“Share my life, take me for what I am. ‘Cause I’ll never change all my colours for you.” These are the opening lines of Whitney Houston’s 1993 double-platinum single “I Have Nothing.” And 30 years later, Carolyn Taylor is living out her dream by choreographing an Olympic-level pairs figure skating program to this song. Let us be clear here—Taylor is a comedian. She is not a figure skater, a dancer, or a choreographer. However, she is a woman with a dream. In 1988, she watched the Calgary Olympics and was enraptured by Katarina Witt—who won gold in women’s singles. In the first episode of Taylor’s new TV show I Have Nothing, she shares how she had a strange need to lie down on the ice next to Witt (which she and I in unison identified as her gay awakening). From then on, Taylor was entranced by figure skating, and could, as she puts it, “hear the jumps” in songs like “I Have Nothing.” For years, this was just a bit for Taylor’s stand-up comedy, but now she is—through sheer determination alone—making her dream a reality.
The six episode, unscripted comedy documentary is nothing short of a perfect 6.0. A show about a lesbian who loves figure skating living out her—delusionally unrealistic—dreams? Was this show made specifically for me? Taylor—who audiences may know for her work on Baroness von Sketch Show—is a delightfully loveable narrator and protagonist. She is stubborn, she is silly, and she evokes a charming sense of Canadian nostalgia through her colourblocked sweaters and excessive love for denim on denim outfits. Mae Martin—best known for their Netflix series Feel Good—acts as Taylor’s partner in crime and sidekick. With two expert comedians at the helm, the show is laugh-out-loud funny, with satirical documentary cuts to random experts that have you asking “What?” There is an unapologetic, but somewhat subtle thread of queerness throughout—from Taylor, Martin, and Adam Rippon to Whitney Houston herself—that adds another shade of relatability and warmth to the show.
While you may think this show’s strength is in its humour, the skating is genuinely amazing. As a person who on the whole is not a sports fan but is ride-or-die for figure skating, I was constantly asking “how did they get that person?” as various skaters that popped up. Among the top-notch guest stars, they have collectively won seven Olympic gold medals and 21 World golds. It is a star-studded group of skaters, and they add to the heart, ambition, and quality of the show. Taylor said that she wanted to create an Olympic-level program, so why not use Olympic champions? It is a beautifully earnest watch to see what seems like an impossible dream coming true. And yet, you will find that the absurdity and biting humour keeps it from becoming too saccharinely sweet.
I highly recommend this show for anyone this holiday season. The figure skating angle makes it feel somewhat seasonally appropriate, and it is a quick watch that can be enjoyed by the whole family. I Have Nothing is available to stream on Crave.