TV Club: Lady Dynamite constructs a sympathetic narrative—and then whammo!

“It’s called ‘constructing a relatable narrative,’” Bruce Ben-Bacharach says of his Twitter campaign on Maria’s behalf. “First, you get all the sympathy, and then whammo! You let your hero or your heroine have it.” Maria needs a sympathetic narrative right now, because her story on social media and the news is veering out of control. When Bruce shipped 10,000 unwanted Bam! Bam! Bamford T-shirts to South Sudan, he inadvertently made Maria the face of a child army. She’s gone viral, in the worst possible way.

Like Bruce, Lady Dynamite is constructing a narrative from Maria Bamford’s life. And like Bruce, it’s picking and choosing what to tell and when. The show is loosely based on her experiences, but we can’t know how much is fiction. We don’t need to know.

The episode title, “Mein Ramp,” lampshades the fictionalizing of Bamford’s life …

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