By Ivan Gomez
Brownsville, Texas (The Hollywood Times) 4/11/2023 – With a premise that promises a woman’s trek to alternate universes, I wondered how the Roku original SLIP would execute the concept. It turned out to be an entertaining comedy about a woman’s journey to new realities that adds a dosage of drama when she struggles to understand her new, bizarre life and how she learns to accept herself.
This tale follows Mae Cannon, portrayed by director and writer Lister-Jones, a near middle-aged museum curator who starts out bemoaning over how strictly routine her life has become, whether it be her job or her marriage with her husband Elijah, and craves change in her life to satisfy her hunger for excitement. After having an affair with a famous musician named Eric, Mae’s wish comes true but with a bizarre twist where she is suddenly in a different life as Eric’s wife and now yearns to return to the normalcy, she previously took for granted. It also becomes clear that each jump is caused by Mae having a sexual affair with another person, Buddhism imagery is a theme of Mae’s situation, and the biggest constant is a woman named Gina being Mae’s friend regardless of the universe.
All of this is experienced through the lens of Mae and it is clear that the focus of the narrative is a character study of a woman desperately trying to return to her old life after her wish was made with a monkey’s paw. This also means that the narrative is easy to follow as it’s only Mae’s perspective that the story focuses on and, due to the one-way trip between universes, the conflict between Mae and another character is usually dropped by the next episode.
Thankfully, Mae is a well-written protagonist that is complimented by a strong performance from Lister-Jones. Mae’s situation, before the universal hopping, I find to be relatable with her because many of us hate the feeling of stagnation; the idea of being stuck in a routine that has long become stale is a depressing thought that I believe anyone wants to avoid. Mae’s not perfect as she gives in to vices several times throughout the series, including the affair with Eric, and it serves to make her a three-dimensional character, as a woman who I generally nice but craves pleasure and has the potential to do a dirty deed to sate her appetite. This is all without mentioning Lister-Jones’ excellent performance that truly sells the character of Mae by perfectly simulate the emotional state of the protagonist, as if the actress is genuinely feeling those emotions at the moment.
The writing in a series concerning coitus-inducing universe hopping to be incredibly bizarre, which it is at times, but I was surprised at how down-to-earth the dialogue was for a majority of the series. The script did a great job of making these characters feel real even considering some of the more bizarre characters, they are the exception to the rule. It also helps highlight why the comedy is solid; it’s a regular woman trying her damnedest to make sense of the madness she’s wrapped up in and inconveniencing the people around her.
My gripes only concerns elements that could be better fleshed out. The secondary cast could’ve stood to have more depth to them; it makes sense given the story, but it also makes them not very interesting as a consequence, with one character being disposable to a T. While the premise promised parallel universe traversal, I believe that the concept should’ve been fleshed out more, particularly with the setting, but that’s all I’ll say on that subject.
Regardless, this is a solid show with a great protagonist, entertaining writing, and a good plot that delivers a nice dose of comedy and drama that I recommend giving it a watch if you’re interested in the premise.
Photo Credit: IMDB
Actress and Director Zoe Lister-Jones in Trailer