Tag Archives: Arrested Development

Popcorned: Arrested Development Season 4 – Watch it again, and again…

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-Casey Klekas

I’m in the awkward position of wanting to write about Arrested Development without spoiling it for everyone, including my editors who have yet to finish all fifteen episodes. I, on the other hand, watched six episodes starting at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, May 26. I fell asleep for a few hours then watched nine more. At times, I wished I hadn’t binged my way through the whole season, but at other times I was happy to power through. If I can make a recommendation, I would suggest not watching them straight through, which if you haven’t started already you probably won’t at all. You’re probably pacing yourself. Good thinking. I will use my best judgment to avoid spoiling anything for anyone. I’ll say as much as I can for those of you who are still in the process.

We should bear a few things in mind when enjoying the new Arrested Development episodes. First, they are longer than the old ones by upwards of ten minutes. More can be done in this time, but it also gives the characters a bit of breathing room rather than sketch on top of cousin on top of Ann. The extra time gives a new feeling to the show and more gags make it into the final cut as opposed to the ruthless editing we see in the old seasons.

The season evolves around a few central events, which, through each episode, we see through the eyes of a different family member. (Actually, Michael has two episodes, as does George Sr., Lindsay, Tobias, GOB, and George-Michael. Maeby, Lucille, and Buster only have one.) This makes some scenes in the initial episodes a bit hard to understand, but the jokes pay off in later episodes.

The season is indeed a puzzle with more pieces falling into place as every episode goes by. Some are not very uplifting, as the family has fallen on hard times (Oh, prison, shoddy land deals, and bankruptcy. So I guess kind of like the first three season). And yes, there are characters I wanted to see more of in the first few episodes, like Buster and GOB and George Michael. But as it turns out, they appear more in the second half of the season, so power through.

I was happy to see so many great themes come back. Ann as plant, Ann as egg, GOB’s panicked stuttering, Bees!, the comical miss-readings (mostly Tobias’), finishing each other’s sandwiches, sisters who “whore it up,” banners, getting blue/blown, hop-ons, and some pretty hot ham-water.

While they could have just run off the fumes of the old episodes–which maybe is what some of you had hoped for–I was actually happy to see the introduction of so many new running jokes like the “Showstealer Pro Trial Version” watermark over clips from old seasons. (I won’t spoil all of them.)

But seriously, whatever doubts you might have about the new season will be erased the more episodes you watch and the more times you watch them. Just like the old seasons, and Jessica Walter, the show gets better with age.

Image by Chris Favero.

Popcorned: "Arrested Development" Developments

arrested-development-season-4

-Casey Klekas

In less than a week the new season of Arrested Development will be on the nation’s Instant Queue. In case you haven’t been re-watching every episode like me, here’s where we left off:

Michael, George Michael, and a hidden George Sr., are on their way to the model house in Cabo. Lucille was driving the Queen Mary along with Tobias, G.O.B, the captive investors, and the hot se—er, sailors. Forty-year-old Lindsay is not a Bluth (she was almost a Sitwell!). Buster is in the water with a loose seal. Maeby is meeting with executives trying to sell the family’s life story as a TV series, which is denied, “But maybe a movie!”

So, where are we headed? Well, in case you missed it, they’ve released a trailer for season four, and it has revealed a few delicious nuggets to chew on until May 26th.

George Michael goes to school at UC Irvine, hinted on a pennant during Michael’s intrusion on his son’s dorm room, where he finds George Michael and his cousin Maeby continuing their hidden affair. Recall, at the end of season three Michael told his son that he and his cousin were not indeed blood relatives, but still family. We will have to wait to see more of Les Cousins Dangereux.

It’s hot at the airport where Michael asks the cab driver if he knows of a “good place to live,” because he’s “looking for a new start.” The sign says Sky Harbor, an airport in Phoenix, Arizona, which suggests that it is cut from episode one of season four, titled The Flight of the Phoenix. Michael burns his hand on the taxi’s door handle, not unlike the Cornballer from season one. In another scene, Michael appears to be buying a new car. Later, Michael stands in front of a new housing development managed by “The Michael Bluth Company,” which is stalked by a vulture, “Not a great sign.”

Lindsay has short hair in one scene, then long hair in another, where Tobias suggests getting her to that acting class. Tobias later sees the sign he’s been waiting for: a model Hollywood Sign saying “Hooray for Tobias.”

Maeby has grown into a fine young woman. At one point in the trailer she is startled by an ostrich inside the Balboa Apartments.

Michael approaches Kitty, who still holds some grudges from when Michael threatened her, then tried to blow her up with a boat. Hopefully she has a man in her life.

We see G.O.B. with his characteristic charm trying to pick up a woman at a bar. He also has some new magic act that looks like it might have “Roman Slave” as its title.

Lucille is dragged away by the police at a seafood restaurant, possibly Senor Tadpole’s, threatening Buster with abandonment. Buster is fitted with a shiny new hook. In one scene, he reveals that he has not outgrown his love for juice.

Well, that’s all I could gather from the trailer. Again, the new season will be released all at once this Sunday, May 26th. Thank heavens it is also Memorial Day weekend, and thank heavens for the auto-play feature at the end of every Netflix episode.

Image from http://www.redcarpetnewstv.com.

My Three Favorite Shows are Going Away and I'm Not Sad About it

-Eder Campuzano

Remember when The Simpsons was funny?

I sure do. Before the show relied on musical interludes and awkward sight gags to coax chuckles out of its audience, it absolutely shined with witty dialogue and inane situational humor. You know, stuff that literally made you laugh out loud.

Time hasn’t been kind to the citizens of Springfield, which is why I’m kind of glad the folks at 30 Rockefeller Center; Pawnee, Indiana; and Greendale Community College won’t suffer the same fate.

In case you haven’t heard, last week NBC renewed 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and—my personal favorite—Community for the 2012-2013 television season. Then it’s one final curtain call for Liz Lemon, Leslie Knope, and Jeff Winger.

And you know what? I’m not too sad about it.

Yes, it would be amazing to get a few more quality years from these series. But do we really want to see each of these standout shows slowly and steadily decline in quality like their yellow-skinned, animated counterparts (or even their Thursday night NBC contemporary, which has already suffered the loss of Steve Carrell and loses James Spader and Rainn Wilson next year)?

Naw, I’m good.

I’d rather remember these three shows as they were, before their primary writing staffs leave to pursue other projects or their best actors do the same. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m secretly glad Arrested Development lasted as long as it did and not a season more.
Things grew a bit stale after the first few episodes of the show’s third season. And when creator Mitch Hurwitz heard about Fox’s decision to cancel, the way his writing staff worked it into scripts was nothing short of magic. S.O.B.s, anyone?

Who knows where the Bluths would be today if the show were still on the air. I think we’re better off without the knowledge.

Besides, it’s not like cancellation will stop people like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, or the ensemble cast of Community from creating more quality content. Remember Freaks and Geeks, the quirky sitcom about a bunch of high school outcasts? That obscure, one-season gem produced some of the hardest-working people in the business today.
From actors Seth Rogen and Jason Segel to executive producer Judd Apatow, I’d say those folks are doing pretty well for themselves. By the way, how long do you think it’ll be until James Franco solves the planet’s energy woes?

Even Arrested Development is coming back for a final season and a movie. I’m remaining cautiously optimistic about it. I just hope we get closure on that whole GOB and Anne thing (I know what you’re thinking: “Who? Her?”).

Call me a downer, but we’re better off saying adios to 30 Rock, Parks, and Community while they’re still in their prime. It’s better than watching time take its toll on their quality.

Besides, if they became too mainstream, that’s three fewer things hipsters could condescendingly claim knowing about five years from now. And then what would they fill their Netflix instant queues with?

The British predecessors to whatever the hell is on NBC in 2017. That’s what.