lightning-fast pace at which she performs, her stream-of-consciousness delivery is impressively easy to follow.
Shlesinger combines intensity and silliness to produce sometimes dark and often hilarious moments as she transforms from a one-eyed cat to a witch-like pharmacist and countless other animal and human characters. Her embodiment of different animals is reminiscent of a bit by Richard Pryor about animals in the African jungle, but she puts her own spin on talking animals and creates outlandish creatures rather than simply giving voice to the animal world as Pryor did.
She is excellent at mimicking a huge range of voices, sound effects and facial expressions throughout the special. Although she overuses one sound effect, which sounds like something between a dolphin and a sheep, there's a great deal of variety overall. The special also uses some popular culture references such as jokes based on commercials that, although still funny, do feel a little dated and were definitely much funnier when the special was released in 2013.
Shlesinger's material is highly relatable to women, as she discusses dating, friendship and girls' nights out, but it is just as interesting for men as she provides insight into a number of things women do: wearing make-up, ordering salad on a date, and pretending to like hiking. For your next girls' night in, I'd definitely recommend War Paint.