The officers of the Reno, Nevada Sheriff's department are back with a fourth season of Reno 911! that's full of murder intrigue, and a disturbingly (and mysteriously) pregnant Officer Wiegel. From committing election fraud to donning hot pink uniforms and blowing up various large items, the officers give their all in every episode after gloriously inept episode.
The beat goes on for Reno 911 with a season that is definitely "off the chain" (to quote one of the officers' curious turns of phrase). Season 4 brings us such developments as Det. Wiegel's unexpected and somewhat disturbing pregnancy, the suspicious demise of the Reno County sheriff ("Avenge my death," he croaks as he's being loaded into the ambulance), and the passage of Proposition C, which may (or may not) result in a pay raise for Wahoe County's self-described "(effed)-up family" of "mostly cordial coworkers." While not at all a bust, the fourth season is more scattershot than previous seasons. Some of the recurring signature set pieces (the traffic stops, the school appearances) are getting stale, but for anyone who has suffered through amateurish local TV commercials, the "Police Tek" product spots are devastatingly spot-on (and, as in the case of the infrared-controlled "Rape Shield" undergarments, all kinds of wrong). There is much "mean-spirited mirth" this season, aimed mostly at mother-to-be Wiegel (Kerri Kenney-Silver), who ends the season going into labor while stuck in a ceremonial cake. Questions about the sexual orientation of Cherisa "I am not a lesbian" Kimball (Mary Birdsong) and Jim "You know what I like" Dangle (Thomas Lennon) are asked, and, in one case, answered in the jaw-dropping cliffhanger season finale.
Every episode serves up at least one inspired bit of cop-show craziness. At one point, Kimball tries to arrest a street magician who keeps breaking free of his restraints. In another scene, Dangle patronizingly frees an adorable Little Leaguer brought into the station only to discover the true, horrible nature of his crime. Guest stars this season include Knocked Up's Paul Rudd as Lamaze instructor Guy Jericho (spelled "Gerricault"), Patton Oswalt as the local Renaissance Faire's Boozehammer of Galen, Oscar Nunez (The Office) as the charming and elusive prisoner "Spanish Mike," and Paul "Pee-Wee Herman" Reubens as Rick of Citizen's Patrol. Always good for a laugh is Nick Swardson as citizen and "attention whore" Terry. Packback, as ever, eludes Dangle and company (as witness their brutal smackdown at the hands of some "Hotties" waitresses, but their misery makes them great company. They may be beyond (or beneath) Emmy consideration, but they are surely worthy of a (Police) Academy award. --Donald Liebenson