The Roku Channel debuting its new multiverse-hopping dramedy Slip soon after Everything Everywhere All at Once won the Best Picture Oscar, and as both Marvel and DC hype upcoming comic book blockbusters on the same theme, could be either a blessing or a curse. In the show’s favor, multiverses are, like, so hot right now, you guys. At the same time, maybe we’ve had too many of them and viewer burnout is already setting in.
Slip is not an action extravaganza of any sort. The show has no kung-fu fight scenes, explosive shoot-outs, or visual effects spectacle. It’s a character drama with a fantastical concept and a sharp comedic edge, more akin to something like Netflix’s Russian Doll than to a superhero epic. Getting buried on the Roku Channel probably won’t help its chances of finding an audience very much, but the series is smart and very funny (and pretty sexy, too!), and deserves some attention.
|Number of Episodes:||7|
|Release Date:||Apr. 21, 2023|
|Watched On:||Roku Channel|
Slip is the creation of actress Zoe Lister-Jones (from the CBS sitcom Life in Pieces, among other things). As she heads into middle age, her protagonist, Mae Cannon, can’t help feeling that her life has fallen into a boring routine. Although married to a very nice and kind man that she likes very much, she describes their relationship as being “single together.” She pines for the type of passion she barely even remembers from her younger days.
After drinking far too much and having an ill-considered one night stand with a musician she met at a bar, Mae wakes up the next morning to find, inexplicably, that her life is completely different. The man’s apartment is filled with her things, and a wedding photo of the two of them sits on the mantle. By having sex with a stranger, she’s somehow slipped into an alternate universe where she’s married to him, and has been for years.
Mae is, understandably, shocked and upset by this. When she tries to get back to her regular life, she discovers that it never existed. It takes her a while (the third episode, actually) to understand the trigger for this. Every time she has an orgasm, she’s transported to a new world where her life revolves around the person she had sex with. “I think my pussy is a wormhole!” she exclaims.
The only constants in all her lives are a best friend (Tymika Tafari) and a pair of white shoes. Some of Mae’s new spouses seem like they could be good partners (the best of them is a lesbian bar owner played by Emily Hampshire from Schitt’s Creek), others much less so. Regardless, the more time she spends away from her original life, the more Mae realizes how much she’s given up, and the more desperately she wants to find her way back to her one real husband.
Mae herself is a mess who makes a lot of bad decisions, some of them really terrible, but manages to stay sympathetic throughout. On the other hand, her true husband, Elijah (Whitmer Thomas), is kind of a drip and the show never fully makes the case for why her life with him is the best. A brief storyline in which Mae has some sort of revelation while voluntarily taking up homelessness also feels misjudged and potentially problematic, but doesn’t go too far over the line.
In addition to starring in the series, Lister-Jones wrote and directed every episode of the season. The show has appealing characters, some great dialogue, and a very biting sense of humor. If not perfect, Slip is a lot of fun, and with just seven half-hour episodes, a very easy binge to complete in a night or two. Although not officially designated as a limited series, the story closes itself off at the end and feels complete. I wouldn’t expect a second season, but I suppose one could be possible. (Russian Doll pulled it off in a similar situation.)
Be advised that this is decidedly an adult series that features frank discussion of sexual matters and a fair amount of nudity. It also gets pretty weird at times.
The Roku Channel streams Slip free with ads in 1080p high-definition. The ad load was a little intrusive during my watch, and quite a few of the commercials were in Spanish for some reason.
The series is primarily presented at an aspect of 2.40:1, but episode 5 includes a dream sequence that extends in height to fill the 16:9 frame for a few minutes. Colors and contrast look pretty good, and the image is acceptably sharp for the most part. However, the photography is often grainy, which is a burden for Roku Channel’s heavy and not particularly skillful compression. The picture frequently broke down into artifacts and distracting instances of the grain freezing in place on screen while I watched.
Audio is limited to 2.0 format, also at a low bit-rate. Dialogue and some sound effects are sometimes a little harsh, but the music sounds pretty good and spreads well to the surround channels with matrix decoding. It’s fine. This isn’t the type of program anyone would expect to use as demo material.