'A slice of life before the end times': Why you need to watch the final season of Baroness von Sketch Show
Get ready to howl this fall watching the final season of Baroness von Sketch Show
When Baroness von Sketch Show debuted on June 14th, 2016, the all-female, single-camera comedy was a completely new thing in the world of sketch comedy. In the years since, comedy that the New York Times described as "smart and irreverent" has won multiple Canadian Screen Awards, featured guests such as Sarah Levy, Reggie Watts, Mae Martin, Janeane Garofalo and has consistently presented clever, authentic female perspectives, voices and experiences to audiences around the world via CBC and IFC.
Last May, the show's cast and co-creators Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen, decided it was time to move on, and announced that the Baronesses fifth season would be their last.
So, whether you're a new fan just discovering the show, or an OG, we rounded up five reasons why you should be really, really excited for the final season, which hits CBC Gem on October 6th.
Offers a clever point of view on daily life
Fom talking about double cervixes and gynecologist visits to awkward dates and office drama, the Baronesses are comfortable with the uncomfortable. The final season will carry on celebrating the awkward and the absurd, mining the embarrassing and making fun of banalities and concerns of everyday life.
As they take their final bow, the foursome will one last time deliver their witty observations in bite sized nuggets of fun, continuing in their exploration of the absurdity of modern life and adulthood.
"I think season five really touches on sort of our angst with, once again, the direction that the world is going in," says actress, comedian and one quarter of the Baronesses, Jennifer Whalen.
They also satirize everything from the upside of mom brain, the downside of step-parenting, witch trials and tribulations, Queer Theory reading group vs. Pretty In Pink, the problem with superheroes, hangover after 40, surviving the apocalypse with your ex, celebrity transgressions and so much more.
And starting with episode one, the Baronesses will hold your attention with laughs and sketches about an emotionally radioactive ex's apartment, female mobsters discussing the proper way to shoot someone and drama at a dog show.
Serves the howls through a different lens
The foursome's uncanny ability to satirize social issues, with jokes that land right into your lap and make you question your biases, has made a big impact with a loyal and growing audience. But, in addition to that, this season there will also be more costuming and making fun of our favourite genre spanning movies.
"I think in season five, there's a lot more genre pieces," says Whalen. "We have like a scene about witch trials, we have one where we're like evil fairies, we have an Emily Dickinson period piece."
It's a fun mixed bag of things.- Jennifer Whalen
So waiting for you at the end of that remote control this time around will be sketches such as Intersectional written by Morgan King — about a gay couple, "a queer woman and her new partner," says Carolyn Taylor, who go to see the 80s film, Sixteen Candles, in the park.
"To watch Sixteen Candles now, it's like, this is problematic, she adds, "this film was so iconic and so amazing in its day and to watch it through a lens now, through an intersectional lens especially, it's you know, as one of the characters [in the sketch] says, 'Oh, that racist, homophobic movie from the 80s.' And yet in its time it was so important, it was a female lead, you know. Molly Ringwald was so wonderful in it."
"How do you grapple with art that you've loved in its day but that in some ways has an expiration date? Or does it?"
Boasts a talented team of hilarious creators
Drawing on their 17 years of comedy experience, the award-winning and talented foursome, Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen are one last time the writers, stars and executive producers of the season with Whalen as the showrunner.
So if you liked what you saw over the previous four seasons, then you know you're in for a treat filled with stomach cramping, face spazzing laughter for this one, too — as they serve everything from physical comedy to costumes to their undeniable chemistry on screen.
"The great thing is, you know, when you're acting and you've got such a great crew and a great support team, you can just lose yourself and you can just be in the moment," says Whalen.
The season is directed by Vivieno Caldinelli (This Hour has 22 Minutes), Joyce Wong (Workin' Moms) and the Baronesses themselves.
...and guest stars
This season's guest stars include Kris Siddiqi, who is also Aurora Browne's husband and a star of CBC Comedy's Bit Playas and Cavendish, Paloma Nuñez (Bit Playas, The Amazing Gayl Pile), Jon Dore (Scare Tactics, CBC Comedy's upcoming Humour Resources), Kevin Whalen (Hannibal, Bit Playas) who is also Jennifer Whalen's brother, CBC q's Tom Power and many others.
I'm always in awe of not just my coworkers but like all the guests we have.- Aurora Browne
"They're all so good and they're so precise, and they're so playful and so it's a joy," says Aurora Browne.
"It's so much fun when people come to play with us. It ups your game, it's exciting. It's like having guests over," adds Whalen.
"And when you need somebody to give you a disapproving look, there's nobody better than Paloma Nuñez," quips Browne.
Gavin Crawford, host of CBC Comedy's Because News, also appears this season, and further contributed by writing a few sketches for the team.
"He wrote a sketch for me, which is hilarious, because he knows about my family's deep love of fart jokes, so he wrote me great fart jokes. I'm very happy about that."
'A slice of life before the end times'
The final season was filmed before the pandemic hit.
"[Season five] is like a time capsule from the before times," says Browne.
A slice of life before the end times.- Carolyn Taylor
"It's not like everything was okay in 2019," remarks Taylor, but she says that this season feels like a break from your troubles and you can just go off and have a big laugh.
"You will see us standing in the same room together really close to each other," says Browne. "There'll be people laughing, there'll be people hugging — not wearing masks. In some cases spitting and crying on each other."
"So hopefully it will help people get through this year — maybe forget things a little bit … If we can take people away from the present for even a few minutes, then we've done our jobs."
We do need those laughs, now more than ever, so be sure to watch season five of Baroness von Sketch Show when it launches on October 6th on CBC Television and CBC Gem.