What We’re Watching – 12/21/2011

Arrested DevelopmentArrested Development

After hearing the news that Netflix will be producing new Arrested Development episodes, and the possibility of a long-awaited film to be made after that, I decided to take the plunge and see what all the hype was about. I was glad to see how good the show is, after only seeing the first season and a few episodes of the second. For those of you who are like me and have not actually seen it yet (it’s ok to admit it, I know there’s a few still out there), allow me to run down the basic plot. The show focuses on the formerly prosperous Bluth family, in which the head and company founder George Bluth, Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) has been imprisoned for illegal business practices. With the leader of the family behind bars and their financial status in ruins, son Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) takes it upon himself to grab the reins and bring his family back to prosperity. The only problem is, all the members of his family are off the wall crazy. From a brother obsessed with being a magician (Will Arnett) to a spoiled sister who can’t hold a proper job (Portia de Rossi) and a mother (Jessica Walter) who is arguably more self-involved than anyone else he knows, Michael has his work cut out for him, both at his job and in his home.

When thinking about it, I’m impressed with how effective the show is given how many clown-like characters there are in it. Michael is perhaps the most down to earth and sensible person outside of maybe his son George Michael (Michael Cera). He is the straight man to just about everyone else. While the over the top, madcap style can sometimes be grating, it works here. Everyone has a distinct way of being funny—sure, they’re all nuts, but they’re nuts in their own special way. I like how the show is progressive and continuous; it has an ongoing story in which past events are referenced, which gives it a more unique flavor and rewards those who have followed it from the beginning. Ron Howard’s narration adds a nice touch, helping to guide us through the denseness of the plot as it further builds upon itself. It’s a shame that the show was cancelled prematurely; what I’ve seen so far has been nothing but high caliber entertainment.

And that brings us to the Netflix deal and the upcoming film. The last episode of the show aired in 2006. I’m not great at math but I believe that that is almost six years ago. All of the actors and actresses involved have grown older and have gone on to do different things. I’m not so sure that bringing them back would lead to the same kind of success. Also, being that it’ll be distributed solely by Netflix, how does that change the level of production? Will it be better, or will it be worse? There’s a lot of questions involving the future of this show, but one thing is for certain: it has gained at least one new fan right here.

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Allen is a moviegoer based out of Seattle, Washington. His hobbies include dancing, playing the guitar, and, of course, watching movies.

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