‘Baskets’ Review: Season 4 Feels Like the Beautiful Beginning of the End

IndieWire | 6/13/2019 | Staff
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Can a rodeo clown have an epiphany? That’s the question it feels like “Baskets” is proposing in its fourth outing. Professional clown Chip Baskets (Zach Galifianakis) has just finished a successful season with the Bakersfield rodeo, which is owned by his mother Christine (Louie Anderson). The business has paid off for them financially, but also by bringing together the family — even Chip’s egotistical twin brother Dale (also Galifianakis), who handled the finances, is back in the Baskets’ loving basket. So now what?

In the three seasons before this, Chip has been through the lowest lows. His clowning wasn’t respected, his French wife used him for a green card, he witnessed a friend’s sudden death, and he finally faced the truth he’d been repressing: that his father took his own life. Throughout it all, the show has maintained a darkly comedic and bittersweet tone as Chip struggled just to maintain some semblance of existence. In its fourth season, however, “Baskets” seems on the precipice of change in which Chip isn’t merely existing; he’s coming into his own and taking charge of his destiny. And because of this rosier look to the future, it feels like “Baskets” is starting to wrap things up.

Clue - Store - Composition - Season - Poster

The biggest clue of what’s in store can be found in the composition of this season’s poster: Chip Baskets in clown makeup and a business suit looming large alongside the image of a bullet train. Much like Elon Musk’s hyperloop, the bullet train in “Baskets” promises to link key California cities with high-speed transportation. It also does not exist yet, but that’s what makes it so important. The bullet train represents the future and Bakersfield’s hopes and dreams. Chip hitches his fate to the proposed bullet train tangentially, and this puts him on a path to self-reflection and self-improvement.

The series’...
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