From the sparse trailers that have been released for the new Amazon Prime comedy series Forever, you might think Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph are trying to create a new version of Portlandia. But, that’s not what Forever is at all. In fact, revealing anything about the upcoming show would utterly ruin how good it is. This is a new kind of binge-worthy comedy series, one that will succeed or fail based on whether or not the real premise of the show was ruined for you by hyper-spoilery reviews or talkative friends. In short, watch the show this weekend, preferably with someone you like, because there will be a lot of talk about.
Do not, however, talk to anyone else about the show until you have finished it. Forever is unique because literally, every single episode inverts what you thought was going to happen with bizarre and intelligent twists and turns. Best of all, the vast majority of these twists are earned through deft and layered writing. Is it a little weird seeing Fred Armisen trying to pull off a complex-ish premise? Yes. Does it always work? No. But the narrative of this series is so utterly compelling, so completely unexpected that you’ll be hooked from the ending of the first episode.
Forever is also absurdly funny, but not in the same way an episode of Parks and Recreation was funny. Series creators Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard previously worked on Parks and Recreation, but the tone of Forever is closer to a different show they worked on, Master of None. It’s definitely a comedy. It’s definitely not a happy comedy. But at the same time, it’s not a ranting and raving series like Curb Your Enthusiasm either. It also feels like its borrowing from a million pop culture and literary sources at the same time. Ever read the short fiction of Etgar Keret? Forever is kind of like that mixed with a Wes Anderson movie with more than a pinch of Black Mirror, if Black Mirror was funny and had a complete story to tell that lasted eight episodes.
Right now, if you do a cursory Google-search for Forever, you won’t find much, other than interviews with the cast and crew about how they can’t really tell you what the show is really about. Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Maya Rudolph said: “It’s important to view [something] on your own and have your own experience.” She’s right!
So, what can we tell you about Forever right now? Rudolph plays a character named June, and Armisen plays her husband, a character named Oscar. The show is about marriage, and why marriage is so damn hard.
That’s about it. For now. But, rest assured, people will have plenty to talk about next Monday, once everyone has seen it. The entire first season of Forever (8 episodes) will be streaming on Amazon Prime on Friday, September 14. If you’re planning date-night TV binge weekend, this is the ticket.