Posts Tagged ‘gob’

“Now the story…”: Brief Reviews of Arrested Development

The original plan — like four years ago — was for John S and Tim to barrel through the 53 original episodes of Arrested Development and cooperatively rank them best to worst, with an in-depth review of each. Circumstances intervened with the thoroughness of that project, and egos intervened with the idea of two people “cooperatively” ranking all 53 episodes. (Ranking Game isn’t as effective with just two people.)

So here’s the result of all that labor: Shorter reviews of all 53 original episodes, presented in chronological fashion (albeit with a good deal of ranking going on within them).

Arrested Development is our favorite show, and this, in 53 different ways, shows why.

(Extended) Pilot

John once made a point — I think it was in here — about how dramas are most perfectly conceived in their first seasons. (He’s taken a step back, btw.) Comedies have always been driven differently. It takes time for the characters to evolve and develop the right way, for the proper interactions to take hold.

Which makes watching Arrested Development’s extended pilot so remarkable. The characters are properly and almost comprehensively established right away. “This is Michael Bluth. He’s a good man” is the first line of the series, and it foregrounds everything that is to come after it.* Lucille is overdramatic and quick-witted, Lindsay is hypocritical, Tobias is oblivious, Gob is creepy, Buster is incompetent, George Sr. is going through one of his phases (a cowboy one to be exact). None of these characterizations ring untrue.

*The “He’s a good man” is actually cut from the pilot that aired. Seems like it shouldn’t have been.

This isn’t the funniest episode of the series by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s one of the funnier pilots you’ll ever see, especially considering the amount of expository work that has to be done. The series lays its extensive deck of cards on the table right away, complete with the eccentricities of its characters and absurd plot developments (i.e. incest in the first episode). It’s a nearly flawless pilot. —Tim

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Taking Names…and Umbrage: “Against Insular Arrogance”

As you no doubt inferred, this is a response to Josh’s post.

Josh: boring, nothing-going-on-upstairs…Josh.

I take umbrage to your claim that fans of Arrested Development exhibit more insular arrogance than devotees of other television programs. Even Barry Zuckercorn–who’s very good, by the way–knows your evidence is anecdotal and wouldn’t even garner a favorable ruling in Mr. Reinhold’s Courtroom. There are just so many poorly chosen words in your argument, beginning and ending with “insular,” about as editorial a phrase as imaginable given the context (I, by the way, would suggest “justified” as a substitute). As it is, it appears you’ve prematurely shot your wad on what was supposed to be a dry run, if you will, so now you’re afraid you’ve got something of a mess on your hands. Oh, COME ON!

(For the record, was the Improv show held at a restaurant? Because, you know, it’s a restaurant.)

And that comedienne? Her? Perhaps she should take her “job” more seriously and spend the 17 2/3 hours it takes to catch up on the best comedy of the last decade. I promise it will make for lasting fun.

So, Josh, don’t make this another great day…for being sad. Suck it up like Tobias taking a chubby, and admit that you, like the authorities, had it wrong. Or are you chicken?