Review Season 3: Spoiler-Free Review
The frustratingly brilliant Review returns and show’s swan song is the satisfying finish it deserves.
“You are not a person. You are a malfunctioning robot. And it’s sad, Forrest, because you used to do things because you wanted to do them. Not because a stranger said I should take my dick out and walk all over my ex-wife’s front lawn.”
Review is one of the most surprising, glorious shows that I’ve ever seen on television. I was anticipating these final episodes almost as much as I’ve been looking forward to the new season of Twin Peaks (which is saying something, guys). Continuing to defy expectations, this final season is not at all what I expected, yet it still manages to simultaneously be a very different Review as well as the same old one. The series is aware of its impending ending, and in turn it feels like every episode is injected with an extra sense of purpose. This year of the show—much like Forrest himself—is especially trying to say something. It just might break a man in the process.
Even if you’ve never watched a minute of Andy Daly’s bewildering nosedive into madness before (and if that’s the case, shame on you), Review’s third season does a very economical job at catching up new viewers as well as re-easing old ones back into this skewed world. Constant primers are popping up reminding the audience of the crazy voyage that Forrest has been on, but these moments only highlight Forrest’s intense commitment rather than feeling expository.
Heading into this season, I was more than ready to get a year that began with Forrest and Grant in the wilderness, reviewing tactics of desperation like “Drinking Your Own Urine” or “Eating a Raw Squirrel,” with the season chronicling the last days of a man at his end. Interestingly enough, the show does still explore that idea, but in way that’s much more internal.
Forrest might be back in his studio reviewing life topics like before, but in his head he’s somewhere else entirely. Forrest has reached a point where if he ever acknowledges such a reality he’ll totally fall apart. This show is all Forrest has left and it literally is his life in a lot of ways. This season provides opportunities to see Forrest trying to function without the safety blanket of his show and he just doesn’t know what to do with himself. It’s a fate that’s more crushing than prison (and Forrest would know) because at this point this show is a part of Forrest’s DNA.
As depressing and hopeless as it feels like Review can become at times, these final episodes reflect the perspective that Forrest deserves a happy ending and the right to go out on an optimistic note, even if it’s a blissfully unaware one.
There’s a scene between Forrest and Suzanne (Jessica St. Clair—who by the way never gets enough credit for the work she’s done on this show, and she especially kills it this year) where she perfectly breaks down everything that’s wrong with Forrest’s way of life and how he should change. Forrest comes back at her just as strong, explaining why following “the hand of the universe” is actually a beautiful, romantic way of going about things. We naturally gravitate more towards Suzanne’s opinion because we’ve seen the heavy damage that these reviews have done to every aspect of Forrest’s life, but Forrest isn’t exactly wrong either. There’s something admirable about the way he views his show and the work that he’s doing. He might have irrevocably become a part of this show to the point where he doesn’t know how to function without it, losing his sense of individuality in the process, but it’s something that he’s done with the most selfless of intentions.
Review’s final season is a reminder that this show can truly be an endurance test of the human spirit. Forrest is the perfect Job surrogate for someone being tested by the universe. His perspective on all of this also very much informs the show. If Forrest was bitter about all of this, it’d be an angry, bitter series. Instead he’s eternally optimistic and so his character is the constant scamp.
I’ve only seen a fraction of this season (or maybe not, the exact length of this final year is deliciously being kept under wraps), predicting where this show will end up is truly impossible. While it’s bittersweet to see the show ending, it’s beautiful to see it concluding on its own terms and doing it with such authoritative class.
Review’s Final Season 4.5/5 Stars
No Longer Having Any More Seasons of Review 0.5/5 Stars
This review is based on the first two half-hour episodes of Review’s third season.
Review’s final season begins airing March 16th at 10pm on Comedy Central