The likely end of another Comedy Central sketch success
The Story So Far...
Fortunately, she still takes aim at the word beyond herself (even if most of them affect her personally as a woman.) Tackling the ridiculous opposition to common-sense gun control in the form of a home-shopping parody is a perfect example of the show's smart targeting, as is a sketch about Schumer's gynecological exam being conducted by unqualified congressmen who seek control over her sexuality. The series' best work remains its wonderful jokes about women and the daily garbage they face, as represented in a sketch about goggles that help a woman see what kind of woman they need to pretend to be to be heard (aided by the fabulously funny Claudia O'Doherty) or a bit about a guy's confusing desire for Amy to be both a madonna and a whore. And for any he-men afraid the show is feminist propaganda, segments like one with Abby Elliott, Jessica Williams and Natasha Lyonne, which makes fun of how women overuse mental illness terms, are a regular thing.
It's not all political or topical though, as the show can get just as silly as it can be smart. In one sketch, Schumer struggles to act with a horse, while another recasts the period medical drama The Knick with children (but keeps all the blood.) Frequently, Inside Amy Schumer out-SNL's NBC's sketch show, with great fake commercials, like an ad for a saxophone tampon case, which starts out strange and just gets even weirder. That's probably the show's biggest strength: the comedy is often heightened to ridiculous levels, but without resorting to Family Guy-style stretched-out moments. This series piles on the absurdity, so that even when you start with a ridiculous premise, like a funeral parlour that doesn't accept cowards, you know there are still three gears left for the show to shift to.
Previous seasons have not lacked for recognizable guest stars, but season four takes it to an almost ridiculous level. The usual comedy-world regulars like Rachel Dratch, Tim Meadows, Chris Parnell, Michael Ian Black and Patton Oswalt are welcome presences, but this season casts a ridiculously wide net in hauling in a pile of stars for cameos and more, including Michael Strahan (in an amusing reversal on fantasy sports), Lena Dunham, chef Anthony Bourdain, Selena Gomez (a delightful straight sidekick to an insane Schumer) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (trapped in the nightmare of a Schumer musical pitch.) The level of guest star in this show would have been hard to top if the show returned, as this season featured all these, plus Harvey Keitel, Jake Gyllenhaal (in a fun parody of MTV's Catfish), a ridiculous Ralph Fiennes, not to mention Sam Rockwell, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, Laura Linney, Jennifer Hudson and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
As great as the cast is, the regular people on the show are usually the most interesting part, as the "Amy Goes Deep" interview segments remain among the show's best moments, as they feature Schumer--at her most natural and engaging--chatting with fascinating people, including a nun, a sociopath, an expert on psychopaths, a bikini waxer, a gun-safety advocate, a woman with Down's syndrome, and last, and unfortunately least, her friend Jess. With such a varied collection of people each discussion is unique, and Schumer manages to be funny on her own, while letting the focus be on her interviewee. They are so good that, when episode eight ends with a pair of musical performances by Schumer (aided by Questlove) and Bridget Everett, it's a bummer that the episode doesn't "go deep".
The only part of Season Four that doesn't work is the finale, an unfortunate clip show. In a world with streaming, DVRs and readily-available home video, the only time a show should do a clip show is if the concept is subverted as part of it. Here, with Andy Cohen serving as the host of a Real Housewives-style reunion show, the new material is slim and, for anyone who finds watching those reality series tiring at best, frustrating. It's a weak way to end a series that's been so original and creative, and the fact that it puts the cap on a shorter than usual season makes it even more disappointing.
As it was with the previous releases, the sound is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks, which do the trick for the show's dialogue-focused comedy, but leaves you wanting more when it comes to the film's musical moments and more cinematic bits. Aside from that issue, the sound is strong and well-defined.
Oddly, the box indicates that there are outtakes, but they aren't available from any of the menus, so they seem to have been forgotten. Annoyingly, the final episode also mentions there was an additional "Amy Goes Deep" segment available online, but that wasn't included here either, for some reason.
The Bottom Line