Sunday, May 26, 2013

Development Day

Sorry Mitch Hurwitz, I'm going to binge-watch them.  I'll watch the episodes in order, obviously, but yeah, I'm so eager for a new Arrested Development season that I will happily set aside six straight hours to devour the entire thing.  In fact, it won't even be my first AD marathon of the week, as I've spent much of my recent free time catching up on the initial 53 episodes.  Some observations after this rewatch…

* This show is really, really great.  It's in the sitcom pantheon.  I'm happy to say that though it's been a few years since I've seen these episodes, they all still hold up and I'm still as much in awe of the writing as ever.  You can make a legit case that this is the funniest show of all time, especially since its relatively short run actually enhances that argument since AD never lost steam in later seasons a la virtually every other comedy on television.  This is probably the reason why AD, of all cult hits, actually did get revived after all these years.  Fans didn't just love it as a cult classic; I think everyone knew that Arrested Development was something truly special and in need of cultivation for as long as possible.

* To that end, it's the rare show without ANY dud episodes.  All 53 were gems.  For years I considered that "S.O.B.s" was probably the worst of the bunch since it got just a bit too self-referential, and yet even watching it again yesterday, it's hardly a bad or unfunny episode by any means.  It also occurred to me that saying, "I don't care for S.O.B.s" can be uttered in the same tone as Lucille saying, "I don't care for GOB," so I'm going to keep considering it my least-favourite episode for that reason alone.

* I did, in fact, eat a banana while watching the old episodes.  A peanut butter-and-banana sandwich, in fact.  There's always money in peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches.

* If Dev Patel were ever to get arrested, this would be the ideal weekend to do it and fly totally under the radar.  Any #ArrestedDev tweets would be totally buried on Twitter.

* Judy Greer playing unattractive is a stretch, but then again, GOB's attractiveness radar was pretty skewed, so perhaps it was just his opinion and Kitty wasn't supposed to be 'ugly' in the world of the show.  Since, c'mon, it's Judy Greer.  Even with crossed eyes.

* And while I'm being shallow, original Marta >>>> long-term Marta.

* Funniest running gag I'd forgotten about: whenever a group of police/security is tackling George or Oscar, one cop always runs in late with the knockout baton shot.

* Two great lists of hidden or subtle gags within Arrested Development.  I just watched this damn show again and STILL missed about half of these.  The one about GOB's Segway always leading to plot segues is mind-blowing.

* A whole lot of "hey, it's…." actors who weren't as famous (or famous at all) during the original airings yet have gone onto great things in the last seven years.  I think basically all of the major Upright Citizens Brigade cast show up, a few Office cast members (Phyllis Smith and Brian "Kevin" Baumgartner), Family Guy voice actors and, most surprisingly for me, Jonathan Penner from Survivor.  He and Kevin McDonald from "Kids In The Hall" are the two cops interviewing Michael on Take Your Daughter To Work Day.  Penner can't trick any information out of Michael, so whether it's on Survivor or Arrested Development, Penner's plans simply don't work.

* In the spirit of the Simpsons lines I use on a daily basis, it's worth noting that quite a bit of AD dialogue has permeated my everyday language.  To wit...

"Baby, you've got a stew going!"
"I don't understand the question and I won't respond to it."
"You're going to get some hop-ons."
"…the guy in the $5000 suit!"
"Pop-Pop gets a treat?"
"Well, let's hope it doesn't come to that."
"Ahhhh, Gene Parmesan!"
"I just want my kids back."
"Say goodbye to THESE!"
"Take a good look, it's the last time you'll see these!"
"That's why you always leave a note!"
"What is she, funny?"
"Illusion.  A trick is something a whore does for money."
"…with club sauce!"
"There's always money in the banana stand, tsk tsk."
"Steve Holt!"
"It's a wonderful restaurant!"  "It sure is!"
"This party is going to be off, the hook!"
"No touching!"
"The mere fact that you call making love 'pop-pop' tells me that you're not ready."
"We finish each other's…."  "…sandwiches?"
"You can always tell a Milford man."
"Come on!"
"He said some wonderful things."
"But where did the lighter fluid come from?!"
"I've got the worst f***ing attorneys."
"You were just a turd out there….Just a, a turd."
"Go fatty."
"I don't know who that is, and I don't care to find out."
"Look at banner, Michael!"
"I never should've given up animation rights."
"It walked on my pillow!"
"I buy all my cars at police auctions."
"Beads."  "Bees?!"  "Beads!"
"Let the great experiment begin!"
"If that's a veiled criticism of me, I won't hear it and I won't respond to it."
"Oh, most definitely."
"I'm sorry, your wife is dead!…I'm sorry, that was 100 percent inappropriate of me."
"Daddy horny, Michael."
"And I'm the laaaaaaaaaaast…."
"Douche chillllllll….."
"I've made a huge mistake."

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