Jill Soloway’s newest Amazon show definitely has an eye-grabbing title: I Love Dick. Surely, there are a lot of critics and bloggers out there trying to think of the wittiest titles and jokes to accommodate their reviews. After you watch Soloway’s new offering, however, you probably won’t be capable of cracking anything other than your curiosity. I Love Dick is easily the best pilot that Amazon has released so far this year. It’s amusing, absurd, and, best of all, allows Kathryn Hahn to take center stage.
Hahn plays Chris, a filmmaker whose latest film was rejected by the Venice Film Festival over a dispute with a piece of music in her latest project. Her husband, Sylvere (Griffin Dunne), is traveling to Malfa, Texas for a residency so he can “reinterpret the Holocaust.” At a party, Sylvere tells a young girl, “something new is afoot.” Their marriage is in a dry spell, and the sandy atmosphere of Texas probably won’t help matters.
Sylvere’s residency is headed by Dick (played by Kevin Bacon with a lot of relaxed swagger), and the first time we see him, he’s literally riding a horse in the small town. He “parks” it as the sun gleams in the background, and it’s obvious that Chris is intrigued and attracted to him.
The first notion that I Love Dick should be taken seriously is when Chris explains her work situation over a friendly dinner. Dick asks Sylvere if Chris’ movie is any good. He asks him in an exclusive, boys’ club kind of way—as if she wasn’t sitting there. He then counters Chris’ shock with: “Maybe this supposed graveyard of unmade films by women filmmakers is there because, ultimately, most films made by women aren’t that good.” This exact moment must have been uttered to many women in the film industry without anyone batting an eye.
The reason that Hahn is such a good actress is because she can convey a million emotions all at once. Of course, she’s shocked by the comments that this relative stranger has made to her, but she’s also determined to prove him wrong and a bit turned on at the same time. Chris retreats to a restroom to collect herself privately, and we get to thank our lucky stars that this actress is the lead of a potentially new lineup of episodes.
The first episode is directed by Soloway, and her Transparent does a great job of questioning identity and self assuredness. Each segment of this episode is prefaced with a statement of a letter written from Chris to Dick (“It’s about missing you even though I’ve never met you.”) The only other details we are given about future episodes is that Sylvere will also fall for Dick. Bacon is magnetic and quiet, but it’s easy to see why people are so drawn to him.
Sorry, The Interetings. You’re not going to get greenlit when Soloway can make thoughtful comedies like this.