Why Maron’s last season didn’t work
Kevthewriter shares his thoughts on season 4 of the IFC sitcom, Maron.
Of all the TV shows going on, Maron was a pretty underrated series. No one really talked about it but it was entertaining enough to make me want to watch more. It’s no Louie but it was still a decent show. Of course, it might’ve been partly due to the fact that it aired on the IFC Channel, a channel that, besides maybe Portlandia, no one watches. But, while I liked the first 3 seasons, the fourth season wasn’t very good.
The biggest issue the fourth season had is that they try to have a story that spans through the whole season. Basically, Marc Maron, the comedian who stars in this show, became a drug addict after having a failed talk show and now he’s trying to get his life together. Here, we see him go to rehab, try to repair his relationships, and, at the end of it all, find out what life is really about.
Problem is, the show didn’t really transition into a more story based format well. The first three seasons didn’t really have much in the way of a connecting story, they were usually stand alone episodes where Marc would have some problem, he’d complain about said problem for most of the episode, a celebrity guest or two would pop up, and then he’d mostly solve his problem and talk about it on his podcast.
There’s no problem with changing the format of a show but the problem was that they basically just had, out of mostly nowhere, Marc go through this arc. To be fair, at the end of the third season, he did get really loopy and overdosedon pills when he was supposed to be hosting a talk show and I can see how that would lead to him losing everything but we just saw the beginning of that happen, we didn’t see him completely fall into oblivion. It honestly seems like this should be Season 5 and Season 4 should have been about how this one failed shoot led him to breaking so many contacts and caused his downward spiral in the first place. There’d be enough story for a whole season so it seems like a bit of a tease to basically just skip all that and show him trying to get his life back together.
There were also some rather awkward scenes. For instance, at one point, Marc tries to stay with a woman known for helping people try to get their life back together. At first, she seems like a stern, strict, responsible woman. Then she hits on Marc because, as it turns out, she likes younger men because it reminds her of her son. This character trait came completely out of nowhere and just seemed like a forced way of writing her character out of the series. It’s not just that-he also has a comedian friend who turns out to be a complete psychopath who tries to gun down some young people just for being kind’ve rude.
What I really didn’t like about this season, though, was that it was rather hypocritical. See, at the end, Marc decides to stop being in show business and just live in a small town where his infant son (long story, just watch the show) lives. And, I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but it seems weird to have a comedian whose still very active and successful in show business (he was in a movie the same year this season came out that went to over 3,000 theaters for crying out loud) learn that “show business is a waste of time and it’s the small things in life that really matter”. I mean, if he were playing a completely fictional character, it would be one thing but to have a fictionalized version of himself learn that lesson while he himself in real life still does stand up comedy, still does his podcast, where he interviews celebrities including the last President of the United States of all people, and still acts, it just feels a little off. Like, is this him saying he wants to retire soon? Considering this show was mostly based on his actual life, it seems weird to have him learn a lesson that he seems to not even believe in in real life. It just seems like there’s a disconnect between his real self and his fictional self that shouldn’t be there.
As a result, while the show started off well, it kind’ve ended with a whimper as the fourth season just tried too many things that didn’t work.