Review: Yearly Departed Special

There are many things that people are not sad to see go with 2020. Amazon Prime’s “year-in-review” comedy special, Yearly Departed, was no exception.

The special is set in a funeral parlor viewing room and features an all female cast as they say goodbye to things that won’t be missed from 2020 and that they hope are now dead. The cast features fake eulogies from Tiffany Haddish, Sarah Silverman, Rachel Brosnahan, and several others and sheds a light on what each of them is happy to bid a final farewell.

From a personal standpoint, overall the special has some funny moments and provides some good comic relief. It is a fun way to leave 2020 and bury some of the things that have been in the news and top of mind. There are some political and racial topics discussed but overall in a light-hearted, comical tone while still driving the message of the need and call for more acceptance and equality home. Topics included pants, having more children, band-aids, and “making America great again.” For me, the most relatable topic discussed was the death of pants. Brosnahan comments on how 2020 brought the death of pants due to most people working from home and opting to wear more lounge clothes compared to traditional, more formal apparel. Despite this being the most universally comparable topic, the need to show the pants-less star wasn’t necessary.

The end credits showing the “behind-the-scenes” was very insightful and interesting to see as it showed how through the technology of green screen, the actresses could be all placed in the scene together while keeping all parties safe.

Reviews from IndieWire and Decider gave the special “middle-of-the-road” reviews as well, noting some of the funnier moments that make it worth watch but leaving room for viewers to decide on their own what parts resinate with them and what they deem funny. If nothing else, its cathartic nature helps to close the chapter on a tough year with some laughs.

-MR

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