Have you ever driven down the highway, seen the driver in the car next to you, and wondered what their story is? You may be able to find out thanks to Chris Gethard’s Beautiful/Anonymous. That’s the name of the new show streaming on Front Line Media’s new streaming platform Topic.
The show is based on the podcast of the same name that has been hosted by comedian Chris Gethard since 2016.
The premise of the podcast is simple. Gethard tweets out a phone number and then chooses one lucky caller to have a no-holds-barred conversation with for an hour. While the caller, who remains anonymous, is allowed to hang up on Chris at any time, Chris can’t do the same to them.
At the end of the hour, the call gets disconnected. While the premise opens Chris up to the possibility of getting trolled, the show has always been a sanctuary for those looking to open up about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the human experience. As a result, over 253 episodes, Chris has had the opportunity to talk to people from all walks of life, from a deaf listener of the podcast to a woman getting ready to serve a 46-month prison sentence.
Although the podcast can deal with some heavy subjects, Chris doesn’t know where the conversation will end up until he picks up the call, as is the case with the first episode of the television version of Beautiful/Anonymous.
Beautiful/Anonymous: The TV Show Episode 1: I’m Super Gay
In the first episode of Beautiful/Anonymous, Chris talks to a woman from a Chicago suburb. She’s a mother of two who’s in the process of getting a divorce. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, she’s been unable to sell her house. As a result, she spent the past year quarantining with her soon-to-be ex-husband.
Although the circumstances are less than ideal, the caller recently discovered something about herself that’s been interesting to explore. As she tells Chris, she’s “super gay.”
However, that’s not the most shocking admission the caller makes as she ends up telling Chris that she’s in love with a woman from Madison, Wisconsin, that she met on a dating app six weeks ago and sees every other weekend. While the caller’s recollection of romantic evenings spent staring up at a sunset or wandering through an Ikea makes her relationship seem a bit too much like a fairytale, it’s the excitement shared between the caller and Chris that makes the call special.
That’s the beautiful thing about Beautiful/Anonymous. For 90 minutes, as is the case with the TV show, two strangers get to share a moment of no-holds-barred honesty.
Whether they’re discussing past trauma, sharing an embarrassing story, or talking about what it’s like to fall in love, the callers’ honesty about their life allows Chris to make several connections that are very rare to make in a lifetime, let alone in one conversation.
The appeal of the show, for the audience, is to get to be a fly on the wall while hearing hundreds of different stories and realizing that no matter how specific those stories are, the human experience is 100% universal.
Catch new episodes of Beautiful/Anonymous every Thursday on Topic.com.