‘Forever’: The Importance of Connection

Back to Article
Back to Article

‘Forever’: The Importance of Connection

Jack Julow, Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Starring Saturday Night Live alumni Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen, Forever flies under the radar with a subversive examination of a married couple in a rut. I didn’t even notice this show was coming out until the day after Amazon dropped the eight-episode series to stream on its platform. After watching an exceptional trailer, I saw Alan Yang’s name, the guy responsible for the exciting Master of None with Aziz Ansari. I immediately began binging the show, and it was not anything like what I thought it would be.

Beginning as any Portlandia episode would, with Fred Armisen playing a quirky, almost onenote husband who cannot understand his depressed wife, played by Maya Rudolph, the show lacks a great hook. The first two episodes have their moments, but ultimately they are not able to stand on their own. However, the remaining episodes go down a path I never would have conceived of and took my breath away. The following review will contain spoilers, so be warned.

Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph are stuck together in the afterlife after dying comical deaths in the first quarter of the season, with Rudolph’s June dying by choking on a macadamia nut. Fred Armisen’s Oscar reacts positively to find his wife joining him in the offbeat Riverside community, while June resents her situation. As the duo sets back into their routine very quickly, June tries to seek fulfillment in the afterlife with her new mysterious friend Kase, played by Catherine Keener, offering nothing new to audiences with a very type role. Nevertheless, Rudolph and Keener perform the heavy lifting for the series with the only character arcs that occur over the course of the season.

After the first five episodes, I was almost content with the series, and then I watched the bottle episode. Titled “Andre and Sarah,” Forever’s bottle episode depicts an intimate relationship between two Riverside realtors that failed in one of the saddest stories put on screen. Starring Jason Mitchell and Hong Chau, the episode takes place in a house that has an open house by each of the characters at various points in their life. Showcasing intimacy for a relationship that features both their characters engaging in a relationship while being bound to their offscreen spouses, Andre sits down at the last open house after hearing of Sarah’s passing while June watches from the afterlife. While I could go on about this episode for hours, I loved this episode because it sends the message that people should not be prisoner to unfulfilling relationships. “Andre and Sarah” made me tear up after spending only 30 minutes with the characters, while also poignantly moving June forward with her character arc.

The freshman season ends on a positive note with June and Oscar rekindling their relationship and finally being honest to one another. Creators Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard argue that relationships can exit a rut once both people be honest. Both Oscar and June hid their feelings from one another in the real world to avoid confrontation and pain, yet even they could not escape it in the afterlife. Despite their issues, June and Oscar share an honest conversation at the end of the season, interlocking hands and heading into a new world together. While it remains unclear where they physically end up, the couple finally has one another emotionally.

Forever is currently streaming on Prime Video.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email