July 29, 2019  (Web Review)

Finding Joy

RLJ, 156 min., not rated, DVD: $34.99

Reviewer rating: 2.5/4

Irish comedienne Amy Huberman is the writer-star of this Irish sitcom aired on RTÉ, playing the titular Joy, who has just been dumped by her boyfriend Aidan (Lochlann O’Mearáin) and is consequently inconsolable. Ironically, when Joy heads to her job as a copy editor at an online news network, she is dragooned into temporarily replacing the star of a popular segment called “The Happy Hunter,” in which she is filmed alongside people who are searching for happiness in various ways—embracing adventure, doing yoga, taking lessons with a guru, and the like. During her stint on the show, Joy struggles with trying to understand why Aidan left her (and she tries to find a new roommate) while also putting up with the efforts of her pregnant best friend and clueless parents to lift her from the doldrums. Huberman is an engaging lead and Finding Joy boasts some amusing moments, but it is overly dependent on rude scatological humor (Joy is surprisingly flatulent). And the idea to have each episode open and close with narration by Joy’s pet dog is entirely too cute. Although the show does wrap up reasonably well, it also often feels like a rather flimsy and unexceptional riff on the Mary Tyler Moore Show formula. Presenting all six episodes from 2018, extras include a behind-the-scenes featurette. A strong optional purchase. (F. Swietek)