I have been looking forward to watching Tig Notaro’s documentary ever since I heard (back in June) that it was going to be released on Netflix. The problem was, it was available for streaming on July 17, which was smack-dab in the middle of the BlogHer conference two weeks ago. I was going to have to wait.
It occurred to me yesterday afternoon that last night would be a great time to finally sit down and watch it (especially because I had yet to write my July #StreamTeam post), so when Jim came home from work I asked him about it. He had other ideas.
The look on his face when he suggested we watch a documentary about the origins of one of the most famous dishes served at Chinese restaurants in America was that of a trouble-making little boy, and in the spirit of his Netflix discoveries usually being pretty awesome (like last month’s “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon”), I was all in and “Tig” was out, at least for the next hour and eleven minutes.
“The Search for General Tso” was actually pretty interesting as documentaries go.
Full disclosure: Chinese food is “fine” but not my favorite. In fact, the two main dishes I would absolutely eat on a regular basis (like NOM NOM NOM NOM), are sweet and sour chicken and beef with broccoli. I suspect, after watching this movie, that those dishes–like General Tso’s Chicken–are among the more Americanized offerings and have nothing to do with tradition.
The biggest takeaways from the movie were
1) Most of the Chinese people (cooks, restaurant owners, etc.) who appeared on screen would never eat General Tso’s Chicken because it was created as an Americanized dish.
2) General Tso’s Chicken was introduced in NYC in the 1970’s and became such a popular offering in American Chinese restaurants because the kind of chicken they use for it is extremely inexpensive.
Overall, I thought the movie was pretty good. That said, as soon as the credits rolled I looked at my watch and said, “Tig now?”
So “Tig”, we did. Oh my gosh, how I loved this documentary. I first saw Tig at the BlogHer conference in San Jose last year, and she was absolutely hysterical. They didn’t video record her performance there, but BlogHer co-founder Elisa Camahort Page interviewed her after her set and you can watch that HERE. I became an even bigger fan after watching her bit about Taylor Dayne (click HERE but only if you enjoy laughing) on “This American Life”.
So the documentary–which talks about the four-month period in which everything fell apart for her (C-DIFF diagnosis, her mom’s sudden death, breast cancer diagnosis), her stand-up routine at the Largo (which was audio recorded and then later, sold on Louis CK’s website at a viral rate), the blossoming relationship between Tig and her girlfriend, and her return to the Largo–was amazing and one of the best things I’ve watched in a long time. In fact, I’ll probably queue it up again this weekend to watch again, with J.
So there’s your Friday gift from me: two documentaries to stream on Netflix! Come back and let me know what you think!
Next up, for my August #StreamTeam post? “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp,” which was released today. I’ll be binge-watching all eight episodes tonight and tomorrow!
Have a great weekend!