Why ‘Difficult People’ Could Be A Completely Different Show In Season 4

Ali Goldstein/Hulu

Three seasons in, Difficult People remains one of Hulu's most underrated gems. It hasn't drawn in the same kind of buzz as, say, The Handmaid's Tale, but its reviews have been consistently strong, and its sardonic, whip-smart comedy is still as sharp as ever. But will that be enough for Difficult People to return for Season 4, or will this run mark the series' final chapter?

As of yet, Hulu hasn't announced whether or not the show will be renewed, but the news shouldn't be too far away. Last year, the streaming service officially ordered another season in mid-October — just over a month after its Season 3 finale. Because Nielsen doesn't track ratings for streaming platforms (and Hulu doesn't release their numbers), it's difficult to discern what kind of fan base Difficult People draws in, but it's long been critically adored, and a quick browse through Twitter shows people are definitely watching: "Difficult People Season 3 was a perfect season of television and possibly the only positive thing to happen in 2017," wrote The Late Late Show with James Corden vet Sean O'Connor. In fact, this season currently holds the series' highest audience score on Rotten Tomatoes yet, so if anything, it's only gotten better with age.

Plus, it doesn't seem like an especially expensive series to produce: As a day-in-the-life comedy about two broke, people-hating, pop culture-obsessed BFFs scrambling to make ends meet in New York City, there aren't many extravagant wardrobes or elaborate set designs. So, it seems like if stars Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner are on board for more, it should be a sure bet, and aside from Eichner's ongoing arc in American Horror Story, it doesn't appear that either have any other major projects lined up — at least according to their respective IMDb pages.

Ali Goldstein/Hulu

Story wise, Difficult People is probably at its most critical juncture. Billy and Julie have always been especially inept at navigating adulthood, and that's a large part of their charm, but this season has managed to show inklings of authentic growth without losing the show's signature tone. In the penultimate episode, "Sweet Tea," Julie grappled with the very real conflict between wanting to pursue her dreams and knowing when it's time, if ever, to move on, while Billy decided he wanted to finally leave New York and try his luck in Los Angeles. And what follows will undoubtedly stake new ground for the show: Billy will have to make important decisions about his future with Todd (John Cho), the first serious boyfriend viewers have seen him with, and he and Julie will have to find a way to maintain their perpetually co-dependent relationship from afar. It will also be interesting to see Billy confront L.A. clichés like healthy living — something decidedly not within his wheelhouse — and the cutthroat drudge of Hollywood, and the latter will likely bolster their already thriving parade of celebrity guest stars. It's possible the finale will touch upon these things, but only a full season could fully explore them.

Moreover, Billy and Julie's acerbic, self-pitying satire has perhaps never felt more apt. Their rage against the world attitude has certainly been entertaining from the start, but after a year marred by seemingly endless political turmoil, something about it feels freshly satisfying. It's the oddest kind of escapism: Difficult People isn't the first (or last) place you'd look in search of a hopeful takeaway, but leaning into the worst parts of humanity somehow makes it easier to laugh. And if 2018 is anything like 2017, we'll need all the comic relief we can get.

In short, there are a lot of reasons Difficult People should get a Season 4 and not many that it shouldn't. Hopefully, Hulu will see that too.