Life & Beth season 1, episode 1 recap – the premiere explained

By M.N. Miller
Published: March 18, 2022 (Last updated: March 3, 2023)
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Hulu Life & Beth season 1, episode 1


The first episode of Life & Beth can be uneven but offers enough insight and laughs for the promise of greater things to come.

This recap of Hulu’s Life & Beth season 1, episode 1 contains spoilers.

Access the archive of news, recaps, and reviews for Life & Beth.

Life & Beth season 1, episode 1 recap

Beth (Amy Schumer) is walking through life making sales. For instance, she meets a boring couple in a hotel bar. She tells them how fascinating they are. The young brunette tells her how champagne reminds her of celebrating. The young woman says that just came to her. Beth, of course, her jaw drops to the floor and says how mind-blowing that comment is. The brunette’s husband is even more tedious. He loves Jewel and Beth assures them they need to go to a concert. Especially since, as she puts it, this was the most significant moment of her life.

Beth is someone everyone wants to share their stories with and vent to but never reciprocate the favor. That’s the key to sales. Sure, you have to sell the product, but active listening gets people to trust you. Not that she sees it that way. Her boyfriend, Matt (The Irishman’s Kevin Kane), is the opposite. He is handsome charismatic, and people are drawn to him. They both work for a wine distributor named, Kerig (but not the coffee maker). Matt works there as well, but he has an arms-length approach with her, but strangely has no trouble telling his girlfriend to tell her mother, Janet (played by Laura Benanti), that he loves her. (You get a distinct impression he may have not even said this to her yet).

Beth lives an unfulfilling life, even though she has a decent job that pays well. Her boss (a hysterical Murray Hill) has even offered her a management position, even though Matt outsells her (sexism takes a weekend, I guess). Jane reminds her of it anytime they go out. For instance, when her mom takes her clothes shopping, she points out her “camel t**t” is sticking out (Beth corrects her that it is called a “camel toe”). On the way home, Beth calls her sister, Ann (Deadbeat‘s Susannah Flood), who she only calls to vent about their mom. She thinks Jane is having an affair with a married man. Ann cannot handle the news and hangs up the phone with the help of Alexa.

The ending

So, Beth is overwhelmed right now. Matt won’t sleep with her. To impress the Glazer group, they have to sing at a working karaoke get-together. If they don’t make Kerig their exclusive distributor, Matt said he would have to start laying people off. When Matt and Beth arrive, they begin doing shots, and one of their coworkers begins to sing the entire catalog from Moana. Beth keeps ignoring calls to her cell phone until she sees her sister call. She picks up the phone, telling her that their mother has died.

Suddenly, her coworkers rush on the stage to sing the song “The Sign” by Ace of Base. She is an awful singer, but she lost her mother and is doing her best. She briskly walks out of the room before the song ends and into the windy street. A tree branch then cracks and hits the pavement. She gasps.

I’m guessing it’s a sign. 

What did you think of Hulu’s Life & Beth season 1, episode 1? Let us know in the comments below!

You can watch Life & Beth with a subscription to the streaming service Hulu.

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