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(CNN)   Critics on "Arrested Development": "Meh". Ron Howard: "Haters gonna hate"   (cnn.com) divider line 245
    More: Cool, Arrested Development, Mitch Hurwitz, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman  
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4448 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 28 May 2013 at 10:20 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-28 09:16:11 AM
I'm about a third of the way through but I'm really impressed not just with the humor but also the amazing structure that they've built the episodes around.

/The MST3K reference was a bonus too
 
2013-05-28 09:20:34 AM
I watched 9 episodes yesterday, and I think it is great.
 
2013-05-28 09:25:39 AM
Needs more Buster, otherwise I have enjoyed it.

stpauler: The MST3K reference was a bonus too


That had me laughing quite hard.
 
2013-05-28 09:37:06 AM

stpauler: The MST3K reference was a bonus too


I was surprised that they got Joel to do it.  Hell, I'm surprised about all the cameos so far.

/I'm 6 episodes in.  I can only handle 3 at a stretch.
 
2013-05-28 10:01:04 AM
At first I was meh because the episodes were about individual characters instead of the group disfunction I had come to love. But I accepted it because I figured there was a purpose to it and that it would come together later. Sometime around the first GOB-centered episode, it starts to pick up.
 
2013-05-28 10:06:24 AM
i'm at episode 5, and so far... yeah, it's a bit meh. hopefully it gets better.
 
2013-05-28 10:07:59 AM

kbronsito: At first I was meh because the episodes were about individual characters instead of the group disfunction I had come to love. But I accepted it because I figured there was a purpose to it and that it would come together later. Sometime around the first GOB-centered episode, it starts to pick up.


That is the most awesome spelling error ever.
 
2013-05-28 10:10:29 AM
I'm about halfway through, and I'm also a meh. So far, the show is really prioritizing clever over funny, it feels like. The more episodes in you get, the more impressed I am with how everything is interconnecting, but its not really making me laugh. I think the big problem is that there's no cast interaction. Every person is getting their own episodes, and at most interacting with just 1 or 2 other characters. I think through the first 6, Michael only interacts with GM and George, Lindsay only with Tobias, and even then not much, and THERE'S NO GOB. ANYWHERE. Until you get to the GOB episode (which is the funniest so far), he's nowhere. It's insane. Michael and GOB interacting is the best, and its not there.

A little disappointing, but I'm still enjoying.
 
2013-05-28 10:21:06 AM
ANUSTART
 
2013-05-28 10:24:47 AM
what is show about?
 
2013-05-28 10:25:05 AM
I've watched the first two episodes and I think the Michael as a loser is forced.
 
2013-05-28 10:25:07 AM
Watching multiple episodes of a new show the same time as everyone else is a bad way to experience television.
 
2013-05-28 10:26:06 AM

Cheron: I've watched the first two episodes and I think the Michael as a loser is forced.


Yeah that really doesn't work for me. It's just not funny.
 
2013-05-28 10:26:16 AM

Madbassist1: kbronsito: At first I was meh because the episodes were about individual characters instead of the group disfunction I had come to love. But I accepted it because I figured there was a purpose to it and that it would come together later.


The purpose is that it was so difficult to coordinate the individual actors schedules the writer's compensated by centering a lot of the episodes around a single character. Some of the scenes of a simpleconversation between two characters are actually green screened shots taken at different times.
 
2013-05-28 10:26:48 AM
Finished watching through Sunday night, I think I'll screw up the order and re-watch them, under my theory that the episodes can be watched in virtually any order without screwing the story up.
 
2013-05-28 10:27:59 AM
They are not bad, but they have altered something that was special in so far as some of the cast interactions
 
2013-05-28 10:28:13 AM

ToxicAvenger: Some of the scenes of a simpleconversation between two characters are actually green screened shots taken at different times.


I'm assuming we don't hold this against them for George and Oscar.

EyeballKid: Finished watching through Sunday night, I think I'll screw up the order and re-watch them, under my theory that the episodes can be watched in virtually any order without screwing the story up.


I think Hurwitz said this was the initial plan but that it ended up not working, so we shouldn't do that.
 
2013-05-28 10:28:49 AM

IdBeCrazyIf: they have altered something that was special in so far as some of the cast interactions


You mean, like, nothing having many?
 
2013-05-28 10:28:55 AM
Over here...Continuity..................................................... ....... .....................................................Over here....New takes


Somewhere in the middle is the perfect mix of tying up old story lines and moving into new ideas, characters, plot lines, conflicts.

You can't watch 9 in a row and appreciate them. Take them slowly. But I wish there were more new conflicts, more new characters and not so much frenetic jumping to tie something old to something new. Back and forth. Back and forth. Come on!
 
2013-05-28 10:30:00 AM

TheShavingofOccam123: But I wish there were more new conflicts, more new characters and not so much frenetic jumping to tie something old to something new. Back and forth. Back and forth. Come on!


Disagree with this. I feel like I'm spending too much time with new characters who aren't funny, like Marky Bark and John Slattery's character.
 
2013-05-28 10:30:28 AM

TheShavingofOccam123: Over here...Continuity..................................................... ....... .....................................................Over here....New takes


Somewhere in the middle is the perfect mix of tying up old story lines and moving into new ideas, characters, plot lines, conflicts.

You can't watch 9 in a row and appreciate them. Take them slowly. But I wish there were more new conflicts, more new characters and not so much frenetic jumping to tie something old to something new. Back and forth. Back and forth. Come on!


i watched it all today.
 
2013-05-28 10:30:37 AM
After Finishing Season 4 of Arrested development I would say it had moments of greatness filled in a season of overall disappointment. Having each episode focus on mainly one character didn't make a strong season overall IMO.

The great interaction between the cast was overall lost. There were moments, when many of them were together, and that was almost funny, and even though some of the indivi...dual moments did have their charm/humor now and then, overall it was a lot of wasted potential.

You don't see more then 10 minutes of buster until Episode 14. You don't even get much of GOB until episode 7. Those 2 barely interact at all. While it made sense to have some characters have a bit less interaction, there should have been more.

Their are many jokes that really are "season long" jokes that don't make much sense to later in the season, and I do appreciate that style of joke telling, it didn't justify all the chemistry that was lost due to more interaction of the cast.

Having said all that I would watch the movie if they still make it, as it would more then likely be all the cast back together.

I won't spoil this post with some of the running gags I did enjoy, and there was a few very legitimate funny moments sprinkled throughout all the episodes, but I would still consider this season to be "ok" at best. An interesting experiment, but one I hope they don't repeat.
 
2013-05-28 10:33:04 AM

DamnYankees: IdBeCrazyIf: they have altered something that was special in so far as some of the cast interactions

You mean, like, nothing having many?


Hey, there are at least a few points where two people talk
 
2013-05-28 10:34:30 AM
And much like Frankenstein's monster, after years of trying to create more Arrested Development, the internet immediately turns its back on it's creation and dooms the day it ever thought it should try.
 
2013-05-28 10:35:13 AM
I enjoyed it.  GOB was the best part, well, that and Maeby's rack.

Now I must see if I can't Kickstart a house community for sex offenders...
 
2013-05-28 10:35:18 AM
The pacing is notably slower than during its original run and the show lacks the breathtaking density that characterized its glorious past.

I've only seen the first five, but I agree with this.  You don't get the scenes where five or six characters are in the room at the same time going in five or six different directions in five or six different misunderstandings - the kind of scenes you have to watch 2 or 3 times to absorb it all.

That said, it holds promise all the separate storylines will come together in the final episodes in a very nice crescendo of misunderstandings and conflict.  it really started to get good at about the Method One Acting Clinic.
 
2013-05-28 10:35:41 AM
Watched the first 3 episodes this weekend and didn't laugh once. VERY disappointed.
 
2013-05-28 10:36:50 AM
It's Wash! nice!
 
2013-05-28 10:37:07 AM

SlothB77: You don't get the scenes where five or six characters are in the room at the same time going in five or six different directions in five or six different misunderstandings - the kind of scenes you have to watch 2 or 3 times to absorb it all.


There actually is one scene of that, but its done really oddly. It's the one where Michael walks out on the family. You don't actually realize everyone is in the room until, like, 6 episodes in. It's bizarre. They've done that sort of stuff before, like when Buster was sitting there when Michael and George are talking at the jail, or Michael and Lucille at the company, but it just doesn't work this time.
 
2013-05-28 10:37:43 AM

8 inches: Watched the first 3 episodes this weekend and didn't laugh once. VERY disappointed.


That's not fair. I laughed in the first 3 seconds. Ron Howard having to clear his throat was really funny.
 
2013-05-28 10:37:53 AM

8 inches: Watched the first 3 episodes this weekend and didn't laugh once. VERY disappointed.


And you won't, the first three are rough but at 4 onward you start to see the jokes pay off and things start moving.
 
2013-05-28 10:39:04 AM

FlashHarry: i'm at episode 5, and so far... yeah, it's a bit meh. hopefully it gets better.


This.

I'm probably going to have to watch it 3-5 times to notice everything.
 
2013-05-28 10:40:54 AM

EyeballKid: Finished watching through Sunday night, I think I'll screw up the order and re-watch them, under my theory that the episodes can be watched in virtually any order without screwing the story up.


This would be very bad.  This season is definitely one you want to watch in order.  Scenes from prior episodes keep reappearing in future ones and you need to watch the episodes in order to establish context.
 
2013-05-28 10:43:09 AM
Yeah the new season is a time investment. Around episode ten is when it was great again and finally included my favorites: the buster episode, Lucile, maebe, George maharris. Favorite new character is heartfire.

Are they already signed on for a new season? That conclusion left a lot unanswered...
 
2013-05-28 10:43:25 AM
The new season sucks.

I was excited for it, but the magic is gone.
 
2013-05-28 10:46:35 AM

DamnYankees: 8 inches: Watched the first 3 episodes this weekend and didn't laugh once. VERY disappointed.

That's not fair. I laughed in the first 3 seconds. Ron Howard having to clear his throat was really funny.


I liked when the crew from Workaholics showed up, but only incrementally.  Once Anders came out with the stache, I started laughing, and when Montez walked by, I LOL'd.
 
2013-05-28 10:47:26 AM
I thought it was great. I still don't understand how Borat landed Ron Howard's bastard daughter, though. It was also interesting that George Michael and Steve Holt both have aged so poorly, but in such different ways.
 
2013-05-28 10:48:46 AM
I think the internet will be kind of disappointed that it can't claim it was neither the best nor worst thing ever.
 
2013-05-28 10:53:18 AM
I think the season really picks up around episode 7. Will Arnett has been stealing the show for this season, but around halfway it starts to pick up. I'm at episode 11 and I think it's great at this point. The way things layer, and how some jokes take a couple jokes to build and REALLY pay off is really gelling for me.

I do wish there was more frenetic/dysfunctional mass-family interactions, but I'm okay with it.
 
2013-05-28 10:55:29 AM

DamnYankees: 8 inches: Watched the first 3 episodes this weekend and didn't laugh once. VERY disappointed.

That's not fair. I laughed in the first 3 seconds. Ron Howard having to clear his throat was really funny.


This. That was definitely deserving of a laugh.
 
2013-05-28 10:55:34 AM

stpauler: I'm about a third of the way through but I'm really impressed not just with the humor but also the amazing structure that they've built the episodes around.

/The MST3K reference was a bonus too


Watch it a second time after finishing your first-through. The episodes they used to build context and set up punchlines are just as heavily-laden with easter eggs and in-jokes as the later ones. You don't even find out  why Tony Wonder is doing his act at the convention center, and the context for it, but for the first Gob episode.
 
2013-05-28 10:58:33 AM

that bosnian sniper: Watch it a second time after finishing your first-through. The episodes they used to build context and set up punchlines are just as heavily-laden with easter eggs and in-jokes as the later ones. You don't even find out why Tony Wonder is doing his act at the convention center, and the context for it, but for the first Gob episode.


yeah, i get this feeling very strongly.
 
2013-05-28 10:58:40 AM

that bosnian sniper: Watch it a second time after finishing your first-through. The episodes they used to build context and set up punchlines are just as heavily-laden with easter eggs and in-jokes as the later ones. You don't even find out  why Tony Wonder is doing his act at the convention center, and the context for it, but for the first Gob episode.


I think the problem with the show is the exact opposite. You're right, it's incredibly dense and clever. It's just not that funny. For me, the first three seasons used cleverness and interlocking plots as a device to get tons of humor into the show. I sort of feel like they went into this season thinking "wouldn't it be cool if we made every episode standalone, but also lock into all the other episodes, so you could watch them in any order!" They then spent a ton of time making sure everything interplays with each other, but seemingly at the expense of the pure funny. It's more admirable than hilarious.
 
2013-05-28 10:58:42 AM
I never saw them when they originally aired and then finally watched all 3 seasons because I was always hearing it was so amazing. I enjoyed it, but it's like hipsters with their PBR, not horrible but not as great as people say. I'll probably watch the last season eventually.

I'll give their fans credit though for being able to convince someone to bring it back 7 years later.
 
2013-05-28 10:58:56 AM

DamnYankees: Cheron: I've watched the first two episodes and I think the Michael as a loser is forced.

Yeah that really doesn't work for me. It's just not funny.


This is my only problem with the show. I like sane Michael much better.

My jaw dropped at the last scene though....I can't believe they left it hanging out in the open like that.
 
2013-05-28 10:59:26 AM

thecpt: Yeah the new season is a time investment. Around episode ten is when it was great again and finally included my favorites: the buster episode, Lucile, maebe, George maharris. Favorite new character is heartfire.

Are they already signed on for a new season? That conclusion left a lot unanswered...


I don't know that you have to get 10 in to get solid laughs but I will say that probably the first 3 weren't that strong but it gets better and better as it goes along.

Heartfire is great along with Rebel but I have to say my new favorite is Maria Bamford as Desbris.

/We have to get you back on that horse
//even better
 
2013-05-28 10:59:51 AM

Cheron: I've watched the first two episodes and I think the Michael as a loser is forced.


Having just rewatched the originals it is not forced at all. Michael was a loser the whole time. Plus he lies more than everybody else.  He just tries to tell people what they think a nice guy would say.  He always tried too hard
 
2013-05-28 11:02:57 AM
I wasn't finding much that was pulling me in until Barry Zuckercorn was re-enacting his scene of the crime with bob Loblaw and the jury.

I almost passed out from laughing so hard when the following exchange happened:

That's a low-blow.

It's a law bomb!

It's a Bob Loblaw law-bomb.

/I can't reach it. i can't reach the Chachi!
 
2013-05-28 11:04:15 AM

acefox1: /I can't reach it. i can't reach the Chachi!


I died laughing a dew episodes later when you just see Barry on the phone at a hardware store talking to George and he's just buying a small ladder. No one ever talks about it or points it out, but it ties together PERFECTLY with that previous scene. That was great.
 
2013-05-28 11:07:19 AM

DamnYankees: I think the problem with the show is the exact opposite. You're right, it's incredibly dense and clever. It's just not that funny. For me, the first three seasons used cleverness and interlocking plots as a device to get tons of humor into the show. I sort of feel like they went into this season thinking "wouldn't it be cool if we made every episode standalone, but also lock into all the other episodes, so you could watch them in any order!" They then spent a ton of time making sure everything interplays with each other, but seemingly at the expense of the pure funny. It's more admirable than hilarious.


Well, in my second watch-through (yes, I'm insane) I spent most of my brainpower trying to work out how everything fits together chronologically. It's ridiculously complex. The jokes I already got lost their touch (but for a few of them) but there are plenty of jokes I  didn't get the first time around to laugh at, especially the ones that fly the punchline right under your nose the first time around.

Like, for example, Lindsay and the pap smear. That punchline was damned brilliant and hilarious. And, "the old noodle stab" is even funnier in its full context.
 
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