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A lot of the material in the Canadian-born British star's comedy special is about her being a single mom.Courtesy of Netflix

If you were living in Britain and watching the many TV panel shows that amount to political and pop-culture commentary, you’d know Katherine Ryan. The comic originally from Sarnia, Ont., specializes in those shows that aren’t so much quiz shows as they are quip shows. It’s all about punchlines and instantly acid remarks. She’s very good at it apparently.

Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room (now streaming on Netflix Canada) is her second stand-up special. Before we get into the persona and material, a bit of background on the Canadian-born British star, since you may be unfamiliar with her. According to her website she was working at a Hooters restaurant and she tried doing stand-up because there was a comedy club next door. And according to profiles in the British press she became a trainer of Hooters staff and went to England 12 years ago with her boyfriend and started doing stand-up in London. Then the panel shows came calling. The Guardian called her, “The queen of the caustic punchline.”

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A lot of the material in Glitter Room is about her being a single mom. Her status as a single parent means she doesn’t have much time for dating and she doesn’t have much use for men, she says. “Men are like dolphins, best enjoyed on holiday” is one of those punchlines. She also has a good yarn about the mistake she made when she followed a boyfriend who had gone to Japan. It was essentially a booty-call and she fell for it.

About her Canadian past she’s bluntly dismissive: “I’m from a part of Canada that’s awful. It’s called Sarnia, Ontario.” Then she proceeds to mock the hell out of astronaut Chris Hadfield who, she claims, is the only other celebrity to come from there. She thinks a childhood friend, a woman who overdosed on fentanyl multiple times, should be the other true celebrity from the town.

In truth Ryan is more charming than caustic in this special, which was taped in Los Angeles, a place where the audience doesn’t know her from British TV. She’s a brilliant comic performer, adroit at switching in and out of themes and rants that touch on politics, money and day-to-day life while making a living. At its core, though, is her relationship with her young daughter. A bit about gently discouraging her daughter from trying to reunite her mom and dad is very funny and unsentimental. She interacts with the audience often and is good at it. Her cynicism, when it emerges, tends to be low-key and her anger is precision-focused.

The title is taken from a story she tells near the end of the special. “The glitter room” is what she calls her daughter Violet’s bedroom. It’s a very sparkly space and Ryan was quite proud of buying her own home and letting her daughter create a space for herself. The contractors hired to work on the new home were mystified, and a bit appalled that the home was so feminine. “No man will want to live here,” one of them announced. This gives Ryan scope for an excellent and funny rant. All of it is funny, actually. Even when Violet says to somebody, “Ignore my mummy, she’s Canadian.”

Also airing this weekend

There’s not a lot that’s new, but if you’re crushing on Stranger Things you might find it useful and interesting to watch Sunday’s episode of The Movies (Sunday, CNN, 9 p.m.) which concentrates on big movies of the 1980s. It could explain a lot of context.

And there is one notable repeat this weekend. Fahrenheit 451 (Saturday HBO Canada 10:30 p.m.) is a good angry adaptation of the Ray Bradbury novel made by the Iranian-American writer-director Ramin Bahrani. It was made in 2017 in the first year of the Trump presidency and you can see every scintilla of anger about Trump-era half-truths and untruths bursting through the script. For all of its anger it is also gorgeously made, a ravishing experience to watch. It was made in and around Toronto and it is fascinating to see familiar places, including TTC stations at night, used to signify gloom and sinister melancholy. The city looks macabre at times. It also features numerous Canadian actors, including Mayko Nguyen, Ted Dykstra, Joe Pingue, Joanne Boland and the YouTube star Lilly Singh. A must-see if you missed it the first time HBO aired it.