November 19, 2023

The Woman Who Was Keeped on a Shelf

The titular woman of the first episode is a sexy and beautiful runway model (Betty Gilpin) who agrees to sit on a shelf at the behest of her husband (Daniel Dae Kim). He explains that he's a businessman who only cares about looks, so he built this shelf in his home for her so he can admire her beauty throughout the day. Despite receiving lavish gifts and a slew of compliments, she finds the life on the shelf to be suffocating. She eventually shatters the shelf, liberating herself from her trophy wife existence.

The story is a bit too straightforward and doesn't complicate the premise in inventive ways, but it still delivers the message that women can find power in their own strength. Most of the episodes in Roar follow similar structures, building grounded stories around more fanciful premise, which is great if you're looking for a lighthearted comedy. But the show's obsession with thematics can sometimes make it feel like a series of free-floating metaphors tied limply to the skeleton of a plot.

"The Woman Who Found Bite Marks on Her Skin" veers into body horror and manages to do so without becoming completely grotesque, which is impressive for an episode that's only half-an-hour long. But it's still not a memorable story, and the episode's insistence on neatly tying up every situation in a tidy bow also kneecaps its impact. In contrast, Merritt Wever shines as a classic rom-com heroine in an episode about her shaky relationship with a talking duck, but this premise doesn't get as far out there as some of the others on the show.


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