Review: Four in the Morning (Canada: CBC)

Don't stay up for this one

In Canada: Fridays, 9/9:30NT, CBC

Were it not for the awkward scheduling of aircraft, 4am would be a time long since lost to me. To be honest, staying up after 10pm is hard enough these days and if we make it midnight, we feel like we’re as street as Idris Elba.

4am is a time for young people.

You can certainly tell this from Four in the Morning, CBC’s new alleged comedy show, in which two young couples talk about the kind of things in the kind of way over-educated young people straight out of college do at 4am in the morning. 

An alleged piece of ‘magical realism’ – as clear a sign it’s written by gits as if it had a purple ‘BANTER!’ logo stamped on its title sequence – it’s little more just this horrendous chat, arch dialogue that’s so self-satisfied, it probably thinks it’s just solved the problem of world peace while simultaneously creating bons mots that will endure the aeons like granite. Characters with implausibly twattish names like ‘Bondurant’ (“A manically intense, always well-intentioned, singularly focused trumpet player”) and ‘Mitzi’ monologue at one another and have Tarantino-esque conversations about conversations with psychic pigs. They talk about their love of jazz and quote at each other, while playing for one another’s boyfriends or girlfriends, or grouching about the state of the world and their lives. They visit late night fooderies that sell gorilla meat and throw bricks through any number of apparently unsecured Canadian buildings’ windows.

They do all of this without realising they’re being incredibly annoying. Because ha, ha! They’re young people.

The show, which has a ‘micro budget’ of CAN$300k per episode, feels like so much student improv, the kind of thing put on in so many fringe theatres to an audience of seven, mostly friends of the cast and crew. And to be fair, Four in the Morning is probably perfect for annoying, over-educated young people who love the sound of their own opinions at four in the morning.

But for everyone else, it’s yet another Canadian comedy show that’s terminally short on laughs.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.