We Watched CBC’s “Edgy” New Show So You Never Have To
Four in the Morning, more like, snore in the morning.
I want to set the record straight before we get into the details of the actual show. No one wants a funny, smart, relevant show that reflects contemporary Canadian life more than us. Canadians are uniquely clever and dark and hilarious so where is our Friends, or Seinfeld or better yet, Happy Endings? Why do we keep picking through the same tired garbage heap of ideas for our programming? I've seen Anne of Green Gables, ok? I get it. Enough already. So again, let me preface all of this with, I wanted CBC's new "edgy" comedy, Four in the Morning to be good. The premise is certainly promising—each episode is a snapshot of the lives of a group of friends at four in the morning when truths are revealed and anything can happen. But the reality? Well, here's what happened when Justin Ling and I sat down to watch the pilot on Sunday. Which was mistake number one because it actually premiered on Friday night at 9 PM, not exactly peak millennial TV watching hours.
[The show opens with a graphically illustrated night scene of Toronto. The Six looks good.]
Justin: This is a good looking intro.
Amil: Yeah, this doesn't look as shitty as I thought it would.
Justin: So far impressed, they obviously spent a lot of money on graphic design.
Amil: They did not spend a lot of money on sets though.
[We arrive at a crowded, brightly lit diner where everyone looks way too sober for four AM.]
Justin: I refuse to believe that anywhere in Toronto is this busy at four AM. The entire premise of this show is a lie.
Amil: And everyone looks too awake.
Justin: Everyone's too upright. Everyone should be fighting and puking at each other. Is this the first time fuck's ever been said on the CBC?
[Our first two characters are two pristinely done up women holding up an entire diner washroom to tell a super long-winded story about a dead pig. It involves a Shaman who appears out of the blue with magic pig-talking beans.]
Amil: NO. This would never happen. You would get into a fist fight if you kept people waiting for the bathroom for this long. I'd fight them.
Justin: You immediately start the show hating every single character.
Amil: They're horrible people.
[The bathroom women join two young men at a diner table. They now collectively continue being the worst.]
Amil: Is this a comedy?
Justin: I'm pretty sure it's like a second-year drama school final project.
Amil: The dialogue is very theater school.
Justin: This is a Fringe play.
Amil: Oh yeah totally! That you instantly regret going to. Your friend was like, "no it's edgy, it'll be amazing." And you're like, "oh OK I'll go," and it's a huge mistake.
Justin: They should've called it two AM, that's a way more realistic time.
Amil: This show was written by someone who has never talked to a real woman and never hung out at four in the morning.
[At this point, a male character who will very obviously have a gay experience in about three episodes has begun flamboyantly proclaiming things, including: his love for his friend's girlfriend, and that he secretly didn't get into Juilliard.]
Justin: Everyone on the show is the just the same person in different variations.
[The female leads, after throwing a brick through a window in some weird Nietzschean thought experiment, arrive home to a massive apartment with exposed brick, super bougie West Elm furniture, a fully stocked kitchen and those stupid fucking fairy lights that litter every single Pinterest page.]
Amil: No stop, this apartment. These people don't live there. How old are they supposed to be? This is the home of a 45-year-old couple with no kids who make a very comfortable salary. Look at that generic mac and cheese.
[Somewhere between chopping veggies for a way-too elaborate 4 AM meal -- seriously these people never seem drunk or high—one of the leads drops that she's having an abortion.]
Justin: Wait, she's having his abortion? They're really frontloading this show.
Amil: They're like abortion, blowjobs...
Justin: Pigs, the word fuck.
[The world's most nonchalant abortion scene continues. And continues. And continues.]
Justin: What is the point of this scene?
Amil: It's so painful. This apartment is troubling.
Justin: Yeah I'm having a real problem with this.
Amil: No one talks like that. "Abortions are totally back in vogue?" It's not real I don't care how fucked up you are.
Justin: I was expecting this to be boring but it's worse in a much different way.
Amil: It's got that Gilmore Girls curse of rapid-fire dialogue that's written like, "no young people really do talk this way." And it's like, no they really don't.
[Soon-to-be-bisexual male lead has just told an elaborate story about going to a gay strip club with his father as a teen that was maybe a joke or wasn't or was???]
Justin: What's happening? That was a long routine for no payoff.
[We're back to the women's apartment. The story about the pig will never die. Unlike the pig himself. To continue the illusion that they're real and cool young people and not just young-looking middle-aged bankers, they smoke some pot.]
Amil: Oh my god none of these people know what any of these words mean. Do you know how expensive all this shit is? I can't get over this apartment. They're rich, they should be doing coke.
Justin: Yeah if you live in this apartment you can find a better way to smoke pot than this $7 pipe. We're back to the pig?
Amil: Yeah we're back to the pig.
[Unbelievably, the pig story moves to the couch. Totally like normal people, the writer of this show has friends he swears, they each sit on separate couches as one friend prepares to deliver a six-minute monologue without ever making eye contact with her friend. Or even looking in her direction. The story is directed at the people who give awards for best acting.]
Amil: Who is she talking to?! Your friend is sitting over there!
Justin: She's delivering a monologue.
Amil: Imagine having a conversation with your friend and she's not even looking at you she's just delivering a speech.
Justin: I also love how there's no tension in this episode.
Amil: This is very bad.
[Somewhere in the pig story it's revealed that the pig saw the lead's best friend fucking her boyfriend. Yeah that's right, the pig revealed it. A pig we have yet to see. But since it was all revealed in monologue the best friend has fallen asleep before she can atone for her sins.]
Justin: WHAT? The turning plot point cannot be revealed by a pig that we never meet!
Amil: Not surprised your friend fell asleep for the big reveal, you were ignoring her the entire time.
Justin: That was a lot of lead up for an important story. I mean good for the CBC for taking a swing at something, I guess.
[The show abruptly and mercifully ends.]
Amil: Maybe it's less bad when you watch it again?
Justin: What was the point of this episode?
Amil: For a pilot this is unfathomably bad.
Justin: They said "fuck" exactly once. To be just edgy enough.
Justin: I love you for trying, CBC. But I hate you for failing. Hire producers.
Amil: I can't believe I'm going to say this, but this show should consider hiring a millennial consultant to help them with the very big problem of not knowing what the fuck young people actually say or do. PS: I'm available.
Justin: I'm cheaper.