April 15, 2015

April 15, 2015

Cinco de Quatro

The recent announcement that Arrested Development would be getting a fifth season made me realize that I’d neglected to watch the fourth. I remedied that this weekend, absorbing 15 episodes of Bluthy goodness via my willing eyeballs over the course of two days.

Unlike a number of critics whose reviews I seem to remember reading when S4 was first released, I loved it. I’d forgotten how chock-full AD is of verbal and visual gags. Though 30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and others have since inured us to commedia dell’fast-and-furious, AD was really a pioneer in the genre.

My favorite episode? Probably Buster’s by a hand nose, though the machinations of GOB’s “A New Attitude” also had me in hysterics. I’m a sucker for old-school and/or physical gags—pratfalls, revolving doors, and the like—and the scene involving GOB, Egg Ann, and Tony Wonder considering various forms of masked sexual congress required me to spend time in a quiet room afterwards.

Though my favorite moment remains the Lucille/Buster smoking scene.* I could watch an extended cut of this, on loop, for days.

It’s been too long since I watched S1-3 for me to fully appreciate all the callbacks and returning cast members, but good on everyone who returned to or joined the cast. (Though I was hoping for more of both Annyong and Bob Loblaw.) Kristen Wiig as young Lucille in particular was spot-on, and Ron Howard was a much better sport than I would be if asked to play a version of myself.

Things I didn’t care for? The Real Housewives storyline (Bobby Lee notwithstanding), Lindsay’s new face, DeBrie, the three surplus Richters (which ones? YOU DECIDE), and the bees.

Overall, a solid A for me. Curious to see where S5 goes, and whether the banana stand gets resurrected. There's always money in it.

*Favorite visual gag: The tiny “HELP” written on GOB’s finger while he was trapped in the cave, as seen on traffic camera footage.

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