Posted by: pop-break | May 24, 2013

Pop Ed: Arrested Development, Season 4

the staff prepares for a Bluth family reunion…

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On Sunday May 26, Netflix will be streaming in full a new season of the previously cancelled series Arrested Development. Members of the Pop-Break staff look back at their favorite moments from the first three seasons and what they are looking forward to in the series’ revival.

Logan Fowler: Pop-Pop gets a comeback.

Detailed way back when in my Link to the Past Arrested Development blog, I showed excitement yet hesitance for a Season 4 of the program which, at that time, was a strong, strong rumor. Now in only a matter of days, Arrested Development will be gracing our computer screens via Netflix Instant with brand new episodes featuring America’s favorite dysfunctional family, the Bluths.

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My hope for this new season is that they can just capitalize on the show’s utter brilliance by giving us really solid new material, not completely rehashing old material for the sake of just doing it. It seems that a lot of the marketing for this season has been utilizing the inside jokes of the show and that’s fine by me, but as far as what season 4 can bring, I hope the writers just don’t rely on what we know so well to get us by.  From the looks of the trailer, it seems there’s going to be enough fresh new stuff to draw audiences in, so I think my overall fear will be calmed immediately.

I’ll be rocking my Bluth banana stand tee all day on Sunday, May 26. I still can’t believe this is happening, but it’s going to be a real treat to see Michael, Gob, George Michael, Buster, Lindsey, George Sr., Lucille and company causing shenanigans like it was yesterday.

With that said, here is my favorite AD moment, obviously punctuated by the fact there is a puppet involved.

Lauren Stern:

The first time I heard of Arrested Development was when I started dating my boyfriend. We were about three months into our relationship when I met his siblings for the first time and they suggested we sit down and watch it together. My boyfriend had already heard about the show through friends and was really eager to see it. I, on the other hand, was willing but indifferent. I’ve never seen clips or heard anything about the show before, so to me it was just something to do with my new boyfriend during our down time between classes at Rutgers University.

Little did we know, that we were getting into one of the greatest television shows of our time.

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Arrested Development wound up becoming our addiction for roughly a month. We’d go to class and then we’d immediately meet up and watch episode after episode. I kind of felt like it took so long because we knew that after Season 3 it was cancelled and we’d reach that inevitable end that we didn’t want to happen. But once it did, we had our friends, who were just as obsessed, and before we knew it, we were all getting together quoting the show over drinks and games of Cards Against Humanity.

It’s amazing to look back on all of that now, two days before going into the series revival season, reminiscing about all the moments I thought I’d never see a new episode featuring the Bluths again. But here I am now, planning a big party with my friends and counting down the days until the return of television’s greatest dysfunctional family.

With all that being said, It’s pretty obvious I’m excited for it all. This is not going to be the Arrested Development I remember gawking over a year and a half ago, and I can’t wait to see the big changes Hurwitz and co. have been talking about. I think if I had to pick one thing I’m looking forward to the most, it would be Buster’s episode. He is my absolute favorite character and I can’t wait to see more of him in the new season. Even more exciting, is the (hopefully) plethora of Buster-Lucille scenes, which were always absolutely hilarious during the first three seasons.

There are so many great moments that it was hard to pick my favorite! But this one with Dr. Wordsmith ALWAYS gives me a laugh:

Stella Morrison: I absolutely can’t wait for the new Arrested Development to hit Netflix, but I have no idea what to expect. It’s hard to imagine the Bluth family continuing their shenanigans (utter corruption? terrible person-hood?) after the series originally ended. However, a lot happens in seven years, and I can’t imagine the series blundering by not covering the missing chunk of time.

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I’m looking forward to more craziness with George Michael and Maeby. Talk about kissing cousins, literally. So many factors go into their storyline: Was Maeby adopted (did Tobias and Lindsay ever consummate their marriage? And if she is adopted, is it still weird for them to hook up even if they aren’t technically related?), did George Michael ever learn to calm down around Maeby, did they hook up again?, do the Bluths know what’s going on?, etc. etc. It’s one of my favorite running plotlines through all three seasons, and no fourth season would be complete without it ending in a Bluth-y way, like Buster keeps walking in on them and doesn’t have the words/balls to tell Lucille when she presses or something.

Nick Porcaro: My introduction to Arrested Development came with a heaping slab of hype from one of my college residents. He even posted a painstakingly comprehensive introduction on MetaFilter at the time, so you know this was serious business. Even so, I wasn’t fully prepared for the meta-textual onslaught of postmodern comedy gold that awaited me. You see, I marathoned all of Arrested Development in a few weeks, and by the end of it I was fully convinced I’d busted a gut

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That, and my family thought I’d gone insane.

I can’t adequately tell you why this show is funny, or what my favorite moment was. (Wait, that’s a lie. It’s Gob and his expensive suits.) I can tell you that it’s absolutely an experience worth investing in, preferably in a condensed time frame. Mitch Hurwitz and co. may not have known it at the time, but this show was not made for the traditional weekly broadcast format. That’s why I’m most excited to see how the single-character format shakes up the series’ various formulae. As far as I can discern, this will not feel like seasons 1-3. And that should be a good thing. Let’s hope Hurwitz hasn’t made a huge mistake.

Luke Kalamar:

To say that I’m excited for this new season of Arrested Development is a complete understatement. Considering how I actually didn’t care to check out the show during its original broadcast on Fox from 2003-2006, the irony isn’t lost on me that this is now one of my favorite shows ever. To be honest I was probably just too young to care or to really understand a lot of the humor on the show. Thanks to the word of mouth from a lot of my friends that the show was incredible, I actually sat down with my girlfriend in late 2011 and we watched all three seasons. We obviously became hooked and haven’t regretted it since. It’s also that word of mouth that got the show to come back, so a huge thank you is necessary to all those hardcore fans that kept encouraging people to watch.

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I know this is going to sound incredibly general, but I’m mostly excited to have the Bluth family back for some more ridiculous antics. Every character is written and performed so perfectly that there is literally no other show that can compare. I can’t wait to embark on the adventure of finding all of the hidden jokes as well. One of my personal favorites is all of the foreshadowing to Buster Bluth (Tony Hale) losing his hand to a loose seal and getting it replaced by a hook in “Out on a Limb.” The show is filled with moments like these and I’m excited see what new ones pop up.

The two characters I desperately want to return for this new season are Dr. Fishman — aka The Literal Doctor aka “Doctor Wordsmith” (Ian Roberts), and J. Walter Weatherman (Steve Ryan), the one-armed man. Both of these characters have contributed to some of my favorite moments and the show wouldn’t be the same without them. How can we forget that not leaving a note can lead to someone losing their arm? How about when we learn from Dr. Fishman that Buster will be “all right,” which means that he has no left hand and will be all right? It wouldn’t be Arrested Development without these two guys and I really hope to see them again.

Justin Matchick:

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“Cautious optimism” is the best way to describe my emotions about the return of Arrested Development. Yes, of course I am excited to have one of my favorite television shows of all time returning for more episodes. These characters are among the funniest of all time, and to see them in action again seven years after the show’s unceremonious cancellation by Fox is an opportunity fans of other shows are rarely afforded.

The short trailer that came out a few weeks ago revealed few of the jokes we might see and even less about the plot of these upcoming episodes. I was originally taken aback as to how little I laughed at the trailer, but then I began to realize that Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz and his writers would be foolish to reveal all the great callbacks and recurring jokes in a trailer like that. They know that fans would react positively to the trailer no matter what they revealed in it, so deciding to keep the curtain over a lot of the major jokes and plotlines allows fans a greater surprise when they first watch these new episodes.

Yet I’m still apprehensive about how these new episodes will play out considering the way the television comedy landscape has evolved in the years since the end of Arrested Development. A lot of shows took major cues from the groundbreaking style of Arrested Development, like Modern Family, 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, and How I Met Your Mother, developing a style based heavily on recurring jokes and strong continuity. I just have to hope all the old writers for the show will still be able to compete with shows that took what made Arrested Development great and ran with it, changing the course of comedy forever. Otherwise, the show could become so wrapped up in servicing its fans it will stumble and fall, as is so common with comeback projects.

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