Monday, May 27, 2013

Arrested What in the Hell!?!

Here's the story of a TV audience who lost a great show, and the one totally non-existent blogger who had no choice but to procrastinate from all the other stuff she should be doing by blogging about the long-awaited return thereof.

Okay, let me begin by saying...


Now, first let's make note of the fact that the casting - in particular for the 1982 flashbacks - was fricking genius!  I'm not a fan of either Kristin Wiig or Seth Rogen, but both were perfect as Lucille and George.  And young Barry... THANK YOU!  There was so much great casting.  Who could possibly be Liza Minelli's brother, if not Tommy Tune?!  A particular standout for me was Mary Lynn Rasjskub's character... an excellent gag that I will not spoil just in case one of the three people who might read this hasn't seen the episodes and still progressed beyond my warning.

There was a lot of great payoff from the original series.  Roles were reprized, running jokes were resurrected and alternately beaten to death or had the breath quietly wrung from their respective alvioli (her?).

And I have to say... the relationship with Google over the course of the episodes was pretty amusing.  I'm going to have to something search that one.

In general, I would say that the arc took some time to get moving.  From the first episode the elements were all there, and the construction was every bit as clever as in the original three seasons, but I wouldn't say it was as funny.  There was so much ground to cover since last we had seen the Bluths, so much foundation to lay before we could understand how everything was going to fit together.  The pace was break-neck most of the time, so a lot of the jokes didn't have time to land.  Add to the overflow of exposition the fact that we watched all fifteen episodes in two very long sittings, and we've definitely got the feeling of drinking out of a fire hydrant, despite the fact that nothing seemed to be happening per se.  Since each episode centers on one family member's personal journey, I initially felt the absence of the manic interplay that made these strange, self-involved characters so watchable.  It is especially difficult to watch Tobias without much interplay with the other characters.  Gotta love David Cross, but MAN... Tobias is rough.  There were tastes here and there, but it wasn't really until the seventh episode - the first to feature the incomparable GOB - that I started to feel the Arrested Development rhythm settle in.  That episode brought in some of the first truly hearty laughs for me...and a healthy helping of "DID THEY JUST DO THAT?!?" From that point on, we got increasing dollops of overlap, but I still wanted more.  I guess I felt like characters were too often absent from each other's episodes.

We were left hanging on a lot of people for a long time - not even getting a Buster episode until the penultimate one.  And George Michael took a long time to have his say as well.  But as much as we were left hanging throughout the fifteen episodes, the final one leaves us dangling by our pinkies off of a cliff over we don't have any idea what...but you can just barely make out that brown area and its points.  Question upon question has piled up on us, and almost none has been resolved.  If they're campaigning for a season 5 or a movie... well... that's great.  But what the hell was up with George, Sr's identity crisis (my theory is that is has something to do with the sweat vs. the lemonade)?  What about Maeby's arrest?  What happened to Lucille 2?  How are Michael and George Michael going to sort out their squabble?  Will the truth about fakeblock ever come out?  And who brings their girlfriend a cactus?  Who really sabotaged the tomb (my theory: Ione Skye was looking pretty shifty!)?  And while we're at it, what's up with Tony Wonder and GOB?  Talk to me about the Lindsey/Sally Sitwell campaign!  What happened to Tobias and Marky Bark?  How about poor DeBrie?  What about the wall?  And seriously... the cactus?  Come on!

Seriously... there had better be someone greenlighting a next whatever as we speak... and if the Bluths all just  end up coming together in some lame church in an alternate reality, I'm going to punch Mitchell Hurwitz AND J.J. Abrams right in the mouth.

Because let's be honest... I'm still a little mad at J.J.

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