Well that episode was quite the poser! Creator Ira Parker asks us the loaded question, “What if…?” and we buzz off on a trip as our madcap foursome experience the same.
A sober cold open showcases a set of parents, Donna and Martin, (Deborah Day, who I was fortunate to see play Marina/Thaisa in last summer’s The Adventures of Pericles at The Stratford Festival, and Sergio Di Zio, who most recently played Patrick Finnegan in the series Rogue) as they abandon their newborn children. However, Parker is just using this scenario to set up his philosophical exercise. He is really asking us all to examine life, death, our legacies, and the consequences of life choices.
As it happens these two “children,” Margaret and Gogol (also played by Day and Di Zio), are “day kids”; apparently an oft experienced condition at the Patrician Grill. They live their entire lifetime in a single day. The evening includes frat parties, a first kiss in the rain, and wasted opportunities. We even face grief due to chronic illness.
The show is laced with quiet moments of inquiry, absent of any guile. Jamie (Michelle Mylett) appears to be the one most affected, but then again Mitzi (Lola Tash) is still contemplating whether or not to terminate her unforeseen pregnancy.
It is also Mitzi who delivers our most profound statement: “Whether you live for one day or 100 years, your legacy is not for you but for the people you leave behind.” But Gogol poses the most intriguing question: “Is it possible to spend a butt load of time with the same people but not be really close with any of them?”
These types of philosophical questions have always been more of a focus thing. They force you to strip away the trivialities of life. They make us look at our core values: who we are, what we want in life, and what pleases us. Parker takes us all by the hand on this little romp and we watch our foursome go through this exercise, digging deep and figuring out what is important in their/our lives.
I started to watch this show because it just looked quirky enough to be really fun. Instead, I found this to be a surreal little gem, perfect in its simplicity.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Four in the Morning airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on CBC.