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SilverStormm

Forever (2018)

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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Yeah! So happy to see this thread!

I am really enjoying this show. I feel like it might be unfairly compared to The Good Place but without the comparison, it's a pretty smart funny show. I feel like The Good Place is looking at what makes a person good whereas Forever looks at what it means to love someone forever. Is that possible? 

And the 6th episode is just beautiful. And I loved how this was the thing that helped Maya Rudolph decide her future. Just the idea of whether we make decisions for ourselves or do we make decisions for those who are around us and what are the consequences to doing it either way? To make a decision for yourself will inevitably hurt someone close to you if they don't feel the same way. But to make decisions for the benefits of others hurts you. 

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I am really enjoying this show. I feel like it might be unfairly compared to The Good Place but without the comparison, it's a pretty smart funny show. I feel like The Good Place is looking at what makes a person good whereas Forever looks at what it means to love someone forever. Is that possible? 

It's an interesting show.  I went in with zero expectations and was pleasantly surprised.

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1 hour ago, TaraS1 said:

I'm still not sure how I felt about the show as a whole, but I do know that Maya Rudolph was brilliant throughout.  

Yes, I finished the final two episodes last night and I'm not entirely happy with the way it ended and I have way more questions about the set-up of Riverside and Oceanside and what they both are in the grand scheme of things. I agree that Maya was brilliant. I was less enamored with Fred. I love Catherine Keener in everything she does. I'm normally not a big Maya fan. The only time she really got on my nerves was the singing scene but that made sense for the show and the character and it was short so I could deal. If it gets a second season, I'll watch. 

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It's not as funny as THE GOOD PLACE, but it's okay for what it is.  I really enjoyed the teenaged best friend and his attempts to reconnect with his now middle aged high school crush.

I think Maya's character was a selfish asshole to her husband. In trying to avoid confrontation and the resulting unpleasantness, she was exceedingly cruel. He was oblivious to her dissatisfaction, but she didn't do anything to enlighten him. If she could talk him into the ill-fated ski trip, she could probably talk him into mixing things up in the afterlife, too.

I liked the ending, and will definitely watch a second season if it comes back.

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@EdnasEdibles Normally, when I hear Fred Armisen is in something, I avoid it like the plague because he just sets my teeth on edge for some reason lol.  But I love Maya, so I was willing to give it a shot for her.  The kid playing Mark was a total scene stealer, though - he was great!

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I quite liked the first six episodes, but the last two was like some Wicker Man shit. 

The show also managed the bizarre trick of turning out, despite its plot twists, to be exactly what it started off seeming like: a story about a couple in a rut. Then one dies! Then the other dies! And now we're in a story about a couple, stuck in a rut -- except now it's for FOREVER (*echoes* forever, forever, forever...)

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This was probably the weirdest show I have ever seen but it was so good. I liked how very little of what was happening to them was really explained but you just kind of went with it anyways.

The only thing I did not like was the episode about the real estate agents. It was an interesting story and very well told but with only a 10 episode season it seemed like kind of a waste to spend that much time with basically unrelated characters.

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I really liked the realtor episode. I was kind of meh on the show until that episode and it kind of turned it around for me. I only wish that we would have gotten some indication that June had been watching them this whole time. Like we could get an idea that time moved slower in the afterlife. Because the little snippet that she saw of him feeling sad wouldn't be as impactful to her if she hadn't seen the two wrestle with their feelings over the decades. 

I think we needed to see a good reason why June was going to leave Oscar and pursue the possibility of something else. She has clearly wrestled with this decision even while alive. Does she hurt someone she loves and still cares about by wanting to experience the great unknown of possibilities? Especially when he has already expressed a strong desire to stay right where he is? Like I said above, does she make a decision with his feelings as the priority or does she make a decision for herself and what she really wants. Throughout her relationship she made the decision keeping his feelings in mind. Like the realtors did with their families. They felt the pull of something else - something that could be better? Could be the same? Who knows? But they had a strong feeling of not being fulfilled by what they had. But like June, they stayed in the status quo. And at the end of the day, the "what could have been?" was devastating. And she saw that there is an expiration date on "something else" and if you don't try to figure out that something else, you will regret it. 

And in the end, it does seem like June tried something else, found enjoyment in it, found fulfillment in it and didn't regret her choice --- but she and Oscar still found their way back to each other. Maybe that would have happened with the realtors too? Maybe they would have tried it and it wouldn't have worked. 

I think she needed to actually see the face of someone who passed up the idea of something else and she saw how devastating that was and knew she had to go. She couldn't end up like him, broken and devastated. 

And I don't know if there is something that would have happened in the afterlife to help her realize that. She was kind of getting there in life before she choked on the macadamia. I suspect that if she hadn't died on that plane, her character would have really truly enjoyed her new life. 

Edited by EdnasEdibles
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I binged and watched the whole thing in a day.  I really liked it overall.  My big question is if there is Riverside & Oceanside as the only (???) places in the afterlife, then how do people end up in one over the other?  Is Riverside where everyone goes to start, then some venture out and "find" Oceanside? Or are there different "types" that get put directly into Oceanside, and Riverside folks need to seek out or attain "Oceansidedness"?  Personally, as boring as Riverside may have looked, I think I would enjoy being there over permanent residence in Oceanside.  I have had to deal with enough pretentious posers and faux free spirits during my time on Earth.  I would go crazy surrounded by them for eternity....but I would drop in for a good party now & then!  

All that said, I am going to assume this show is giving us a glimpse of just Southern Cali Afterlife.  There's no way that mold infested, quarantined neighborhood could contain ALL the dead people!

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My headcanon for now is that most people don't wind up in either place. Many other people in Riverside had spouses and none of them besides Oscar and June were reunited. Also, where did dead people go before the neighborhood was condemned? And shouldn't an abandoned neighborhood decay? There's that one guy who mows his lawn, but how in the world does that work? Would Currents see the grass being cut? (I also have this question to a lesser degree about when Formers open and close doors.)

And there are a lot of threads one could pick at if one wanted. Why can't Formers drive? Could they at least have human-powered vehicles like bikes? Mark got a skateboard, after all.

But I liked the whole vibe of the thing and -- like everyone else said -- the "Andre & Sarah" episode was really amazing. I do agree with Alan Sepinwall that maybe this role wasn't quite right for Fred Armisen, though.

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Hong Chau and Jason Mitchell acted the hell out of the “Andre and Sarah” episode, and the writers (Alan Yang & Colleen McGuinness) wrote the hell out of it. It's like the "Before" trilogy in 35 minutes, and "Before Sunset" is my all-time favorite movie.

There are beautiful little things I only noticed on repeat viewings, like the first moment Andre meets up with Sarah for the second time. He's straightening out his suit, but as he recognizes Sarah he moves his right hand to cover his wedding ring on his left.

There's also the bigger things, like Andre coming home to Sarah making a wonderful dinner echoing what Sarah said the first meeting, about having someone to come home to, and then the heartbreak when it's revealed they're sneaking around rather than being actually together for real.

Edited by arc
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I’ve lived in Oceanside and been to Riverside. I’ll take Oceanside. I binged it all in one day. I loved the realtor’s Sad story. I feel like I’ve seen or read it before. I might need to rewatch to get a better grasp on its meaning. 

Edited by Readalot
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I think there’s certainly more themes the show can explore if they want. As I see it, Riverside is a place for the dead to spend their afterlife in a monument to their former lives*. Oceanside is a place for the dead to, I guess, have an eternal resort vacation, a never ending retirement party to leave their old life behind. It makes sense that Oscar (and June) started out at Riverside, and that Kase ended up at Oceanside.

I wonder what the place across the ocean is for.

* well, their former lives besides their jobs, anyways.

It is interesting that June took up pottery for the first time in Riverside. I wonder why she didn’t keep up with it in Oceanside.

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I would want to know a lot more about the Traveler (Peter Weller)--how did he know Kase and Maya (forgetting her character name) wanted an out from Riverside? Is he God? A messenger of God?

I've never watched The Good Place--is it very different?

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9 hours ago, TheNewJanBrady said:

I've never watched The Good Place--is it very different?

Both shows about the afterlife but that's about the only thing they have in common. The Good Place is more of a silly comedy. I did enjoy Forever, but not the way I like/love The Good Place.

Edited by Nordly Beaumont
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2 hours ago, Nordly Beaumont said:

Both shows about the afterlife but that's about the only thing they have in common. The Good Place is more of a silly comedy. I did enjoy Forever, but not the way I like/love The Good Place.

Well, both shows also have Maya Rudolph in common.

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I recently finished this one.  I don't usually just sit and binge a show, and I didn't this time.  However, I wish I had.  I really enjoyed this but I think it almost works better as a 4-hour presentation than 8-30 minute episodes.

I did feel like Fred Armisen was playing the role that Fred Armisen always plays, but Maya Rudolph was just excellent.

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From the start I didn't like this show, but I wanted to know more about the concept so I stuck with it to the end. In fact, the only episode I enjoyed was the one about the realtors.

My real problem with it was that we never saw that June and Oscar were ever happy together. Maya played it as if she was in pain and trapped the entire time, yet it was a trap of her own making. Even when they were getting along she was checked out (until the ham on the beach scene).

It was mostly just uncomfortable to watch them, which maybe is what I was supposed to feel, but that doesn't make for a very pleasant experience.

Also, who needs Riverside or Oceanside? Find a nice piece of coral reef and live there! Or, just, you know, walk down the beach! :-)

Mark was fantastic. I wish the show was about him.

Most unrealistic part of the show: that someone actually knows all the words to This Is How We Do It, and not just the chorus.

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I bought that June and Oscar were happy together. It was a very low-key happiness and ultimately a more boring one than June could accept for forever. But their thing of riffing on the best way to sit, or whatever, showed they were often of one mind. And she seemed to really like the salmon almandine the first few times.

I wonder what their afterlife would have been like if June had had a year or two to settle into that dream job before dying.

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Watched this over the course of a few weeks bc I had to watch something cheerful in between. I thought it was well done, but depressing as hell. I'd rather cease to exist than go on like that. The children in Riverside were really sad and uncomfortable for me - even Mark, who was a fantastic character, is forever out of place and alone. And the Josiah story...yikes. But I'm admittedly, annoyingly oversensitive. 

So are we to assume that everyone passes through these neighborhoods? Those who are attached to their former lives stay in Riverside and ultimately move to Oceanside when they're ready to move on (forget)? And then onward again? 

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9 hours ago, RedInk said:

Watched this over the course of a few weeks bc I had to watch something cheerful in between. I thought it was well done, but depressing as hell. I'd rather cease to exist than go on like that. The children in Riverside were really sad and uncomfortable for me - even Mark, who was a fantastic character, is forever out of place and alone. And the Josiah story...yikes. But I'm admittedly, annoyingly oversensitive. 

So are we to assume that everyone passes through these neighborhoods? Those who are attached to their former lives stay in Riverside and ultimately move to Oceanside when they're ready to move on (forget)? And then onward again? 

I'm not sure if everyone moves through these particular neighborhoods, rather there are neighborhoods for whatever it is you need to resolve from your life? I imagine there's another neighborhood for people with anger issues, one for people who were materialistic, and so on.

Although if true, it's not totally clear to me what the common thread was for Riverside and Oceanside.

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Vulture interview with Alan Yang.

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I read in the press notes for Forever that you asked the writers room to write fewer jokes?
[Laughs.] I didn’t want the show to feel like six jokes per page. I didn’t want it to feel like rat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat, snappy. I wanted to do something a little bit more naturalistic. Some scenes don’t have to have jokes. [Something] we talked about a lot in our room [was] where you feel the hand of the writers, it’s too “cute,” too perfect. We didn’t want that either — that’s an amazing comedy writer sitting in a room in Studio City coming up with that! We wanted it to feel a little bit less perfect. Another thing I kind of hate is this trend, and this has been going on for a long time in comedy, of everything being a Frankenstein. Someone’s on set screaming for hours and you can kind of tell. Yes, they’re funny jokes, but it sometimes seems like the two characters aren’t even in the same room, much less talking to each other. They’re just saying disjointed jokes. I wanted it to feel like people were actually talking to each other.

Vulture interview with Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard.

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The first thing I want to ask about is the genesis of the idea. What inspired the show? 
Alan Yang: I sat down and had breakfast with Maya [Rudolph] and Fred [Armisen] about a year-and-a-half ago, and they were just interested in working together on something. They were a big inspiration, so I called Matt up and we started talking about ideas, and then we sent them some ideas. One of the ones they responded to was a half-idea that simply said: Maya and Fred are ghosts who don’t haunt people. We thought that was kind of funny. At that point we decided, “Well, that’s not really an idea, but what if we came up with an emotional spine that really worked with that idea?” What we came up with was the idea of a show about marriage, and this eternity being a metaphor for what it can sometimes feel like to be in a long-term relationship or marriage. That was the genesis of it.

[...]

For the world-building aspect, did you talk to Mike Schur at all? Because he had to go through that same process with The Good Place.
AY: No. It was really funny, because Mike and I share an office on the Universal Studios lot and when he was coming up with The Good Place, he was pitching it to me a little bit. I ended up working on that show briefly and then directing an episode, too. It was really fun. We love that show. Basically, all I did was shoot Mike a text, like, “Hey man, we’re doing a show and two people die in it, but it’s going to be as different from your show as humanly possible.” Early on, Maya was like, “I think I’m going to guest on The Good Place, is that okay?” I was like, “It’s totally fine.” Because the tone on this show is so radically different from The Good Place, I wasn’t worried at all. Our show’s slower paced and it’s moody and all these things that The Good Place — which has a very, very strong voice of its own — is not. The shows have this tiny Venn diagram intersection of content, but in execution, tone, performance, all that stuff, it’s just so different.

[...]

As far as Oceanside is concerned, how did you create that world? I found it a little disturbing for reasons I can’t even put my finger on.
[...]

MH: It was like, “Is this Burning Man? What is this place?” We eventually came upon, the people there are forgetting who they were when they were alive, which we thought was interesting. I think that’s weird and eerie, and hopefully it came across.

THR talks with Alan Yang and Hubbard about the season finale and the show in general. (despite the headline, there are no real details shared about a potential second season.

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Other things [besides the rules of this afterlife] that aren't explained in Forever: Why these particular people, who all died in different eras, are sent to this specific place; why some families are together and others aren't; what in the heck the deal is with the weird culty group of people at the beach who June and afterlife enemy-turned-BFF Kase (Catherine Keener) meet; what the point is to any of these people's continued existence? What the show traffics in instead is meditation on grief and guilt and death and love.

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I binged this show in one sitting.  

To me, this was a show about fear.  Fear of the truth.  June and Oscar never had a truthful conversation until the end, because both of them were afraid of upsetting the applecart.

I loved the very last shot.  Oscar and June come out of the ocean to ....whatever.  They are holding hands.  As the walk onto land their hands separate.  They are together but separate, each their own person.

I saw Riverside as a place where you hold onto your old life, and Oceanside a place where you forget your old life.  At the end, Kase said she’d forgotten the job she had when she was alive.   Maybe that is heaven.

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I finished watching this last night and really enjoyed it. I’ll watch pretty much anything that Maya Rudolph is in and I thought she was very good in this.

The show gave me kind of a The Good Place meets Wristcutters: A Love Story vibe.

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In the final scene of the final episode, the "realtor episode" took on a whole new meaning. 

At the end of the realtor episode, the lesson June derives from having witnessed the story (and I believe she witnessed the whole story, not just the ending) is that she needs to "go for it," which means (she thinks) having the courage to go to Oceanside with Kase. 

But at the end of the final episode, June understands that while "going for it" was indeed the lesson of the realtor story, "going for it," for her, means a whole different thing. It means having the courage to totally commit to Oscar in a way she never has in life or in death, eternally. 

The show was beautiful and profound.

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I had trouble wrapping my mind around the passage of time during the series, and, as mentioned above, how the neighbourhood in Riverside did not look more dilapidated over time. Also, there was so much emphasis put on not going too far from the fountain, but then Oscar walks all the way to Oceanside without touching a Current. I think they did mention that  the ocean functioned the same way as the fountain, so I guess that is why they were able to walk all that way under water at the end of the last episode...

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I thought Maya Rudolph acted her tush off in this.  I saw a depth I'd not seen from her before.  I also think she would have been so much better against another husband than Fred.  The only thing I found convincing with him was that he was desperately frustrating to be around.

The Mark character was very believable, and the actor who played him was fantastic.  There was something so compelling about his face.

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On 10/16/2018 at 1:46 AM, Accidental Martyr said:

The show gave me kind of a The Good Place meets Wristcutters: A Love Story vibe.

I got that vibe as well, especially with Wristcutters: A Love Story. It felt like going on a surreal yet mundane trip through a strange life like afterlife that is not really explained, but is mostly about the characters dealing with their hang ups from life. Its kind of funny, but more less of an obvious comedy than The Good Place.  

This was not at all what I expected, but I thought this was absolutely fascinating. It kept taking turns that I never expected, but I thought it was such an interesting way to look at a plot that has become rather stale in television over the last few years (middle class suburban people feeling bored) and take it in a new direction (Forever isnt just references marriage, its referencing being stuck in a rut in your marriage literally forever) and it raised a lot of questions about relationships, more than I think it was about the afterlife. 

I dont really understand how this afterlife totally worked, but I think it was more metaphorical than world building. To me, Riverside was about being in the same place forever, in the same patterns, even in the after life. Oceanside was the exact opposite, being totally about being in the moment, forgetting your old life and the lessons you learned, and not forging meaningful connections. In the end, June and Fred had a real conversation for the first time, and really met each other for the first time, being ready to break their old cycle and try something new and risky, while also acknowledging and learning from their past. So they rejected both places, and headed out to the ocean, together. And those are two of the ways people handle being in a rut. Complacency, or throwing away everything, and neither of them worked. 

It also makes June restlessness less about her just wanting to do the things that people in a rut often think that they want, like traveling to exotic locals, learning new things, and all that Eat Pray Love stuff, and her more about her not feeling emotionally invested in her marriage. She didnt find fulfillment doing cool stuff, she found it in being honest with her husband, and finally committing to him. Really, thats way more risky than going to Hawaii. 

Thats part of the tragedy of Mark, who really was a major stand out. He is eternally a teenager, despite actually being in his 50s. He is kind of his actual age, but also stuck at the age he was at when he died, because you dont do next things in Riverside, or have new experiences, you just keep doing the same things over and over. Its sad, and I hope that he eventually finds something fulfilling in his after life. 

Lots of great performances, but Maya was really the stand out. She nailed every episode. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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