Hannah Gadsby’s new Netflix special is about to bring the queer joy we need right now

Hannah Gadsby in new Netflix show, Something Special. (Netflix)

Beloved lesbian comic Hannah Gadsby is returning to Netflix with a joyous new comedy special hooked around their wedding to producer, Jenney Shamash.

The special, which lands on the streaming platform next month, was taped at the Sydney Opera House in autumn 2022 as part of the Emmy-award winning comedian’s acclaimed world tour “Body of Work”, and looks set to bring plenty of feel-good energy to our screens.

The special will delve into the sweet but no doubt hilarious retelling of Gadsby’s courtship with Shamash, and what happy married life looks like now for the pair. “In this smart and dare we say ‘feel good’ set” reads the official synopsis, “the comedian talks about a wedding (theirs!), more than one traumatic encounter with a bunny and much more”.

It makes sense that the special will give a deeper insight into the pair’s relationship, given that Shamash, who served as producer on Gadsby’s second special, Douglas, also takes the director’s chair this time around on Something Special.

“Pretty darn chuffed to be able to share this one with y’all,” wrote Gadsby in an announcement post on Instagram. “It’s a feel good show. Seriously.”

This is the Australian comedian’s third Netflix special, once more unapologetically tackling LGBTQ+ issues. They debuted on Netflix in 2018 with Nanette, a one ,hour set criticising the Australian government’s track record on LGBTQ+ rights before dramatically bowing out from the comedy world.

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Or so we thought. They made a triumphant return in their follow-up, Douglas, which expanded on similar topics around gay rights, their autism diagnosis and what it means to be in the public eye.

Since Douglas, however, a lot has changed. Gadsby has navigated a global pandemic, married their wife, signed a deal with Netflix to host a “genderqueer” comedy special and held the streaming service to account for platforming comedian Dave Chappelle, who has continued to make controversial remarks about the trans community.

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After Gadsby publicly called out Netflix, CEO Ted Sarandos defended Chapelle’s special The Closer by listing the platform’s LGBTQ+ content, including Gadsby’s own programmes. In a damning Instagram post, Gadsby replied: “F**k you and your amoral algorithm, I do s**t with more backbone than you.”

Something Special comes as part of Gadsby’s wider Netflix deal to showcase genderqueer voices from around the world, and the comedian addressed this in a statement at the end of 2022.

“In a notoriously transphobic industry, I am looking to broaden the scope of opportunities for genderqueer performers from around the globe, as well as expand the diversity of offerings to audiences on one of comedy’s biggest platforms.”

Nanette and Douglas are currently streaming on Netflix. Something Special will land on Netflix on 9 May 2023.

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