Arrested Development

Discussion in 'BS Forum' started by Dirty6Sanchez, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Dirty6Sanchez

    Dirty6Sanchez Well-Known Member

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  2. Sundayjack

    Sundayjack pǝʇɔıppɐ ʎןןɐʇoʇ
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    Took Sunday afternoon to watch the first few episodes and then breezed through parts of several others to see if it got any better. No such luck. A terrible letdown. So bad that I have no idea how this Fourth Season ends and I frankly don't even care.

    It's almost like Hollywood goes out of its way to disappoint me.
     
  3. JetBlue

    JetBlue Well-Known Member

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    I am not surprised to hear the fourth season is disappointing because the third season was horrible.
     
  4. Dirty6Sanchez

    Dirty6Sanchez Well-Known Member

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    I actually loved the new season, definitely different though so I could see why people would be mad.

    The "Thanksgiving Miracle" had me in tears.

    Though we needed more chicken dance!
     
  5. displacedfan

    displacedfan Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to give it a better chance later, but the new style of focusing on one character isn't doing it for me. I saw the first 4 episodes fully.

    I have read that everything comes together and is awesome, and I appreciate any jokes they lead up to and the payoff, but the setup has to be enjoying for the payoff to be rewarding.

    I'm going to continue onwards just to see what happens, but most shows, especially comedies struggle through a rut, for AD it seems it hit that rut after what 7 years of hype leading to it?
     
  6. Jetfanmack

    Jetfanmack haz chilens?

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    It all ends up coming together. Gets a lot better after the first few episodes, which are only okay.
     
  7. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Well-Known Member

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    It was a pretty good season. Ended kinda weakly though.
     
    #7 The Dark Knight, May 28, 2013
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  8. displacedfan

    displacedfan Well-Known Member

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    Ehh is my overall reaction. I don't like how I'm required to rewatch to get a better understand of the jokes/timeline. The 2nd AD season I rewatched because it was funny and then picked up on some running gags and pre jokes.
     
  9. NYJalltheway

    NYJalltheway Well-Known Member

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    I literally just started watching this show this week for the first time.

    I don't have cable hooked up yet, so Netflix is what I've been living off of. I just got thru the 1st season and think it's a pretty good show, but not elite status. My understanding is only the first 2 seasons are good?
     
  10. Twombles

    Twombles Active Member

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    The first 3 episodes weren't great. The next 2-3 were alright. From there onwards it is great. I agree that there are points where it drags or there is unneeded repetition, especially because some of the episodes are 35+ minutes.

    HOWEVER, the season as a whole is still great. Better than most shows out there, even if it doesn't match the first three seasons.
     
  11. Dirty6Sanchez

    Dirty6Sanchez Well-Known Member

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  12. Sundayjack

    Sundayjack pǝʇɔıppɐ ʎןןɐʇoʇ
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    Maybe, but I had higher hopes for it. I've now watched most of the episodes and read some of the reviews, many of which I think are written by people who missed why the series was originally a hit and are now writing glowing reviews because they want to be one of the cool kids. This is where 3rdand15draw would be helpful. His television instincts were always solid.

    Some of what turned me off:

    (1) I didn't like the structure of the season, where they focused each episode on one character and then tried to tie them together as parallel, but still individual, storylines. That misses the whole point of the first three seasons, which was an interplay between and among the spoiled and dysfunctional family members. This way, I think it makes for lousy storylines with empty space and wasted motion. It also forces a bunch of supporting characters to temporarily become main characters, which isn't how they work best. That's a product of releasing an entire 15-episode season all at one time. If you had to get a little of everyone in each weekly episode, you can't waste time and motion with any single character. Everyone has to always be doing something.

    Tobias is a great character - when you only see him in small doses. A full thirty minutes of just Tobias was too much Tobias. Or, Gob, by far my favorite character, was great when he was rolling in on a Segway or dropping in unexpectedly into other characters' storylines and screwing them up. Like when he ran The Bluth Company. Or started nailing Lucille 2 or Kitty. Or set Stillwell's car on fire to help Michael get Sally Stillwell. Or set up his own banana stand with Steve Holt. Or went to jail so he could bond with George Sr. and then try to escape. And so on. Make Gob stand on his own and something's missing. I blame all that on the structure of season four.

    (2) Too much Ron Howard. As both a character and as the narrator. As a character, he was almost forced into parts of the story. They even expanded his role by creating a daughter for him and then having her sleep with both Michael and George Michael. With him as a character, they also wasted time with Hollywood inside-baseball. Boring. Beyond that (I haven't done this), I'll bet if you watched any episode of Season Two and any episode of Season Four and counted the narrator's contributions, both in number and length, you'll find that we get at least twice the narration in Season Four. But that's what you get when you force a storyline. You need help developing it with voiceover narration. The amount of narration makes it feel like Ron Howard is reading a book-on-tape while the acting in the background is just for illustration. I hated it.

    (3) Why ruin the great sexual ambiguity of Tobias? I thought this was a HORRIBLE choice. If you come out and announce that everyone always thought he was gay - especially when you announce it to Tobias himself - you lose 90% of what made him funny. Now he's just a weird guy trying to pursue an acting career who falls in love with a junky named DeBrie. Not particularly funny. Not anymore..

    (4) They tried to include every single character who ever made an appearance in the series. Why? Was it necessary to have Tobias travel all the way to India just to get hit by a bus, admitted into a hospital, only to be treated by the Literal Doctor? Ten wasted minutes and the suddenly he's back in the model home at a family meeting. I was annoyed by that. There's a whole list of bit characters that didn't need to be incorporated and added nothing but distractions. Sally Stillwell. Ann. Bob Loblaw. The gay officers. James Lipton - ESPECIALLY James Lipton - as the Warden. Andy Richter in all his forms.

    ETA:

    (5) The seven-year layoff hasn't served some of the actors very well. Portia de Rossi used to be sexy and hot; now she just looks like a trashy, aging lesbian. Jessica Walter always had a bit of gilfy sexiness to her, but there isn't enough pancake makeup in Hollywood to fill her crows feet and bring that back. Michael Cera hasn't changed from his standard, natural, immature weirdness, both physically and emotionally, so having him bang the same girl his dad bangs doesn't fit. I kind of like how they played with the fact that Steve Holt grew up to be a fat loser in real life, but I ended up just feeling sorry for the guy and wishing they didn't bring him into the story. I know you can't leave Liza Minnelli out of the story, but she's just a freak show now.


    I'm sure I'll have more thoughts....
     
  13. displacedfan

    displacedfan Well-Known Member

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    Very good points. I think the individual story line might have been forced by availability of the actors, but then they should have planned for that better. Also, it felt like near the end when the stories started to overlap, we got a lot of recap of things we saw/heard and Ron Howard narrating the obvious to make a joke, instead if letting the joke hang and see if someone got it. The funniest moments in AD in my opinion were when the whole family was together bouncing lines and jokes off of each other. The interactions between the whole family were the best, and without the family's ridiculousness constantly around Michael, Michael comes off as much more of a jerk than a hopeless character stuck in a crazy family.
     
  14. devilonthetownhallroof

    devilonthetownhallroof 2007 TGG Fantasy Baseball League Champion

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    I didn't mind the structure TOO much because it reminded my of my all time favorite Simpsons episode where all the stories converge with Homer getting his thumb sewn on by the mob doctor. I HATED Michael though and it just about ruined the season for me. He was always the only one who was even remotely competent and they turned him into a pathetic mess. Tobias was a disappointment as well. Overall I give it a 4 out of 10.
     
  15. Twombles

    Twombles Active Member

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    Very good points SJ, I agree with all of it.
    There were clearly huge scheduling issues with the cast. I read that they could only get the entire cast together for 2 days of filming (presumably the party at the penthouse). I knew going into it that there were numerous green-screen scenes. The scene with the aftermath of the boat capsize , where everyone sees each other for the first time (it's in it 5+ times) is one where green screen was used a lot.

    Despite the limitations, I think they did a fair job working with what they had.

    Making Tobais' sexual orientation less ambiguous was a strange choice though, sort of a cheap gag.

    One thing they played up slightly was the subtle joke that Tobias is, or was, a black dude.
     
  16. Usica

    Usica New Member

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    I was afraid to watch because I didn't want to be disappointed. Now, I probably won't catch it at all. I hate when they take good stuff and ruin it just because someone wants to bank a few extra dollars.
     
  17. displacedfan

    displacedfan Well-Known Member

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    You should give it a chance. If you don't like it, you don't like it, but everyone has a different sense of humor. For me, I never thought AD was as funny as everyone said, even before this, but then again I know people who don't think Seinfeld is funny and etc etc.
     

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