About Arrested Development Season 4

My wife and I loved Arrested Development when it aired on Fox.  Sure, it took some getting used to, but we came to adore its weird, quirky stories with such flawed, lovably dysfunctional characters.  From week to week, I’d have a new favorite Bluth, which says a lot about the show’s magic.

When we heard it was coming to Netflix to continue with a fourth season, we were elated.  Unfortunately, I’m enormously cheap and refused to open a Netflix account when we already paid for cable and Amazon Prime.  I guess my love for Arrested Development was a conditional one.

However, we recently picked it up on DVD, and though it took a few episodes to get back in the swing of things, it once again won us over and proved itself a worthy addition.

In fact, I would argue it’s the most ambitious season yet in terms of pure story execution.  If you haven’t seen it, the fourth season basically occurs over a few days.  However, each episode focuses upon one character and their perspective pertaining to the overall story.  At first it’s very confusing, to be sure, but as the episodes unfold, the audience begins to realize what’s happening.  I can’t imagine the editing process for this season, but I’m sure it was a herculean task!  Each character has a subplot, yet they all intertwine with one another.

I wouldn’t say it’s the funniest season, but it’s certainly funny and highly entertaining.  A lot of the jokes were standbys from previous seasons, but still executed creatively.  I especially enjoyed the “meta” commentary throughout.

The final episode took me aback though, because it felt a little anticlimactic and ended abruptly.  However, that could very well be by design.  After all, this news arrived just today.

My New Favorite TV Shows

Note: Originally Posted 10-18-06

If you know me personally, you already know I’m perpetually behind the curve when it comes to all things, “cool” in the world of television and music.  Because I don’t have time to write a twenty-page entry, we’ll focus on TV today. Take LOST for instance.  It was well into its second season before I got hooked.  Same thing with Arrested Development

Well, keeping with my trend, I’ve recently discovered two new shows that I LOVE (new to me, that is).

The first is the HBO original series, Rome.  I love Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, so this one is right up my alley.  My wife is a big history nut, so it fits nicely into her tastes as well.  The show highlights Caesar’s rise to power while focusing on all the power players of the time period as well as the daily lives of two Roman soldiers.  It truly is a fascinating show as it gives us glimpses into what history may have been and the drama of lives purely imagined.  As you may have heard, the costumes are incredible, the acting is very well done, and each episode feels like a mini-movie, which makes sense on a network called Home Box Office.  My wife and I were stunned at the level of nudity and sex in the first two episodes (even for HBO, it was very graphic), but that quickly tapered off and the meat of the storyline got rolling with episodes three through five.  I personally think that they included all the sex and full frontal for the causal viewer who couldn’t care less about Caesar or Rome in order to get them hooked on the actual story as it took place between sex scenes.  We haven’t finished the entire season yet on DVD so I can’t comment on how it ends.  I don’t believe the second season has started yet.  It will be interesting to see if they merely take it up to Caesar’s assassination (don’t tell me I spoiled it for you, you’ve been in World History), or if they will take it all the way through the aftermath of his murder as did Shakespeare.

My other new favorite show that I’m way behind the curve on is Entourage.  It’s just plain funny.  There’s no other way to say it.  The characters are completely hilarious and charismatic.  The show has that something that makes it hard to resist.  If you’re not familiar with it, it is also a show on HBO that follows a young up-and-coming actor in Hollywood with his two friends and older brother.  One of his friends is the responsible pseudo-manager, the other friend is the wanna-be ladies man gopher, and the older brother (my favorite character) is a washed-up actor living vicariously through his younger brother and picking up any scrap parts he can manage.  The young actor’s agent is completely a scum sucking jerk and side-splittingly funny.  I’ll admit it, this show is kind of a guilty pleasure.  If you give it a shot, beware.  The F-Bombs drop like they’re going out of style. 

So there you go.  My new favorite shows.  I’m well on my way to becoming a TV junkie.  Crap.

Superbad – A Movie Review

I love Michael Cera from Arrested Development, so when I saw he was starring in a movie called Superbad and saw commercials for the film, I knew it would be hilarious.

And so it was.

I laughed nonstop throughout the entire film.  The plot is typical in nature.  One high school senior feels he must lose his virginity before going to college.  This sex-obsessed student is  portrayed by Jonah Hill from Knocked Up.  Michael Cera, his best friend who happens to be eons more intelligent but easily influenced, wants to treat the girl he’s interested in with respect and progress slowly, but peer-pressure and what he perceives as high school social etiquette impedes such notions.

 Their even more nerdy friend, Fogell, manages to get hold of the worst fake ID in history, and the boys suddenly become potential rock stars because they volunteer to bring alcohol to a party held by the girl Jonah “wants.”

Well, long story short, Fogell buying the alcohol gets botched and he ends up spending most of his night with two officers of little more maturity than high schoolers played by Seth Rogan and  Bill Hader.

Cera and Hill’s characters go on a quest of unbelievable farce to find alcohol and experience much adventure and hilarity in the process.

What’s interesting about movies that producer Judd Apatow and actor/writer Seth Rogan are involved in, like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Superbad, is the fact that despite all the profanity and crudity, there really is a positive message by the end of the films.  This notion was first brought to my attention by my pal Just Pete, and he was absolutely right.

I won’t give away the ending of Superbad, but if you’ve ever graduated from high school, you know that things never worked out back then as romanticized, and, when all was said and done, you were glad of that.

I rolled throughout this film, but if profanity offends you, and crude sex jokes aren’t your thing, avoid like the plague.  Like I said, though, I loved it.  (I guess that means I like profanity and crude sex jokes, huh?)