Julie Kim: No One Special

MICF23-Julie-KimJulie Kim makes her Melbourne debut with No One Special; a sixty-minute, rage-filled deep dive into motherhood, Italian husbandry and body-image. With quick wit and an unfiltered confessional style Kim offers a treasure trove of laughs. But more time and editing is needed for her frenetic set to really sing.

Kim, who most recently returned from touring across North America with comedian Ronny Chieng, is angry – her child is too gorgeous, her husband became hot during the pandemic, her sex life is predictable.

Kim’s brand of comedy is fuelled by a performative bitterness; a collection of semi-related rants and criticisms that recalls the anger-fuelled comedic stylings of Joan Rivers, Samantha Bee or Yamaneika Saunders.

It’s a comedic style that has fallen out of fashion. Audiences are simply less enamoured by a stand-offish persona these days and Kim faces an up hill battle to get her audience on her side as a result.

Yet despite clear nerves, she delivers enough biting one-liners and sharp take downs to ensure the laughs come hard and fast and her audience is quickly on her side – through every rant on c-sections, homebirths, male skincare or meal prep.

Oddly, Kim shoehorns in rants on the realities of microaggressions, patriarchal oppression and male entitlement in-between these tongue-in-cheek rants. It’s not that there isn’t a place for political commentary or these earnest nods to these experiences, but that it’s hard to understand their inclusion in Kim’s set.

What results is a sort of comedic whiplash, as she moves from anecdotal jokes to basic truisms about patriarchal systems of oppression with little to distinguish her takes on them or how they contribute to her punchline.

They’re both thinly drawn representations of these realities, and shoehorned into a set that seems unable to decide how to use them to aid its comedy rather than distract from it.

But there is such potential in Kim’s impassioned approach and acerbic conversational style that for every unsuccessful punchline there is another side-splittingly hilarious observation or takedown. With more time and editing, there’s no doubt the show will find enough humour to match its rage.

Julie Kim: No One Special
Greek Centre (Mezz), 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Performance: Thursday 13 April 2023 – 9.15pm
Season continues to 23 April 2023
Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au

For more information, visit: www.juliekimcomedy.com for details.

Image: Julie Kim (supplied)

Review: Guy Webster