Aggretsuko’s holiday special nails the ups and downs of the perfect Instagram photo


Netflix released several holiday specials this year for its exclusive shows like Neo Yokio and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but it’s Aggretsuko that packs the sharpest punch. The 22-minute special offers excellent advice on how to capture the perfect Instagram moment while also skewering users’ worst tendencies.

Aggretsuko follows its eponymous heroine through the pains of modern life, including bad bosses, flaky friends, and general existential angst. We Wish You a Metal Christmas picks up shortly after the end of season one. Stuck in a rut with both her job and personal life, Aggretsuko turns to Instagram for much-needed validation. But taking a good photo is an art. For those of us without a reliable Instagram boyfriend, it requires some finessing. No one wants, as Aggretsuko’s frenemy Tsunoda declares, to take a picture that looks like “something I’d see on my grandma’s phone.”

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So how do you capture the perfect photo? It’s pretty simple, as Tsunoda explains. First, consider your composition. Did you capture a rando on your quest for likes? Rookie mistake. Switch up your angle to keep other people out of your picture and to keep things interesting. Next, hone the quality of your photo. Find natural light where you can, and blur the background a little to make your subject pop. Finally, for extra flare, toss in something artsy. It’s spot-on advice that reveals the real effort that goes into making any picture represent the ultimate idealized life.

How far would some of us go just to get a good picture? In Aggretsuko’s case, it means overpaying at restaurants for cute foods that taste mediocre, or planning trips just to snap a cute picture. She drives herself nuts over getting a good Christmas Eve Insta. Even Tsunoda’s perfect date night picture is only half of the real story.

For all its cutesy conceits, Aggretsuko is refreshingly relatable. Whether it’s exploring modern feminine rage or offering lessons in love, the show typically has something insightful to say about the topics it covers. Its barbed take on Instagram isn’t subtle. Tsunoda’s speech about how, “your private life isn’t yours anymore,” because, “it belongs to everyone now,” is something only a sociopath would say in real life. But the lengths to which we go to convince our mutuals that our life is worth following is parody in itself. Instagram is a lie. We might as well embrace it.

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