TV Show Shout Out: Forever on Amazon Prime

In this article, I will be discussing the show Forever on Amazon Prime.  In discussing my thoughts on this gem of a TV Show, I will be talking about the whole season and spoilers will be a happening.  So now that that’s out of the way….. Onto my review of “Forever”!

20181124_014622There are tons upon tons of new shows premiering weekly in these times of being “The Golden Age of Television” and all. There are some shows that are okay. There are some shows that are good. And then there are some shows that are beyond that level of greatness! One of those current gems is Forever on Amazon Prime.

I don’t tend to watch new shows on streaming services right away, especially in the Fall and Spring TV Seasons where I try to keep up with the current shows on Network TV. I usually pick a few shows on a streaming service here and there because the whole season for one show usually goes up on the same day.  Then I’ll watch that season’s  episodes back to back until its finale.

So with “Forever”, I waited a few weeks to watch it. I saw the commercial before the show premiered, but it didn’t inform a lot to as what the show was about really. The trailer was a few minutes long showing a couple, June and Oscar (Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen), of how they met and moments of their life together set in motion with a musical tune in the background.  That was it.  I saw a lot of tweets on the good old Twitter of how this show was good and worth the watch.  That surrounding good buzz along with some top notch talent made this a show I was going to tune into sooner or later at some point, regardless of knowing very little as to what this show was even about.

And there was a reason as to why the trailer for this show didn’t provide a lot of information as to what this show was about. Anything more than what was shown in the trailer would have been a spoiler.  So I went into this show not knowing anything more than it was a show about a couple, and Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen were the leads. I left watching this show though, feeling that I found one of my favorite shows of all time!

20181124_011953Forever is about a couple, June and Oscar (played by Maya Rudolph and Fred Arminsen).  They first meet randomly at a quiet upscale bar scene and shortly after some time fall in love. They marry at some point. As life goes on and people evolve, sometimes they grow with each other and other times they drift from one another. Some are oblivious to this as it is occurring. That is the situation between June and Oscar after a few years of being together as a married couple.

20181124_012622Oscar is a dentist and June works for some kind of Travel Agency (it’s not super clear as to exactly what she does). They lead humble lives. Going to work and than coming home to make dinner. And the next day is the same and the day after is the same, and so on and so forth.  20181124_013347They make time here and there to go to a lakehouse they own.  There they go fishing by a glorious lake and then they make dinner and so on and so forth, until they return home to their normal daily routine of work/dinner.

20181124_013055Basically a normal daily routine life is that for June and Oscar. Not a lot of change or unpredictability going on, a lot of the same stuff day in and day out. That kind of life is fine for some (Oscar), for others though (June), sometimes they crave that change of scenery out of life.  June feels this way after several years of marriage to Oscar. Although she feels this way, she never tells him exactly these feelings she feels about this regular routine life that they fell into after all these years together. She loves Oscar, but she wants more out of life, she wants change, she wants something, anything to feel more than what she has been feeling. So to change up their routine June suggests to Oscar that instead of going to their lakehouse they go to a ski resort. Oscar loves the lakehouse, but he agrees to this change of routine and says okay to going to this ski resort for June.

20181124_014221They get to the ski resort. Being more use to warmer weather and constant sunshine, they enter the resort and the moment they get there the cold hits them hard. It’s not like June even suggested skiing cause she loves it, she just wanted a change. So they get into the hotel and settle in and then go to sign up for some ski lessons. 20181124_014243They didn’t sign up for any lessons in advance and the only ones that any spots are left now are for children and teenagers. So looking out of place, along with getting mocked by these children because they are adults and don’t know how to ski, the day wasn’t starting off to the best start. Then the unthinkable happens, as Oscar is skiing he collides with a tree. The TV screen then fades to the credits. I’m thinking, “No way! What! He’s still alive, right?! This show is about them as a couple! WHAT!”.

So the next day I tune into the next episode.  And Oscar is definitely now deceased. I was shocked! I so didn’t see this show going in that direction. I am here thinking, “Hmmmm…. So Oscar was just suppose to be a one episode character and now this is the June Show?”. So I go to watch episode 2 and that question leads to another question once again.

20181124_014920Episode 2, starts off with June living without Oscar. She is sad. She is lonely. She is eating every imaginable snack and junk food she can get her hands on. She is lost. With the guidance of her friend, she gets out of the house. She goes to work. Feeling that change she’s craved out of her life she than goes to apply for another job at her office. She gets to the interview and and before she gets seen she sees her competition for the same position she is applying for.  Shortly after this she leaves. She wanted the job and the change that would go along with it, but ultimately just didn’t go through with it.

A few days after this, she gets to work only to find her fellow employees all packing up their belongings. She has no idea what is going on. She than meets with a supervisor to find out many employees and as well as those in charge have been embezzling money from the company. Seeing how June wasn’t one of those employees, she is then hired for the job she never ended up being interviewed for, after all.

20181124_015912Fast forward to June on a plane to Hawaii to start her new life and new career. She gets seated in first class with her own personal seat and getting waited on with special cocktails and a bowl of macadamia nuts. There is a moment of happiness with June here, appreciating this opportunity to start anew after Oscar dying. June lies back in her seat, takes a sip of her cocktail and pops in a macadamia nut and just soaks in the moment. Then the unthinkable happens once again. June starts to choke on the macadamia nut. The screen then fades to the TV credits.

Well now after this I’m definitely like,“WHAT IS GOING ON! WHAT! NOW JUNE TOO!” After episode 1, I thought okay this show is now centering around the character of June and her new life without Oscar. Episode 2, had all the set up for that.  She might not have been completely excited in her life with him for years before his death, but she did feel lost without him. Then came the opportunity to help ease her sadness with the chance to start a new journey and that seemed to be the direction the show was going to go into. June’s chance of starting over. Missing Oscar, but trying to move on in some way still. Then she chokes on a macadamia nut and dies now as well.

To say I didn’t see the death of Oscar coming in Episode 1 is an understatement.  Then to say I didn’t see coming the death of June at the end of Episode 2 is beyond an understatement. The show took a turn in these episodes that I would have never seen coming, showing unique storytelling.  It surprised and shocked you.  I could tell after these 2 episodes that this was a show that you couldn’t predict what would happen next on.  It was unpredictable and different. It wasn’t the type of series you see everyday on TV.

I highlighted Episode 1 and 2 because I felt they really needed an overview before delving into the rest of the series episodes. Episode 1 and 2 were set up in the real world and the remaining episodes dealt with a different world entirely, the afterlife.

20181124_020105Episode 3 to 8, deals with Oscar and June now “living” in their afterlife. June wakes up and sees Oscar, knowing how Oscar is dead she soon realizes now that she meet that same fate and is now dead too. It turns out that in this world June and Oscar are the only two people that have been reunited in the afterlife. Everyone else is flying solo, without a partner to spend this part of their life with.

In this afterlife you look the age you did when you died. You age, but only in theory not physically.  This world looks like the real world, but it’s the afterlife. Everyone lives in houses, eats their meals, takes their walks and chats with one another. Things are the same here as in the real world, but everyone here has passed on.

20181124_021842Oscar is so happy to be reunited with June.  Seeing Oscar again and realizing this afterlife is a real thing is a lot for June to take in at first.  After some time in this new world she begins to be okay with this situation she’s found herself in, and finds herself happy and content.  She starts new hobbies like making pottery.  She’s happy or she tells herself she is.  Shortly after a few weeks though, she begins to feel that rut again. That same daily routine starts to reemerge itself slowly again this time now in her afterlife. Wake up, eat, take a walk, sit on a bench by the park, play shuffle board, make dinner, eat, sleep. She loves Oscar, but she doesn’t feel excitement towards him.  20181124_021623The same issue she had in the real world she is now once again facing in the afterlife. She feels if this is it, now why? Oscar likes his life. He doesn’t think of it as a routine. He likes it. June doesn’t. She wanted more in her life when she was alive and just as she was about to see that change she dies. To wake up in this afterlife to be reunited with her love again is wonderful, but she also finds herself once again wanting more.  She feels stuck in her afterlife now this time. Like how can this possibly be? In the afterlife too?

20181124_022104Even though she feels this way she sticks with Oscar. She really does love him, but she also wants more to her “afterlife” than what he wants.  Than one day, they get a new neighbor. Her name is Kase (played by Catherine Keener). She is grumpy, not very warm or friendly. June and Oscar try to be neighborly, but it’s no use.  Kase doesn’t care to get to know them and just wants to be left alone.

20181124_024406June just can’t let this go. June feels some sort of desire and need to get to know Kase.  Eventually they start to bond. June and her become fast friends. Kase wants  to take her to a place where currents (people still alive) are and they go there. The journey anywhere outside of where they live makes them tired (there’s a fountain in their town and if they go far from it they feel tired, drained).  Kase tells her that if you touch a current you’ll feel okay and feel re-energized.  By just one touch you’ll get that energy back and feel recharged.  She tries it and it works. As they are leaving they run into a man asking if they want to go to Oceanside.  He is vague about what Oceanside is exactly.  Kase is all for going, but June feels as though she can’t just leave Oscar behind.

They end up going home, even though this is the most fun June has had in years. She lived on the edge for a moment with someone new.  Well as much as you can live on the edge in the afterlife. Oscar notices this new change in June and her fast new friendship with Kase. June is spending more and more time with Kase, and less and less with him. June can not hold back from wanting that change and ends up running off to Oceanside with Kase.  Oscar learns of this only simply by a note left in an envelope on their kitchen counter titled “Oscar”. Oscar is hurt, heartbroken and with time angered.

20181124_031744.jpgJune and Kase get to Oceanside to find a massive mansion with a party like atmosphere going on.  There is dancing, singing.  Everyone here is happy and enjoying their existence in this world of the dead. Even though they are all dead this isn’t a afterlife of boredom but an afterlife of enjoying one’s self. June feels something she hasn’t felt in years…. Happiness. She is happy.

20181124_031141.jpgOscar on the other hand is the complete opposite of that. He is angered. He is mad. He is hurt. He is sad. He is beyond hurt at the ultimate thing of getting ghosted. Sure June left him a note, but for her to run off and only leave a note instead of a face to face goodbye was the ultimate betrayal for Oscar. Oscar is on a mission now no matter at what cost, to find June and tell her exactly how this made him feel.

20181124_031528.jpgOscar goes out of his comfort zone, his routine, and goes out to find June at Oceanside. It’s a long journey. He gets tired and at moments feels as though he can’t go on. If he were to touch a current he could get some energy back, but he feels as though that isn’t right to do that and goes on despite that feeling of exhaustion at every single step he takes. The journey to June is long, but he finally makes it to the Oceanside Mansion (which in all honesty seriously looks like The Haunting of Hill House Mansion all lit up.  Something I just simply had to  point out).  20181124_032126.jpgHe makes his way into the mansion and sees all this dancing and partying and singing and he than sees June. He goes up to her and says everything that has built up on his journey to get to her and immediately after this he than faints.

At first I think, “OMG! Did he just die in the afterlife now too?!?!”. He didn’t. He just fainted from exhaustion on his long winded journey to get to June. Once he wakes up he and June talk. He asks how she could just leave him with a note. He asks did she leave him for Kase, are they together now.  She says no, she says how their relationship can’t be defined.  They end on decent terms. He tells her he is going to leave Oceanside as soon as he can to start over somewhere else.  He is going to set sail across the ocean on a boat he is going to build and all that he asks of her is that she helps him get supplies. She agrees to this. And so begins a little mission now of Oscar making a boat to start his life anew somewhere else and June can start her new life with Kase at Oceanside along with her new friends.

20181124_033115.jpgEvery day and night June secretly makes her way to a part of the beach where Oscar has been building a boat to set sail across the ocean sea. She doesn’t tell Kase this about her helping Oscar, so she does all of this in secret. In all honesty this “boat”, if you can call it that that Oscar is building is beyond dangerous with sharp edges from barks of wood. This boat would be the worst thing to be on in the middle of the ocean, and honestly this moment of seeing the “boat” in the process of being built was so hilarious because it was the furthest thing resembling a safe thing to sail on in the ocean.  Yet another reason I loved this show. But Oscar was so proud of this boat he was building. And I love him for that. Anyways…. Back to the Review….. In one of their last meet ups, he asked for a hammer. He writes all items he wants by writing the words in the sand. June saw ham written, not hammer. She didn’t understand this but brought a ham to him anyways. The wind made “hammer” “ham”.  20181124_033524.jpgOscar didn’t understand this at first, he said he wanted a hammer and sees how the sand change what he wrote. They get a laugh out of this and for the first time in many years sat down over a snack and ate and laughed and just casually and lovingly talked with one another about anything. It was a nice moment in the series because they put their differences on each other aside and you could see how they really did care for one another.

20181124_033757.jpgThey then say their goodbyes and part ways. June now off to Kase and her new group of friends.  Oscar now embarking on the journey of a lifetime in the most unstable boat to ever sail the sea. June is told about a special thing everyone at Oceanside does every now.  It’s a ritual with a bonfire to get rid of everything they own to not be tied down to anything.  June suddenly has a change of heart about everything and goes off to find Oscar. She apologizes and realizes that she will forever hold Oscar in her heart and she wants to be him on this new journey in this new life whatever it may be. He feels the same. 20181124_034552And the show ends on a note of hopefulness. Oscar and June reconciling and going through this new journey together with hope of a better tomorrow. Whatever and wherever that new journey may be.  They’ll have each other by their side.

I like….. ADORED THIS SHOW!!!!!!! I loved every single second of it! It was a perfect show! It was a show that is somewhat hard to categorize by genre. Being a half hour program, it’ll probably go under the comedy category if it gets nominations for an Award Show (Emmy/Golden Globes).  There is in fact humor in this program, but it’s not your average kind of comedy program.  There’s a great deal of sadness in this show having a lot of existential moments (which I love) throughout a majority of the series. I define this series as a “existential comedy”. It’s not a comedy or a drama, it’s a bit of both with an existential factor stuck in along its way. Forever is not the generic type of series you see everyday, it’s different. It has the slight feels of NBC’s The Good Place.  Both dealing with the topic of the afterlife.

The characters of June and Oscar are very relatable. In life there are times as you get older where you have these moments where you fell a certain way towards your life or someone in it and want a change.  Instead of saying something or doing something to start that change you don’t. You just stay as is and not say how you feel.  Mostly because it’s just easier to do that than to rock the boat. June for years felt unhappy in her life. She felt stuck with no excitement, only routine. She had a partner that didn’t mind that way of life. She did. Because of those underlying feelings that she let build she ended up resenting Oscar, she didn’t want to feel that way but she did. It wasn’t Oscar’s fault that she was feeling this way, but it was on her for not saying anything. Because by not saying anything to Oscar she ended up resenting him, even though if she were to have said how she was feeling he might have been able to adapt and change. But that’s what makes June so relatable. The relatable of staying put because you never said how you were feeling.  If this show was able to point out anything, it’s that communication is key to any kind of change and how being able to go forward with your feelings towards something bothering you is truly to only way to break free from routine to see a different tomorrow.

That’s what made Kase so attractive to June.  She admitted to Oscar she had an emotional affair.  Kase was so interesting to June because she took chances, took risks, liked doing new things.  She didn’t live a day to day routine existence like Oscar did.  June admits to Oscar when they are reconciling that she felt he was the one holding her back from being this amazing person that she could potentially be.  She admits after saying this, that she was never going to be that person.  She was sorry to blame him.  It’s in this moment of truth that June is finally free and truly has come to the realization that she would always love Oscar.  Oscar was never holding her back from anything, sometimes life just goes in a certain direction if we let it.  This is one of my favorite moments in the show because to admit something such as what June does is hard.  Sometimes we blame others for how we feel or feel that they might be holding us back from being who we could really be.  And the hard truth is that sometimes it’s your own self holding you back from being that person you could possibly be, not someone else.

20181124_025258The majority of this series was about June and Oscar. Although, there was one episode that dealt with the real world and two people who were only ever in this one episode. The episode was about Andre (played by Jason Mitchell) a broker and a realtor Sarah (played by Hong Chau). Andre was checking out the house to see if a client of his would be interested. He was the only person to show up. Sarah and Andre quickly start conversing and it becomes obvious after some time that there was interest between the two. Sarah quickly puts that to an end though, telling Andre how she is engaged. He is disappointed but he gets it. The two say their good byes and that’s that.

20181124_030551.jpgYears pass on by and now Andre is having an open house. Sarah shows up. They start talking again and Sarah admits that she was hoping he’d be at this open house. She never stopped thinking about that day they met, even after all these years. They are both married now, and Andre now has a child as well. Their lives have changed. Even still that instant chemistry never left. Cut away to Sarah making dinner and Andre greeting her with a hello. It gives the impression that they left their spouses and are now together but the truth is they are in the open house of Andre’s. They decide that they will leave their spouses and make this work.  But they never do.

20181124_030738Flash forward to an older man entering an open house. Years have passed and it’s Andre. He came hoping to see Sarah. Her reality agency is holding this open house. Everything about this open house is the same as Sarah’s first one, even down to the crackers shaped in a star on a table of snacks. He sees a realtor and asks if Sarah is there. She tells him that Sarah passed away a few years ago from cancer. A saddened Andre goes to sit on the stairs and says how they missed their chance. It was after this moment that June decides to pursue this journey to Oceanside with Kase, not letting that potential happiness go on by.

Sometimes stand alone episodes don’t work or might seem out of place, but this stand alone episode worked. It showed how there are times in life where you might want something so bad and the timing just isn’t right. So many moments in life come down to that sometimes and regret slowly and slowly starts to sink in after the years. This episode showed how time can slip away if you allow it to and can let something or someone go on by.  Because at the end of the day the damage and fallout from pursuing this desire might be overwhelming. Hence, easier to let things be as they may. It’s a quite episode that packs a punch of every emotion and feeling of hope, happiness, and regret. It was an episode that made you really think about what one might want out of life and how sometimes even though if may hurt some, you must go for what you want.  Otherwise, you’ll always have that wonder or regret of that tomorrow that could have been.  You’ll always have that wonder there in the back of your mind.

20181124_034012.jpgThe acting duo of Maya Ruldolph and Fred Armisen just worked here. We all know of their work together from years of both being on Saturday Night Live.  On Forever, you see a bit less of a their more known comical side.  There’s still that comical side, but you also get to see some serious acting from them as well. I adored their performances and they made the show what it was, along some phenomenal great writers. Golden Globes Awards….  Two Nominations, Please and Thank You! Their acting was strong but not over impacting and in your face. 20181124_034253.jpgThere was a subtlety to it with such ease. They could talk about the most of silliest of things and then transition to moments of sadness in an instant. This is a situation were the show was perfectly cast and how the actors worked off of each other so well that it worked it every sense in every scene.

20181124_024047I can’t talk about this gem and not mention the marvelous Noah Robbins as Mark. Mark is someone Oscar meets in the afterlife and becomes the best of  friends with. Mark is much older than he appears physically. He died in the 70s as a teenager.  Mark, even though looks young is actually in his 50s.

Robbins as Mark was amazing, hilarious! His character had the best one liners and gave the show a constant laugh every time he appeared on screen. His character put a lot of humor in what he said, as though he didn’t care. But you could tell he did.  Dying so young you can help but feel sad for all of the things he didn’t get to pursue or try because he left the world so young. He used humor as a way to get past those sappy feelings. He used humor to get past that sadness with amazing one liners that you couldn’t help but laugh out loud to. My favorite was when he said how Kase seemed cooler than June and Oscar.  June asked what made her so cool.  He replied, “I don’t know. It was the way she closed the door”, shrugged and went on his way. It was ridiculous and so perfect at the same time.

20181124_023521At a certain point Mark sees a person from his past that he liked. Looking young as Mark does, Oscar assumes that it’s a young person.  It’s actually a woman who is in her late 50s. Remember, Mark is actually that age. It’s a girl from his high school that he had a massive crush on. Her and Mark meet up at his house and they talk about the past, music, life, school. She was married and greatly in love with her husband. When Oscar meets up with Mark to ask how it went Mark says it was fine.  He goes on to say how she’s waiting for her husband. It’s a sad moment cause it shows how alone Mark has been in this afterlife. Dying young he never had that chance to meet someone and fall in love. No one is coming for him in that way. Your heart breaks for Mark in that moment. He may use humor as a mechanism to get by, but deep down he does feel.

20181124_031357.jpgRobbins, whose done some stage work as well as moments on such TV Shows as Younger and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, absolutely shines here as Mark.  I am such a fan of this Mark character.  He is awesome! He wasn’t maybe the best friend to Oscar, but he was there for him. He made life a bit more interesting and those one liners were amazing! AMAZING! Also, his whole persona was so well done from the way he dressed, to his hair, to his attitude in just delivering his lines. I would like to think come Golden Globe and Emmy Nomination time that Robbins performance will be recognized in some way because PERFECTION!

All in all, Forever is a gem of a series that is unique, interesting, heart warming, relatable, funny as well as sad with a dash of hope along the ride. Some shows stick with you after you watch them and Forever is one of those shows. The co- creators Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard, the writers along with the performances provided a piece of television that explore that sadness that life can seamlessly turn into if you let it and the courage it takes to recognize it and try to change it. Something we all want to do but sometimes don’t. And its message about not letting time slide past you feeling that way.  That message of trying to make that change while you still can.


Author: Jodi Fisher

Hi! I’m Jodi! My dream is to live in NYC, see a Broadway show every single day, and write about the arts for a living. Until that delightful day arrives, I’ll be over here blogging about my love of the arts!

4 thoughts on “TV Show Shout Out: Forever on Amazon Prime”

  1. I would have NEVER guessed this show would take the twists and turns you wrote about. I haven’t watched it, but just from seeing the promo and reading a little here and there, I wasn’t expected any of this. Sounds like a lot of fun. I love when series (and movies too) lack predictability. Makes it fresh and original and something worth talking about.

    Also, Armisen and Rudolph are a dynamic duo- always a safe bet IMO.

    Great review Jodi!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, this is definitely a series where you could not predict what would happen from one episode to the next after that 1st episode. I agree, I love series that can pull off that not predictable factor and Forever definitely was one of those series that pulled it off perfectly.

      I love Armisen and Rudolph on this series! If you’re a fan of theirs, this is definitely a show to watch. Both amazingly wonderful on the show!

      Definite recommend!

      Thanks so very much for reading =)!

      Liked by 1 person

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