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I love it!
I've just reached season 3 but I love it. It's great... it's crazy and fun and has some really clever jokes. Most of the characters are really likeable and the plots are ridiculous (in a good way). If you're looking for a sitcom to watch, this would be a great option. I particularly enjoy Michael and George Michael's relationship and Buster, Tobias and Gob's ridiculous dialogue :)
It isn't every day a show like "Arrested Development" comes along
It's not every day you come across a show with the history that the popular sitcom Arrested Development has. This show was on for three seasons and it got cancelled after the third season due to low ratings. A good number of audiences were upset by its cancellation, while some new audiences took a look back at the past seasons. And I guess critics and audiences alike really liked the past seasons enough to the point where this show is now officially back on the air only on Netflix.
Before I delve further into what I think of this show, it should be noted that I've only seen the first season of this show so far. In other words, this review will be solely based on season one. Based on what I've seen from season one of Arrested Development so far, I can understand why people like this show even though I wouldn't go as far as to say that it's one of my favorite shows yet. Arrested Development centers around Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) who essentially tries to keep his dysfunctional family together and try to prevent certain family members from basically doing something stupid.
Among Michael's family members are his son (Michael Cera) who seems to try a little too hard to live up to his father's standards, his trouble- making father (Jeffrey Tambor), his alcoholic mother (Jessica Walter) who is judgmental of every family member. There's also his socially awkward younger brother (Tony Hale), his older brother (Will Arnett) who is an unsuccessful magician, his spoiled twin sister (Portia de Rossi), her husband (David Cross) who is also an actor, and their rebellious daughter (Alia Shawkat). This show basically follows these family members and whatever funny situations they experience.
Thinking about what to write for a show like this, given that I've only seen one season, is a challenge since there isn't much to analyze about either side really. I can't say that I'm a fan of either Michael Cera or Will Arnett, but I think they're tolerable in this show. I liked how in one episode I've seen, Will Arnett's character tries to break out of prison, gets beaten up in prison, is sent to the hospital, and in his hospital bed, he simply says "Ta-da". That was a good joke. If the actor came up with more comedic material like that, I'd be less mixed on him as a comedic actor. As for Michael Cera, he does do the same old routine he would continue on doing later in his career. His act works here though because it fits with the character he plays as opposed to just being awkward and tiresome.
This is one of those shows in which I am able to identify with the characters and yet unable to identify with them both at the same time. Tony Hale's character, aka the socially awkward brother, is a great example. Like this specific character, I seem to get along more with people older than me than I do with people younger than me. But at the same time, I wouldn't date anyone that was at least 10 years older than me because that would be too weird. Portia de Rossi's character, aka the spoiled twin sister, is another noteworthy example. While I'm willing to admit that I'm used to living the good life and not having to take care of everything, I'm also pretty careful when it comes to deciding how much money to spend on a weekly basis unlike Portia de Rossi's character.
The other characters are interesting including Michael's father, played by Jeffrey Tambor. I like how the in the first few episodes when he's in prison, he says to his son that he actually likes it there and claims that it's like being on vacation. That's one way of looking at time in prison, and as a writer, I'm up for looking at things through different points of view. David Cross' character, aka the husband of Michael's sister, is also entertaining. He's got plenty of funny moments particularly when he and his wife attend couples therapy in one episode and this therapy turns into an acting rehearsal of sorts for him as the therapist has taken interest in his profession. I don't want to reveal too much but that story in that episode is hilarious because of David Cross.
Based on what I've seen so far of Arrested Development, I'll continue watching the show a little more. While I don't think that I'd declare it one of the greatest television sitcoms like everyone else seems to, I do understand why critics and audiences generally like it. I like most of the characters, I think that most of the jokes hit their targets, the acting in general is well done, the storytelling is efficient and so is the narration by Ron Howard that accompanies it. Even if a couple episodes or jokes aren't quite up my alley, I'd still say that it's a show that's worth your time.moreless
Which parts do you want to fast-forward thru?
Let's be honest, nearly every show has parts we don't really want to watch, and that's when we skip ahead. For me it's the overload of sappy overparenting by Michael over his son, George Michael. The point is already made; the two have a great bond, but it seems like half the show is about the less-than-funny stuff going on with George Michael and his dad. If I am facing 13 hours of viewing time ahead, I don't have time to sit through all the milquetoast.moreless
Just as my faith had built!
I flip-flopped quite a bit during the first 10 episodes (I binged hard), but when my roommate came home I re-watched the first 5 episodes again. Knowing how some of the Easter eggs play out definitely brings back the humour of AD that I remember. It seemed like the series was too focused on dropping these Easter eggs that the first half of the season felt pretty bland. There were definitely a few great moments as AD will always be known for, but it never felt like if had that consistent substance I loved the previous 3 seasons of AD for.
However, in the later episodes as most of the eggs have now been dropped, AD really picked back up. I can't say that I am fully in love with the 'let's focus on one character' model they emphasized this season as it really did leave out a lot of comedy from each episode. There were definitely times I felt that I'd gone too long without seeing Tobias or GOB for example.
And much was the same in the final episode. However, the end lost me. No spoilers, as I'm sure everyone expects there to be something impactful happening at the end of a season finale but I can't say I agree with this end one bit.
Sure, the humour is still there, but this ended way too... heavy for a AD finale. Yes, there always is a big moment to end an AD season, but this didn't set me up for a 'wonder what's next' feeling I want out of AD. It's too serious, too... drama. I wanted an AD style over-the-top "OH SNAP! Wonder what's next! That was hilarious!" finale. Not this.
All that said, I love that AD is back and look forward to re-watching this season with less bingey friends.moreless
I was genuinely heart broken when the show was cancelled- but now with the delightful anticipation and resurrection of the new season, I am once again able to fully relish into my profound love and obsession for ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. It makes me sad when I hear that people have never watched the show, but at the same time I feel special... like I'm in a super secret, awesome, super intelligent underground club. LONG LIVE THE BLUTH FAMILY. And Carl Weathers.