Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal Should Be Your New Favorite Show

Photo: Courtesy of TBS.
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee's theme song is Peaches' "Boys Want To Be Her." It's appropriate. The boys should want to be her, especially after her show's nearly perfect debut last night. She stomped all over the notion that late night is the television version of the He-Man Woman Haters Club, and gave us a new reason to look forward to Mondays. At a media event last week, Bee said Full Frontal's POV will be colored by fact that she "is steeped in, you know, my woman-ness, quite frankly." So was it? Yes and no. While Bee opened the show with a press conference sketch that powerfully skewered the vagina panic associated with the fact that she is a woman in a male-dominated field — women are witches, clearly — her "woman-ness" obviously (and blessedly) informs her take on certain issues. Bee ripped into Marco Rubio for asserting that Hillary Clinton "believes that all abortions should be legal even on the due date of that unborn child." She clasped her hands together in disbelief. "That is literally the stupidest thing I've ever heard," she said. "Removing the baby on the due date isn't an abortion, it's called a Caesarian." (Bee, remember, is a mother of three.) Her bit "Elected Paperweight of the Month" addressed a Kansas legislator's dumb, sexist dress code for women. In a recent interview with New York magazine, Bee reluctantly acknowledged that Hillary Clinton was her preferred candidate in the 2016 presidential election. Bee did not spare Clinton from ridicule — she mocked Clinton's false humility — but she also empathized with Clinton's likely exasperation with young women supporting Bernie Sanders. ("I just hope these girls enjoy the breast pumps and maiden names that I won them with my pain," Bee said, commiserating with Clinton's struggle.) She deemed Clinton "Hermione Clinton," which, if you ask us, is a joke in the form of the highest of compliments. Still, a lot of her show had nothing to do with gender. In what will likely be the premiere's most discussed segment, her team went out to New Hampshire to follow Jeb Bush, and came away with a Werner Herzog-style documentary about the candidate's milquetoast futility.
At one point while watching the premiere, I got a little wistful. Why isn't Samantha Bee hosting The Daily Show, I wondered? On one hand, it's great that she has her own platform that she can fully shape without the weight of Jon Stewart's legacy hanging over her. On the other, it seems ridiculous that this hugely qualified woman — who rose through The Daily Show's ranks — could not have assumed that mantle and the show's built-in audience. "The fact that she wasn’t approached was a little shocking, to say the least," her husband Jason Jones, also a Daily Show alum, told the New York Times. Bee's tagline for Full Frontal comes with an ultimatum. "Watch or you're sexist," it reads. Maybe you didn't take that seriously. Now that we've seen it, we can tell you that it's really worth you're time. When something's this good, it's imperative that you set your DVR. It's your duty as a "female woman" or, you know, a human.

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