Arrested Development

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mfunk9786
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Re: Arrested Development

#26 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue May 21, 2013 4:53 pm

domino harvey wrote:If you've somehow avoided all internet media for the last couple months, all fifteen new episodes drop on Sunday. Odds that Netflix crashes within an hour of posting 'em all?
Considering that they're responsible for 28.8% of internet traffic overall in North America, I'd say they're probably more than prepared for a new season of a somewhat niche comedy to drop. At least I'd hope so.

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Black Hat
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Re: Arrested Development

#27 Post by Black Hat » Tue May 21, 2013 5:25 pm

So what expectations do you guys have for the new batch of episodes? As good as it ever was or disappointing? I'm preparing myself for the worst as I didn't like the trailer very much.

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Drucker
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Re: Arrested Development

#28 Post by Drucker » Tue May 21, 2013 7:26 pm

Black Hat wrote:So what expectations do you guys have for the new batch of episodes? As good as it ever was or disappointing? I'm preparing myself for the worst as I didn't like the trailer very much.
I'm in the same boat. 14 Episodes isn't enough time I don't think to establish new running gags that payoff after a full season. It seems that they are going to re-use the same old bits which I'm sure many will be thrilled by, but which kind of bores me. That's assuming the trailer is any indication.

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Murdoch
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Re: Arrested Development

#29 Post by Murdoch » Tue May 21, 2013 7:37 pm

I saw a clip and it was on par with most of the initial run's one-off gags. Although I'm in the camp that thought the "series finale" was a perfect conclusion, despite feeling a bit rushed.

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domino harvey
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Re: Arrested Development

#30 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 21, 2013 7:41 pm

Having never been able to marathon this (I actually watched this from the very first episode just on the strength of Tambor and Cross' involvement), it will be a new way of taking in the series for me, but there's just no way in hell I'm not watching them all as soon as possible. Also, the original trailers and commercials for AD when it aired were almost all terrible, so don't judge the series on what's been released (and at least one clip is actually a deleted scene from the new series, hence its off-timing)

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Cold Bishop
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Re: Arrested Development

#31 Post by Cold Bishop » Sun May 26, 2013 7:53 am

Did anyone dive in yet? First episode: not good. But I can easily see how that's unavoidable at the start given the "character episodes" and backlogging 10-years.

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: Arrested Development

#32 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Sun May 26, 2013 11:02 am

Agreed, not a great start, though it was picking up a bit in the last few minutes. The 'character episode' concept seems to limit a lot of the great interplay and cutaways that the actors had in previous seasons, but that may be, as you said, the unavoidable dilemma of reorienting the audience into the story. We'll see how that plays out after a few more episodes.

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Re: Arrested Development

#33 Post by ianungstad » Sun May 26, 2013 3:42 pm

I've watched the first three episodes. This is just terrible. It's not even Running Wilde quality. Please tell me this gets better? Meh.

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Cold Bishop
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Re: Arrested Development

#34 Post by Cold Bishop » Sun May 26, 2013 4:21 pm

The general tenor is yes...

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Joshuadel
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Re: Arrested Development

#35 Post by Joshuadel » Sun May 26, 2013 5:35 pm

Cold Bishop wrote:The general tenor is yes...
I think it does get funnier as the season progresses (my wife and I just finished the Gob episode, which is either the seventh or eighth), but then again I may be the wrong person to trust in this matter. I've found the whole run pretty enjoyable thus far -- admittedly, my expectations before it began were firmly in check -- if different from the earlier seasons. This run plays better as one really, really long episode of the show, and treating it as such seems to make the little running gags and callbacks
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like the piecemeal reveal that the whole cast is present for Michael's storming out/Lucille and George Sr's divorce announcement
feel completely in line with the previous tenor of the program. The George/Oscar storyline is the only one I've felt somewhat ambivalent about, though the second George episode was a marked improvement over the first.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Arrested Development

#36 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sun May 26, 2013 11:01 pm

Having only watched the first new episode- I thought it was fairly funny, though not as inspired as the original show (if only because it seems far less stuffed with jokes), but it's honestly pretty upsetting how pathetic Michael has become. It was always the subtext of the original show that he wasn't as different from his family as he liked to consider himself, but seeing him in full on Buster level helplessness knocks his whole character off, as he has sort of no standing to play against.

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Re: Arrested Development

#37 Post by cdnchris » Mon May 27, 2013 12:51 am

Half way through but had to stop. I thought the first episode was pretty good, followed by two poor episodes then ones that got progressively better. I think the fact they couldn't get everyone together has obviously hurt it and that energy is missing. They also seem to be putting more effort into plot than gags. It's interesting watching all the episodes cross, though, and something tells me going through it again may offer some more pay offs in certain episodes.

There's still a lot of good lines and gags, and some good hard laughs ("Daddy needs to get his rocks off") but it's not up to previous seasons for sure.

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Black Hat
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Re: Arrested Development

#38 Post by Black Hat » Mon May 27, 2013 2:35 am

Two episodes in I don't hate it but I certainly can't see myself watching these episodes again. When did Michael become so pathetic? I don't think he fits making you cringe to this extent at all.

Also the Kristen Wiig, Seth Rogen bits are terrible. I think Wiig has talent but lets be honest is there another more overrated performer in the last ten, twenty years than her? Everyone's like Kristen Wiig this Kristen Wiig that, does anybody even remember her having one funny character on SNL? She's only been gone a year, it can't be that hard. My unsubstantiated theory is that men are attracted to her so they're trying to convince themselves that she's a lot funnier than she actually is because they like looking at her but what do I know.

Seth Rogen's another one, dude hasn't been in anything funny since Undeclared but yet he appears on my tv screen far too often. Some Hollywood pope needs to excommunicate his ass, he needs to go back to whenceforth he came.

cdnchris wrote:I think the fact they couldn't get everyone together has obviously hurt it
Is that the case? I was wondering where everybody was during the first two episodes. Why on earth would they even do it like that? What made the show great in the first place was its ensemble cast, now I know for sure it's going to continue to suck. What a shame, I mean are they that desperate for money?

My fear now, with all the hype, is that the show's going to be more famous for their Netflix season being a terrible flop than how great the first three were.

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Re: Arrested Development

#39 Post by karmajuice » Mon May 27, 2013 2:58 am

I'm ten episodes in, and the season only gets progressively better as it goes. I also thought the first few episodes were rough, but it really picks up steam later on, as more of the characters are re-introduced. (Someone says they couldn't get everyone together? Who are they missing? Even relatively minor character make come-back appearances.)

By the third or fourth episode, the recall jokes (which dominate the first few episodes) are still present, but take on a subtle background presence. The season continues to mine a rich vein of character-driven comedy and starts up its own new running gags, and quite successfully, I think. The structural conceit is tight and works well; it's very satisfying to see it unfold, and the multitude of ways (often very inconspicuous ways) in which the episodes are interconnected.

Also, Michael hitting a new low just highlights a trend in the series up to this point, which is only now taking center stage: the fact that he is no better than the rest of his family. He just likes to pretend that he is.

So far I'm very pleased. I'll probably finish the season tomorrow.

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Re: Arrested Development

#40 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon May 27, 2013 10:21 am

It is much better than a reboot of a highly calibrated show 8 years later has any right to be. That being said, it's far from perfect. There are a few episodes (the first George Sr one in particular) that fall completely flat without the rest of the cast around. Tobias not having the rest of the cast to play off of and still hitting so many amazing gags seems like proof positive that he needs a spinoff, immediately. I think he has been the only character so far to essentially nail the moments when he's on screen. I quite enjoyed the pathetic angle taken on Michael, because it's building to something... the bizarre idea that he can't quite survive without the family is what the show's been about all along. I, like Chris, stopped last night midway (after Gob's fantastic episode), but I look forward to continuing.

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Re: Arrested Development

#41 Post by cdnchris » Mon May 27, 2013 11:43 am

Black Hat wrote:
cdnchris wrote:I think the fact they couldn't get everyone together has obviously hurt it
Is that the case? I was wondering where everybody was during the first two episodes. Why on earth would they even do it like that?
The issue was more scheduling conflicts and because of that the cast couldn't get together 100% of the time other than maybe one or two sequences. Because of that they came up with the idea of making episodes that focussed on each character during the same period of time with the other characters wandering in and out. They also used the fragmented form of storytelling as an opportunity to experiment with streaming television episodes, trying to make it in a way where you could watch the episodes in any order (though I'm still not sure that's the case half way through.)

Episodes 2 and 3 are pretty bad, I'd even say outright terrible (I think the first episode started off strong but then sort of died out) but I'm wondering if they might have more of a payoff after getting through the season. As you go on the episodes get better and things in previous episodes become clearer, and some of the gags even come off funnier. For example there's a scene in the second Michael episode where George Sr. shows up at his new office, and the scene is fairly awkward. It then becomes clearer and actually funnier when the same scene plays out in the second George Sr. episode with more context set up. But it's interesting in terms of narrative (and this is where I think the any-order idea might not work) because the first time it plays out it's completely from Michael's point of view and you know as much as he does, so you see George's intentions (as awkward as they may be) play out in one light, but then when you see the scene again from George's point of view it's in a completely different light.
SpoilerShow
There's also the better use of George/Oscar confusion because of this method of storytelling.
Though again they spent more time on plotting than gags it seems, I'm warming up to it the more I think about it and I'm looking forward to the remaining episodes, especially after the Tobias and Gob episodes, which I found to be both really funny.

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: Arrested Development

#42 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Mon May 27, 2013 5:55 pm

I'm surprised to see Troy Milller listed as a director on this entire season. No doubt he took over a lot of work from Mitch Hurwitz to aid in the chaotic shooting schedule, but his presence seems odd considering the contentious relationship he had with star David Cross over Run Ronnie Run a decade ago. Cross doesn't seem like the forgive-and-forget type, so I'm wondering if Hurwitz took charge for the days where Tobias appeared in scenes.

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Re: Arrested Development

#43 Post by ianungstad » Thu May 30, 2013 12:24 am

The season starts really rough but around episode seven it all starts to gel and the last half of the season is actually pretty strong. It would be nice if they could do another season again in the future. For anyone who was turned off by the first couple of episodes, stick with it. It gets MUCH better.

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Cold Bishop
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Re: Arrested Development

#44 Post by Cold Bishop » Fri May 31, 2013 12:55 am

Am I wrong, or was that meant to be a Cruising reference? (Those who've seen the two will know what I mean)

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Re: Arrested Development

#45 Post by onedimension » Fri May 31, 2013 1:19 am

The season's pretty slow-burning, but I don't regret watching it and will watch it again. Some of the guest actors seemed to jar the frame of the show a little more than I remember in the network episodes, where even highly recognizable actors like Charlize Theron seemed relatively assimilated into the feel of things..

The network episodes were more like a carousel, the Netflix ones a ferris wheel.. still kind of fun, good views, but slower..

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Cold Bishop
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Re: Arrested Development

#46 Post by Cold Bishop » Fri May 31, 2013 1:28 am

Oh yeah, and the plot for the movie/S5 is pretty well set-up:
SpoilerShow
A "Who Killed Lucille 2?" mystery
which might explain the Hitchcock references throughout Buster's episode (Psycho, Notorious, probably more that I missed).

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Cold Bishop
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Re: Arrested Development

#47 Post by Cold Bishop » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:58 am

Just leaving this here. Make sure to read the description.

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jindianajonz
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Re: Arrested Development

#48 Post by jindianajonz » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:23 pm

So I have a question about one of the jokes in episode 14:
SpoilerShow
At one point, Rebel says that her son's father is a guy named Depardieu, and that he only visits with it's not French pilot season. I assume that this is a reference to Gerard Depardieu, but what is his connection to the show or rebel? It seems much too specific to be a random coincidence.

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Re: Arrested Development

#49 Post by Perkins Cobb » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:46 pm

The whole thing sounded dubious on paper, but I thought it was brilliant. None of the complaints I'd read about beforehand -- the separation of the major characters, overlength of the episodes -- bothered me; in fact, I'd say that Hurwitz turned them into strengths. The original Bluths interact with each other (one on one, if not all nine together) more than I was expecting based on what I'd read, and the new escapades they get into & characters they interact with singly felt like an expansion of the show, rather than a series poor substitions.

About midway through I realized that it was a mistake to think of it as a "season" of Arrested Development -- really what Hurwitz (who'd been trying to make a movie out of the show) did was to create one massive, eight-hour-long episode. The feel of the new episodes is a bit different from the old ones, but if you think of Season 4 as one supersized episode, it's actually quite similar in structure to each of the original 22-minute segments. I don't think it's overreaching to compare it, in terms of scope and construction, to something huge and messy and strange like Out 1 or Mysteries of Lisbon. No wonder people who were expecting more of an American sitcom (even an edgy one) scratched their heads. I'm glad some critics are starting to see it as something more -- see, for instance, Matt Zoller Seitz and Christopher Orr.

Minute for minute, there aren't as many gags in the original series, but it's a worthwhile trade-off for the kind of epic immersion you get into the zany Bluth world, which is as richly conceived and visualized as it ever was.

Running Wilde, though, boy was that a dud. Woof.
Last edited by Perkins Cobb on Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Arrested Development

#50 Post by jindianajonz » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:16 pm

I pretty much agree with all you have to say, Perkins. The jokes didn't come as quick as they did in the earlier seasons, but the whole thing worked way better than early reviews had led me to believe. I haven't tried to go through any of the episodes a second time, but I get the feeling that this season will reward repeat viewing even more than the first three seasons did, and those were, without a doubt, the most rewarding second (and third and fourth) viewings that I've had with a TV comedy.

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