Five years ago, Tig Notaro opened a stand-up set with “Good evening. Hello! I have cancer.” Now, with the return of One Mississippi (premiering September 8), the semi-autobiographical Amazon series about her Southern homecoming after her mother’s death, the comedian is again in radical territory. This time, it’s fiction. Season two finds Notaro’s eponymous hero, a radio host, digging her heels into life in Biloxi, Miss., while other characters based on Notaro’s family re-embrace life post-grief. Here, she fills us in on what’s to come.
OUT: Season one focused a lot on the grieving process. Where’s the show heading now?
Tig Notaro: The characters have crawled out of the rubble and are rejoining life. Everybody’s engaging in some form of romantic exploration, and the show has gone much more fictional.
How’s that new territory?
So freeing. It feels more like life in that you have no idea what’s coming. It’s almost like I’m telling the future in this weird little world we’ve created.
Your character also begins to explore sexual trauma on her radio show.
Topics of sexual assault and sexual inappropriateness are surfacing in so many different areas of the world right now, especially in politics and in newsrooms. To me, it seemed like a perfect time to go into this. For some of the stories shared on the radio show, you see locals pulling their chairs around with their friends, and thinking it’s gonna be a fun story time, but it’s actually horrifying.
What other topics do you touch on?
There’s so much about Mississippi I’m proud of. I want to show positive sides of the South. But I also wanted to explore its darker realities, which aren’t only in the Deep South. I didn’t want to pretend there wasn’t racism or homophobia.
What else has been inspiring you?
I’ve struggled with stomach pain for years, so I started watching health documentaries on Netflix. Then I became vegan and all my pain went away.
I’m concerned I might be annoying to run into right now, because all I want to talk about is how I’m pain-free and how I got that way.
Isn’t that the vegan stereotype?
It’s happened, and I apologize right away.
It’s OK, you live in L.A.
Truly, I’m in the perfect place to be annoying.