The New Adventures of Old Christine (Season 4) (2009)

It seems like “The New Adventures of Old Christine” gets better as it goes along, growing funnier and more entertaining with each new season, leading up to this stellar fourth one. This time around, the writing is bolder than before: Even as the show has struggled to find its voice in a few uneven, squeaky-clean first few seasons, it’s dabbled in lowest-common-denominator humor to great success, managing to upend the conventions of a traditional single-mom sitcom with occasionally juvenile, rude humor that effectively offset the otherwise blandly funny one-liners. Here, the writers lean in and the performers seem all the happier for it: The ensemble cast works better together than ever before, managing to overcome some occasional growing pains along the way (like some chemistry issues here and there, in particular between Clark Gregg and Emily Rutherford), and we get to see them at their best. It’s no surprise that Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the stand-out again, plunging head-first into whatever situation comes at her like nothing could be more fun, while all the others have moments to shine throughout. It would be great to see more of Louis-Dreyfus with co-star Wanda Sykes because their chemistry is so palpably loving that the two of them alone make the show worth watching.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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