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Stop me if you've heard this one before:

Imagine a sitcom based on the life of a stand-up comedian. Maybe there's some stage work thrown in for show, but for the most part, the story follows the life of the comic in his or her everyday life, friendships, romantic relationships, and the like. If that sounds familiar, it's because it's been done many, many times over. Think "Seinfeld" or "Louie," for example.

"Take My Wife," a new sitcom from NBCUniversal's Seeso digital streaming service, manages to take that well-worn premise and transform it into something entirely new and engaging. The story centers on the lives of real-life comics (and real-life couple) Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher, a duo in their early-30s living in L.A. who co-host a stand-up show at a local comedy club.


All GIFs from Seeso.

Originally sold as a stand-up show, Esposito and Butcher later re-pitched it as single-camera scripted show built around sketches of their lives off the stage.

"Beyond how awesome stand-up is, we really wanted to talk about, you know, our lives as small business people who happen to do stand-up for a living," Esposito says.

"It's just a sitcom relationship about two people trying to figure out how to make it work." — Cameron Esposito

And it's a good thing they did, because honestly, it's the off-stage material that makes "Take My Wife" stand out from the titles you'll find scattered throughout Netflix, Comedy Central, and HBO. Whether it's Esposito and Butcher's interactions with other comics, scenes of Butcher standing in her living room working on new material, or Esposito's meeting with an old college friend that makes her take stock of her own position in life, there's a lot packed into the roughly 20-minute episodes.

Same-sex couples remain in short supply when it comes to sitcoms. "Take My Wife" wants to change that in a big way.

"I think what I find to be so special about the show and what I hope people like about it is that our relationship and our lives are as normative as anybody's life," says Esposito. "I think we haven't yet seen that on TV. We haven't yet seen a queer couple that is dealt with as if they're any sitcom couple."

"Like, the camera doesn't slow down and candles don't get lit every time that we kiss, or there aren't dudes in our orbit that we may or may not be sleeping with on the side. It's just a sitcom relationship about two people trying to figure out how to make it work."

One of the most impressive aspects of the show is the commitment to pushing back on sometimes harmful tropes used to advance storylines for women, LGBTQ characters, and others.

One of the most hard-hitting examples happens at the beginning of the second episode, in which Butcher and Esposito discuss the merits of sex in a hypothetical TV show starring the two of them.

“I think it’s very important to show two women, I don’t know, being casually intimate with each other, but also, it’s us and we’re real people. We’re a couple," says Butcher in the episode.

"Well, if we don’t do it, then it’s like no actual lesbians on TV having sex with other women," replies Esposito. "And there’s also like no women on TV having sex with other women, period. I mean, maybe that happens, but then like, one of them dies or they both die. They’re warlords and they die or they sleep with a man and then they die or they’re like at school and they die or they’re an art professor and they die. My point is, I just want us to live."

In case you're not picking up what she's putting down, she's not wrong: Queer women tend to not fare too well in modern media. Check out Autostraddle's list of 162 (and counting) fictional lesbian and bisexual women who have been killed off on TV. (For her part, Esposito promises that no queer women will die on "Take My Wife".)

It's a funny show with a lot of substance — just don't expect it to be delivered in some sort of "after-school special" format.

"I think in terms of hot button issues that are often dealt with in [sitcoms] with these sweeping think pieces," says Esposito. "Things like sexual assault and rape jokes and queer people and bathrooms and everything that usually ends up in these very black and white situations where people are firmly against or firmly for it. I think that does a real disservice to talking about how complicated it is just to be a human being today, and there's a gray area to every single issue, and I really think that's the experience of being an outsider in some ways."

"As women, we're outsiders in our profession. As queer people, we're outsiders in the world in general. I think that the positive side of that is that you realize how much nuance there is."

Watch the trailer for "Take My Wife" below:

All episodes of "Take My Wife" are now streaming over at Seeso.com. Rhea Butcher's latest stand-up album "Butcher" will be released on August 19 from Kill Rock Stars.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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