Plot: June (Maya Rudolph) and Oscar (Fred Armisen) have been together for well over a decade and while both have their respective quirks, their marriage seems to be quite a successful union. Of course, when couples have been together long term, sometimes things can feel a little repetitive. The two have great chemistry and enjoy their routine for the most part, but with an impending vacation to their usual lake house, June wonders if a change wouldn’t work wonders for the couple. Always one to support his wife, Oscar agrees to mix things up and the two opt for a ski holiday, a major shift from the usual excursions. But will this change of pace provide the extra kick the couple hopes, or will it distance them in ways they never imagined?
Entertainment Value: This show starts off quite slow and takes a few episodes to reveal itself, but once it does, Forever is quite a ride and to me, is one of the best Amazon original shows to this point. The first couple of episodes are well crafted and are rooted in the show’s themes, but take on a new light once the third episode passes and from there, the show really takes off. I ended up powering through all eight episodes in a couple of sittings and it was a breath of fresh air, a show with minimal filler and a real sense of purpose. Forever doesn’t waste much time, despite a deliberate pace and none of the episodes feel padded, even one out of the blue, quite unexpected episode proves to be insightful and in line with the series’ themes. The narrative is loose and the focus is on characters and the relationships between them, but as I said, there is real purpose here and Forever doesn’t stumble in how the characters and stories around them develop and progress. I expected to like this one based on the cast, but Forever proved to be a much richer, more surreal ride that I could have anticipated.
The leads here are handled by Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen, both of whom are in the kind of roles we’re used to seeing them in, which gives a familiar vibe to the show, but one that is subverted often. Armisen is his usual quiet, passive kind of character, but he has some flashes of passion that stand out, while Maya Rudolph proves to be the stand out of this series. She has such genuine presence and emotion here, you can really connect with her character and that is crucial, since she is the central element of Forever in most episodes. The two have terrific chemistry in a sweet, reserved kind of way that works well in both the cuter moments and when the couple argues, which can be quite fun to watch. Catherine Keener has a prominent supporting role and is excellent as per usual, while Hong Chau and Jason Mitchell shine in the limited time they’re given in in Forever. The cast also includes Julia Ormond, Peter Weller, Noah Robbins, Sharon Omi, and Kim Whitley.