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Life & Beth Is a Great Show About a Midlife Crisis

Life and Beth

What are you watching these days? Since the writers’ strike, I’ve found it harder to hunt down great series, but this week I’ve been loving…

Season 2 of Life & Beth. (Here’s the trailer, above.) Amy Schumer plays Beth, a wine salesperson who returns to her suburban hometown and falls in love with a sweet, quirky farmer named John (Michael Cera). After they get married, Beth suggests John sees a therapist about some of his offbeat behaviors, and he ends up getting diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. As someone with close friends and relatives on the spectrum, I love seeing a high-functioning character with ASD in a big show, especially a warm, upbeat comedy.

Also! In the show, Beth is also having a midlife crisis of sorts — should she change careers? Should she get married? Should she have a baby? The only time I went through a midlife crisis, if you could call it that, was when I was approaching 40 and realized that one day I would die. I mean, actually die! For real! That actuality still kind of blows my mind, and I have to think hard to wrap my mind around it, and once I do, I kind of freak out and instead immediately focus on really specific banal things, like whether I like medium or small hoop earrings (small, I think), or whether Honeycrisp apples taste better when they’re kept in the fridge (they do).

Funnily enough, while watching the show, I’ve also been devouring an advance copy of the (excellent, so far) Miranda July novel, All Fours, and the protagonist — an artist with a husband and child — also confronts a midlife crisis. This line made me laugh:

There was only one friend, a woman named Mary, who I was too close with to [lie to], so to her I just said I was having a bit of a crisis but I couldn’t go into it now. Also,

“As in… midlife?”

I laughed, no. Although maybe midlife crises were just poorly marketed, maybe each one was profound and unique and it was only a few silly men in red convertibles who gave them a bad name. I imagined greeting such a man solemnly: I see you have reached a time of great questioning. God be with you, seeker.

Anyway! Nothing more to say, just that I am in midlife, and crises — or at least reckonings — abound in media, and I find them all compelling. I’m also very here for midlife renaissances.

What are you watching these days? Recently I also really liked The Dry. And, since we’re on the subject, have you ever had a midlife crisis?

P.S. More fun things, and what are your top three movies?

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