I’ve seen Arrested Development before. Twoish years ago for the first time and that’s actually the only other time I’ve actually sat through and watched the whole show till this week. While bored at home over break I chose to re-watch this (among other shows) instead of actually being productive.
I remember starting Arrested Development for the first time and not really being taken away with it. It was different, but by the second episode I was sold on it. The show has a very particular style and it kind of takes getting used to. That and the pilot throws a lot at you in a short amount of time.
I’m not going to bother trying to get into the plot/story because it’s complicated. The show is about the Bluth family. They run into legal problems and while that sort of is the overarching plot line of the show, it really isn’t that important. In fact that is kinda what hurt the show in the end to me. I love the show, but I think they ended it at a good time. The whole trial stuff was thin t begin with (which is fine), but at a certain point it would’ve become overdone, which it started to feel that way. Nothing new was being done with that and it held the show back. Ending where they did was nice. They didn’t drag anything out longer than need be and it ended while the show was still great. In fact if the show/movie thing does actually go through than that’s actually really good. They needed a time skip/break in there.
While the style of the show is great, the cast is what helped seal the deal. I don’t care what anyone says everyone on that show was great. Jason Bateman was great as Michael. He was a good choice as the anchor for the show. He’s a good actor and good for the character. Michael Cera was great as George Michael, his son. As much as you may not like Cera now, he was great as George Michael and he also worked really well with Bateman. Ali Shawkat held her on in there as well as one of the two “kids.” Portia de Rossie was great as Lindsay. The character may have been some what plastic and superficial and Portia played that wonderfully and David Cross did a great job as Tobias, who probably has some of the more memorable bits. Maybe it’s because Cross is a stand-up comedian, but he seemed to get some of the more bizarre stuff to do on the show. Tony Hale is also great as Buster. SO good in fact, that I recently saw an ad where Hale was appearing in some CSI type show or movie and I couldn’t picture it. His portrayal is just so ingrained in my head that I can’t see him as anything else. And Will Arnett is just great. He plays a certain kind of character (at leas the few things I’ve seen him on) and he does it great. I can see criticism for that in the same way Cera could be criticized as far as playing a type, but they both do it well, especially Arnett.
Jeffrey Tambor is great. He’s played some great characters over the years, which is only a testament to how good of an actor he is. It’s also nice that he is able to continually keep appearing in the show through “tricks.” I was pissed when they arrested him at first because I thought he was going to be gone. Jessica Walter as Lucille is great as well. Both work well together and really don’t need each other. I feel like Ron Howard needs some credit as the narrator as well. It doesn’t sound like him, or at least the voice I associate with him. Howard as the narrator though has some great bits, especially in season three when they start just experimenting with somethings a bit more.
Really the show would be fine with just one of the characters/actors. They’re all great and could hold up on their own. It’s kinda what makes the show so great. That and they also get some great guest stars like Henry Winkler.
One of the nice things about Arrested Development is that while it does have running gags, they never really get old. The writers do a good job at not using a gag every episode and when something does crop up again, it’s at least slightly different or in the case of season three blatantly there. Season three really is fascinating. I’m assuming it’s because they knew the show was over so they decided to say “eff it let’s go all out,” though they don’t. Still as meta as the show can be half way through season three they really let loose and it works. It wouldn’t have worked if they had tried doing that in the beginning, but the timing with the ending of the show just allowed it to work.
Anyways, it’s a great show. I don’t think I know anyone whose seen it and not liked it. Even my mom liked it and she doesn’t have the greatest sense of humor.
So if you haven’t seen Arrested Development by now, you should. Especially since I think the long talks of a movie or tv show is actually coming to fruition now.