Forever (2018 TV series)

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Forever
ForeverTitleScreen.png
GenreComedy-drama
Created by
Starring
Composer(s)Daniel Hart
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Alan Yang
  • Matt Hubbard
  • Maya Rudolph
  • Fred Armisen
  • Dave Becky
  • Tim Sarkes
Producer(s)Ted Gidlow
CinematographyMark Schwartzbard
Editor(s)
  • Daniel Haworth
  • Dan Schalk
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time25–35 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkAmazon Video
Original releaseSeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
External links
Official website

Forever is an American comedy-drama web television series created by Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard that premiered on September 14, 2018 on Amazon Video. It stars Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph, both of whom also executive produce alongside Yang, Hubbard, Dave Becky, and Tim Sarkes.

Premise[edit]

Forever follows married couple Oscar and June who "live a comfortable but predictable life in suburban Riverside, CA. For 12 years they’ve had the same conversations, eaten the same meals and taken pleasant vacations at the same rented lake house. But after June talks Oscar into shaking things up with a ski trip, the pair find themselves in completely unfamiliar territory."[1]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Fred Armisen as Oscar Hoffman, a dentist and June's husband who dies after striking a tree while skiing. Content with living with an average and uneventful existence, he does not realize how restless his wife has become in their day to day life.
  • Maya Rudolph as June Hoffman, an employee of a timeshare company and Oscar's wife, who dies while choking on a macadamia nut. While in the afterlife, June realizes how unhappy she had been in her marriage and decides to seek something else.

Recurring[edit]

  • Catherine Keener as Kase, a former government employee who moves to Riverside after being hit by a truck. Severely dissatisfied with her previous life, she sees the afterlife as a potential new start.
  • Noah Robbins as Mark Erickson, a teenage boy who died in a car accident in the 1970s and lives in Riverside. He befriends Oscar and helps him navigate the afterlife.
  • Sharon Omi as Mrs. Nakajima, an elderly woman who lives in Riverside and attempts to comfort Oscar after June leaves him.
  • Kym Whitley as Sharon, a friend of June's who attempts to help her move on after Oscar's death.
  • Charles Emmett as Jim, a man who lives in Riverside who is constantly seen mowing his lawn.
  • Cooper Friedman as Josiah, a young boy who lives in Riverside and who apparently has been dead the longest and knows the most about the afterlife.
  • Peter Weller as The Traveler, a mysterious man who leads others to Oceanside and prevents others from leaving.
  • Julia Ormond as Marisol, a woman who lives in Oceanside.
  • Obba Babatundé as Gregory, a man who lives in Oceanside.

Guest[edit]

  • Amir Korangy as Dr. Mohammed ("Together Forever"), a fellow dentist who works with Oscar.
  • Patricia Belcher as Ellen ("June"), an employee at the timeshare company who offers June the position she wants in Hawaii.
  • Rheagan Wallace as Isabella ("June"), a clothing store employee who assists June in buying a new wardrobe for her move to Hawaii.
  • Elizabeth Ho as Melanie Park ("The Lake House"), a woman who buys the lake house Oscar and June go to every year.
  • Nancy Lenehan as Heather Jacoby ("Another Place"), a woman whom Mark knew in high school who died many years later. He endeavors to start a relationship with her until she reveals that she is waiting for the arrival of her husband of forty years.
  • Hong Chau as Sarah ("Andre and Sarah"), a real estate agent, attempting to sell a house near Riverside, engaged in an ongoing affair.
  • Jason Mitchell as Andre ("Andre and Sarah"), a real estate agent, attempting to sell a house near Riverside, engaged in an ongoing affair.
  • Jesse D. Goins as 60 Year Old Andre ("Andre and Sarah"), an older Andre who goes back to the house that he and Sarah attempted to sell over the years to see her again. He is distraught when informed that she has recently passed away.

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Together Forever"Alan YangAlan Yang & Matt HubbardSeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
Oscar and June meet each other for the first time at a bar. After dating, they fall in love and get married. Although their life together seems great, they quickly find themselves falling into a routine, as they eat the same things every week and take the same vacation to their lake house every year. Although June is clearly restless, Oscar appears satisfied with their life together. When June recommends shaking things up by going skiing instead of taking their typical lake house vacation, Oscar is reluctant, but he agrees to go along. The trip is more difficult than June imagined, as they have difficulty renting skis and scheduling a skiing lesson. Although Oscar encourages June to take one last trip down the mountain, she elects to spend the rest of the trip at the lodge. While June sits at the bar, Oscar skis down the mountain, where he crashes into a tree and is killed.
2"June"Alan YangStory by : Matt Murray
Teleplay by : Alan Yang & Matt Hubbard
September 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
A year after Oscar was killed on their skiing trip, June is still depressed and blaming herself for her husband's death. Her friend Sharon attempts to cheer her up, encouraging her to start over. After Sharon drags her to church, June is still depressed, telling her friend that life is pointless and that there is no God. When June attempts to apologize to her friend for the outburst, Sharon encourages her to find a new job, as this might help her move on. June decides to apply for a new posting that would send her to Hawaii, but when she gets to the interview, she becomes intimidated and backs out. However, the next day, June's company experiences mass layoffs, as many people were discovered embezzling funds. June is offered the job in Hawaii thanks to the shake-up at the company, and she decides to take it. While sitting in first class, June chokes on a macadamia nut and passes out. She awakens to the face of her husband, who welcomes her to the afterlife.
3"The Lake House"Janicza BravoStory by : Joe Mande
Teleplay by : Alan Yang & Matt Hubbard
September 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
Oscar greets June in the afterlife, a small community known as Riverside. Oscar is excited to see her and continue their life together, as he had been waiting there ever since his death. Oscar tries to explain the afterlife, as the people there are referred to as "Formers", and they are able to see people still existing in the real world, referred to as "Currents", who cannot see Formers. The only thing keeping Formers from moving away from Riverside is a fountain in the center of the community. The further away from the fountain that a Former moves, the weaker they feel, which prevents people from leaving Riverside. Oscar also reveals that their lake house is somehow present in Riverside. However, when they go there, a family of Currents is living there—June having sold the lake house after Oscar's death. Oscar enlists the help of another Former, Mark, to haunt the family so that they can get the lake house back. Although Mark teaches Oscar and June how to affect the real world by channeling their anger into the tips of their fingers, only June is successful in making anything happen. Despite their efforts, the family is not sufficiently spooked, and they decide to give up on the endeavor when June tells Oscar that she wants to give up the lake house, since she felt it was a symbol of the bad routine they had fallen into before their deaths.
4"Kase"Janicza BravoStory by : Jen Statsky
Teleplay by : Alan Yang & Matt Hubbard
September 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
Oscar and June start to fall back into the routines that they had been in before their deaths. Once again, June begins to feel restless, while Oscar seems content with their new life. One day, Mark comes to them to tell them about a new person showing up in the neighborhood. Oscar and June try to welcome their new neighbor, Kase, but she is resistant to their friendly overtures. They continue their attempts to make friends with Kase, but she continues to shut them out, while making mysterious sounds within her house. Eventually, June decides to break into Kase's house to see what she is doing. Kase confronts her for this intrusion and invites her over. Kase shows June that she has been repeatedly trying to destroy a piece of furniture in her house, which keeps miraculously rebuilding itself. Kase invites June to help her burn the furniture, in one last attempt, but this too fails. Clearly changed by the encounter, June returns to her own house and tries to burn a chair in the yard. Oscar watches from inside, clearly concerned for his wife.
5"Another Place"Miguel ArtetaStory by : Aniz Adam Ansari
Teleplay by : Alan Yang & Matt Hubbard
September 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
Oscar and June continue their routine to the increasing annoyance of June. Eventually, they get in a fight over the correct way to load the dishwasher, and they both leave the house mad at one another. June meets up with Kase, who invites her to take a walk outside of Riverside. As they get further from the fountain, they both start to feel weak. Kase takes her to a convenience store, and inside, she places her hands on the cashier. To June's amazement, the man begins to feel tired, and Kase is suddenly rejuvenated. After June does the same thing, the two women appear to be free from the weakening affect of being away from the fountain. When they decide to return to Riverside, they are confronted by a mysterious man who invites them to come to Oceanside. Although Kase immediately wants to go, June doesn't want to abandon Oscar, and they both return to Riverside. Meanwhile, Oscar meets up with Mark, and helps him ask out a woman that he had a crush on when he was alive. Oscar helps Mark prepare for his date with Heather, but while the date goes well, Heather explains that she is waiting for her husband to join her, as she had died of lung cancer before him. When Oscar and June meet back up, they resume their fight, with June voicing her fears that their routine will never change, while Oscar explains that the likes the routine and wants it to continue. Angry with one another, their disagreement remains unresolved.
6"Andre and Sarah"Alan YangAlan Yang & Colleen McGuinnessSeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
At an open house, Andre, a junior realtor shows up to view the house for his client. He meets Sarah, another junior realtor, who is trying to sell the house, which happens to be adjacent to Riverside. The two instantly hit it off, and with no one coming to see the house, they grow closer over a bottle of wine. Eventually, they kiss, but Sarah pulls out of it, as she is recently engaged. Andre, regretful, leaves the house, but Sarah watches, clearly disappointed to see him leave. Years later, their roles are reversed, as Sarah attends an open house being held by Andre. In the intervening years, they have both gotten married and have moved forward in their careers. Once again, the two bond over a bottle of wine, as they take advantage of the sparsely attended open house. Sarah admits to Andre that she does not have a client, and only came to see him. They sleep together in the house, but neither are willing to blow up their lives to continue seeing one another. After another time jump, Andre and Sarah are continuing their affair, using an unpurchased house to simulate a life together. After eating dinner, they both agree to tell their spouses about the affair so that they can be together. However, after one final time jump, Andre is now old, attending an open house being run by Sarah's real estate company. However, when Andre asks about Sarah, he is informed by the realtor that she had died of cancer some months earlier. As Andre talks to himself, realizing that he missed his chance, he is watched by an invisible June. Affected by Andre's regret, she returns to Kase's and tells her that she is ready to travel to Oceanside.
7"Oceanside"Miguel ArtetaStory by : Ali Gusberg
Teleplay by : Alan Yang & Matt Hubbard
September 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
Oscar wakes up to find a letter from June, telling him that she is leaving him to explore the afterlife with Kase. Oscar meets with Mark and tells him about June. Although Oscar claims to be okay, he slowly shows signs of frustration with June's departure. Mark takes him to meet with Josiah, a young boy who might be able to tell them where June went. Josiah tells them about Oceanside, and Oscar resolves to go there to find June. Meanwhile, June and Kase arrive at Oceanside to discover a community of people partying in a mansion perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean. The apparent leaders, Marisol and Gregory, espouse the viewpoint of those living there, who attempt to forget their lives as "Currents" and enjoy the benefits of being dead. In a celebration of their status as Formers, the residents of Oceanside engage in impossible feats, like walking on the ocean floor and letting cars drive through their incorporeal forms. While partying at Oceanside, Oscar suddenly arrives and confronts June. He yells at her in a rage, furious at her abandonment of him. When he turns to leave, Oscar collapses, weak from being away from the fountain, and having refused to absorb energy from "Currents" like Kase and June had done.
8"Goodbye Forever"Alan YangAlan Yang & Matt HubbardSeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
Oscar awakens on the beach, but he is still furious with June. He asks for a divorce, and although June tries to point out the absurdity of this due to their deaths, Oscar is determined. After declaring themselves divorced, they go their separate ways, with Oscar deciding to return to Riverside. However, Oscar finds his path back blocked by the mysterious stranger that had invited Kase and June to Oceanside. He declares that all roads lead to Oceanside and prevents him from leaving.

Production[edit]

Promotional poster.

Development[edit]

On September 8, 2017, it was announced that Amazon had given the production a straight-to-series order consisting of one season. The series was created by Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard who are set to executive produce the series alongside Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Dave Becky, and Tim Sarkes. Production companies expected to be involved with the series included Universal Television.[2][3][4] On December 21, 2017, it was reported that the series was expected to debut in 2018.[5] On August 2, 2018, it was announced that the series would premiere on September 14, 2018.[1]

Casting[edit]

Alongside the initial series announcement, it was reported that Armisen and Rudolph were cast in the series' lead roles.[6][7] On December 1, 2017, it was announced that Catherine Keener had joined the series in a recurring role.[8]

Release[edit]

On August 2, 2018, the first trailer and poster for the series were released.[1]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The series has been met with a positive response from critics upon its premiere. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds a 94% approval rating, with an average rating of 7.61 out of 10 based on 35 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Forever is a gently harrowing and mirthful dive into the ennui of matrimony, elevated by Maya Rudolph's dazzling turn of not-so-quiet desperation."[9] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 77 out of 100 based on 20 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2019 Writers Guild of America Awards Television: Episodic Comedy Aniz Adam Ansari, Alan Yang, & Matt Hubbard (for "Another Place") Nominated [11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Pederson, Erik (August 2, 2018). "'Forever' Trailer: Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, A Ski Trip & A Changed Life In Amazon Comedy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  2. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 9, 2017). "Amazon Orders Fred Armisen-Maya Rudolph Comedy & Wong Kar-wai Drama Series; Greg Daniels, Bays-Thomas Pilots". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  3. ^ Holloway, Daniel; Littleton, Cynthia (September 9, 2017). "Amazon Orders Fred Armisen-Maya Rudolph Comedy, Wong Kar-wai Drama, 3 Other Projects (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  4. ^ Ivie, Devon (September 9, 2017). "Why Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph's New Show Might Become the Funniest on TV". Vulture. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  5. ^ Evans, Greg (December 21, 2017). "Amazon Prime Unveils 2018 Original Program Slate". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Lawrence, Derek (September 8, 2017). "Amazon Gives Series Order to Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen Comedy". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (September 9, 2017). "Fred Armisen/Maya Rudolph Comedy Gets Series Order at Amazon". TVLine. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 1, 2017). "Catherine Keener Joins Fred Armisen-Maya Rudolph Amazon Comedy Series As Recurring". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  9. ^ "Forever: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  10. ^ "Forever: Season 1". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  11. ^ Hipes, Patrick (December 6, 2018). "WGA Awards TV Nominations: 'The Handmaid's Tale', 'Barry', 'SNL' Make List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 6, 2018.

External links[edit]