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DrThunder88

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« Reply #440 on: 06-01-2013 10:45 »

Positive points:
  • I love the way the interleaving stories have been expanded to cover multi-episode arcs.  One of the best parts of the series was how each character's misadventures crossed with the other characters',
I thought this was ok, but thought it didn't capture the same feel of the possibility having them all together as the previous seasons (at least you have it...), like there were several points where another character would have said something or reacted to someone doing something, but they just weren't in the scene because of the way it was shot... stupid George Michael, stupid! actor availability... frown
I thought not having them together helped convey the characters' diaspora during the seven year absence.  It reinforced the notion that Michael really was the one keeping them all together in the first three seasons and that this season was about each character having no choice but to keep him- or herself together.

I do hope that the next season has them back together as an ensemble.  Season 4 did seem transitional more than anything, filling gaps in the unprecedented seven year hiatus rather than resuming the narrative at this point in the show's continuity.
FishyJoe

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« Reply #441 on: 06-01-2013 15:36 »
« Last Edit on: 06-01-2013 15:40 »

I'm finished! Now I can finally post a final official review.

Except...I have difficulty articulating my own opinions, so I'll just quote other people and agree or disagree with them.

Completely ignoring all above posts to avoid spoilers. But I'm already seeing the old "It's still better than 95% of TV today" excuse. That can't be good.

This is a funny observation. The "yeah but it's still better than 95% of TV" line is a clear cry for help. Sad rationalization/denial over the fact that their entertainment of choice now sucks.

...but this time, I think it's really really true! Season 4 is way slower paced than the first three seasons and also the percentage of gags that really work are lower. Which results in a disappointing season. But it was still really funny. Better than 95% of TV for sure!

Positive points:
  • I love the way the interleaving stories have been expanded to cover multi-episode arcs.  One of the best parts of the series was how each character's misadventures crossed with the other characters', and the new quasi-POV format makes it even better.  Maeby's episode was probably the most hilarious in this regard, but Tobias and Lindsey's trips to India completed each others in a literal and metaphorical way.  
Agreed. This was a pretty fresh approach and I liked that they were willing to take a chance on it. (Although with the cast schedules, I guess they had no choice.)

Some people pull out the ol' "they're only funny when they have each other to play off of!" but I disagree. Some of the season was lacking, humor-wise, but I don't think it's necessarily because of the cast being isolated from each other. Funny is funny--it doesn't matter if George Michael is playing off of P-hound or one of the other regular cast members. If a joke doesn't work, then it's because a joke doesn't work...not because the wrong characters were together. Just my opinion.

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  • I like that Michael has lost some of his Mary Sue veneer.  Part of that may be attributable to the fact that the story is no longer about the one son who had no choice to keep them all together, but mostly it makes him a little more human.
I like how he's becoming an A-hole like his father (and the rest of his family) but it's in a way where you can kind of understand where he's coming from.


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  • I like that they've worked in without shoehorning some bit characters from the original series.  Sally Sitwell, Gene Parmasean, Warden Gentles, Carl Weathers, etc...they all feel naturally incorporated into the story.  I was pleased to see Dr. Wordsmith made a reappearance as well, though I felt his gag was a little overdone this time.
Not sure if I agree with this. It was good to see the characters again, but I didn't feel that any one of them really had any great gags that made it worth bringing them back for. I would have preferred focusing on new quirky characters. I want to see the next Gene Parmesan!

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Less positive points:
  • I'm not a big fan of Rebel Alley as character or a love interest for either Michael or George Michael.  This may be in part due to the show linking her to Tracy without introducing Tracy.  Of course, it could just be that I have latent biases toward the more traditional, female, love interest characters in the series.
Completely agreed. She was boring. Also working against her is the whole thing about her being Ron Howard's daughter. I wasn't a huge fan of the whole "movie" storyline. Frankly, I am sick of Hollywood humor. Tired of shows-about-shows-within-shows. Why is 80% of the satire produced by Hollywood satire about Hollywood? Sick of this incestuous creativity. Screw Hollywood!

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  • George Michael is a little too cool for who he is.  His story arc covered the change pretty well, but he still strikes me as being a fundamentally different person, one I don't really like.
Disagreed! I thought George Michael's storyline was handled perfectly.

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  • The Herbert Love character as a sort of heavy-handed caricature of Herman Cain feels more than a bit forced.  He's a good antipode to Lindsey's wackier activism, but he seems to be played a bit too straight.

Also disagreed! I really liked him.
 
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Overall, I got a much more positive impression from this season than negative.  The show is still reestablishing its footing, but it seems to have all of its old moves.
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Yes. The new season had everything that I love about Arrested Development, even if it also had some missteps here and there.

I loved season 4. It wasn't as good as season 3, but just as with Futurama's revival, I'd say Arrested Development's new episodes are absolutely comparable to the original run.

I thought about Futurama a lot while watching this new season. Both revivals show just how hard it is to bring something back after so many years and keep things "the same". Especially with a lower budget. Some of Futurama's missteps have been blamed on a lower budget meaning a smaller writing staff. I wonder if Arrested Development had the same problem? Maybe the mile-a-minute pace of the first three seasons just wasn't sustainable with the writing team assembled for season 4. Or maybe it was a deliberate choice to slow it down, I dunno.

Still, both Futurama and Arrested Development have very unique "voices" that I really missed when they were off the air. Their revivals haven't been quite as great as the originals, but they at least kept their voices and gave me some good episodes. I can't ask for much more than that.

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My only real complaints would be that the season doesn't conclude at all - but I'm fine with that so long as they make another season or a movie (as they clearly intend to) sooner than it took them to get us season 4.

An ending would have been nice, yes. I think a movie to conclude everything would be perfect.

I am still confused about a few story elements.

Bottom line: still just a tiny bit disappointed that it wasn't funnier. But there is so much to love that I don't want to spend my time complaining about it. I am just happy to see the gang back together. (Even if they are rarely actually "together".)
DrThunder88

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« Reply #442 on: 06-01-2013 18:39 »

futurefreak

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« Reply #443 on: 06-03-2013 09:53 »

So that picture I linked too with Lindsay before and after was actually a part of this, I just didn't bother to check the site laff Pretty much stuff we already knew here, and they claim she had surgery...whoever "they" are...
Spacedal11

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« Reply #444 on: 06-03-2013 19:42 »

My favorite joke was the constant use of "Sound of Silence". Also I just realized there was no Franklin in season 4 whatsoever and now I feel dead inside.
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« Reply #445 on: 06-03-2013 23:02 »



AD Rap! big grin
winna

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« Reply #446 on: 06-03-2013 23:22 »

None of the characters have any redeemable moral qualities anymore, right?
futurefreak

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« Reply #447 on: 06-05-2013 10:40 »

Yeah I was pretty blown away by the change in Michael episode one. And then seeing George Michael try to get down and dirty from spanish lady to cousin (naturally)...it was a new role for him haha.

My favorite line of his:

"A man, a woman, a bedroom. Let's solve for x" And then he proceeds to do it laff
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« Reply #448 on: 06-05-2013 21:48 »

Awesome, someone made a fan-edit of season 4 in chronological order.
DrThunder88

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« Reply #449 on: 06-06-2013 14:44 »

Someone sounds pretty cool.
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« Reply #450 on: 06-06-2013 15:21 »
« Last Edit on: 06-06-2013 15:24 »

"He's hermano? But that's the guy who just... son of a bitch..."

Dammit, got me looking through episode quotes now:

George: There is joy in solitude, Lucille. Try being alone. It-it just might make you happier. Honey, my happiest times here are alone. Hey, Bruno, any chance that the hole is available between 4:00 and 6:00?
Lucille: I donít even want to know what that means.
Beamer

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« Reply #451 on: 06-10-2013 10:07 »
« Last Edit on: 06-10-2013 10:11 »

Time to weigh in on season 4... Firstly, I think some people are being WAY too hard on it. It's not better than 1-3, but I don't think it's any worse. Just different.

I understand the limitations they had to work with here, and let's face it, living up to the legacy of seasons 1-3 would be a daunting task even WITHOUT a seven year gap in production, so I can cut them some slack. EVERYTHING about this season, from its production to its execution (and even the damn way it was released) was an experiment in one way or another. The whole team deserves points alone for the sheer audacity of what they attempted, let alone the fact that (in my opinion) the finished product stacks up VERY well against the show's original run. Seasons 1-3 were unlike anything else ever made at the time - since then, we've had a slew of excellent shows come out. Season 4 almost HAD to be more daring. If they stuck to the proven formula, we'd have people complaining about the show no longer being inventive, or not taking any risks or some other Bob Loblaw. At the end of the day, they could've easily just done some bullshit reunion; some sort of "greatest hits" compilation of our favourite runners, etc. but they didn't. Because AD would never think so low of their viewers.

(Though I'll concede, these episodes DID take multiple viewings before earning the same place in my heart as the first 3 seasons)

Favourite gags:
* Watching the Funkes deal with that damn duck.
* "Daddy needs to get his rocks off!"
* And Jeremy Piven.
* Young Barry Zuckercorn.
* ..."FANTASTIC FOUR!"

Also, Lucille 2 theories:

futurefreak

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« Reply #452 on: 06-12-2013 01:49 »
« Last Edit on: 06-12-2013 01:50 »

I don't know about anyone else here, but I found the season to be well done for what it was, reviving a franchise seven years later, and in a better way than other shows had done (Futurama, for example). It didn't try to be something it's not, but the same quirky off the wall humor. What I did find a little annoying was the unlimited length on the episodes, drawing out episodes longer than they needed to be instead of keeping it succintly comedy gold. And the Sue Storm/Debreis stuff with the drug scenes/nosebleeds was a bit uncomfortable to watch the way they kept focusing in on it. Other than that I have no real big complaints, I thought it made a great marathon.
Beamer

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« Reply #453 on: 06-12-2013 10:16 »

DeBreis wasn't my favourite character, but she had more funny moments than Herbert Love and Rebel Alley combined.

Max Winkler and John Slattery were definitely the best guest stars this season, though. big grin

"Why are you checking YOUR arm?"
"Oh, this isn't my office."
winna

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« Reply #454 on: 06-12-2013 10:26 »

I thought including Ron Howard was a bit much.  It wasn't horrible and it wasn't ineffective... but I liked his jokes better in the original series.

I pointed out earlier... but at this stage, all of the major characters have serious character flaws.  In the original run, we could at least identify to a small degree with a variety of the characters: Michael, George Michael, Maeby, Tobias, well maybe even all of them.  In making the new series, I think almost all of the characters have totally crossed any reasonable moral boundaries (especially Michael by the end of the season) ultimately turning the show from kooky antics to serious black comedy.  It's in line for peep show for shows that are humorous but overall depressing in my opinion.  I liked most of the guest stars and the interweaving plot though.
Beamer

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« Reply #455 on: 06-12-2013 12:06 »

The show was always depressing. As if their lives all going to shit in the damn pilot wasn't bad enough, they lost another quarter million in the very next episode!

And yeah, Michael reached a new low this season, but he stopped being "a good man" far earlier. If you want characters who are truly likeable as people, Parks and Recreation's pretty much the only currently-running live action comedy that springs to mind. Assholes are in right now.
winna

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« Reply #456 on: 06-12-2013 12:11 »

the show was never depressing... despite the family's loss, they were always functional and in a kooky way, their lives made sense as characters.

Flash forward to now, and their lives more so reflect the realities of life and the terrible decisions a person can make.  I believe they crossed a line somewhere along the way, and it's something cut between a cartoon and watching acquaintances crash their ships on the rocks of some treacherous beach.

Community aren't all assholes yet, are they?
Beamer

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« Reply #457 on: 06-12-2013 12:16 »

Re: Community. One word argument: "Troy."

I'll admit this season of AD has definitely been the darkest (timeline), but there have always been elements of black comedy. And I ain't just talking about Franklin...

Setting up a murder mystery plot to the forefront to any continuation probably didn't help, though. But hey, I've only grown more cynical since AD's original run, so I actually enjoyed the extra-darkness. tongue
winna

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« Reply #458 on: 06-12-2013 12:39 »

Nothing wrong with extra-darkness necessarily.  Also, Franklin was awesome... but I feel Gob's gone beyond even the lowest depths of Gob in certain regards.  Also your argument on Community falls on deaf ears... I haven't watched the new episodes yet.

Like I suggested, original run AD seemed to lay in a fantasy land close to reality, and the new series hits close to home and strives for the extra-darkness.  There's a fine line for me between me Pulp Fiction and Fargo... one I hyper-enjoy watching, and the other which makes me uncomfortable all around. red face
Beamer

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« Reply #459 on: 06-12-2013 16:12 »

Also your argument on Community falls on deaf ears... I haven't watched the new episodes yet.

Gah, I meant Todd (from season 3)!

And THAT's why you don't PEEL half-asleep. I'm going away for another few years.
futurefreak

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« Reply #460 on: 06-12-2013 20:59 »

Nooo come back, Beamboy! frown

I found GOB to be quite hilarious this season as always. It was weird to see Michael completely reverse the moral compass as you said, though. I thought that from the first episode this season, but then by the end it's just...wow. But TBH this isn't the first time he tried to steal a gf from another family member. He even dated another girl George Michael liked, his teacher Miss Baerly (course G.M. never had a chance, there).
Spacedal11

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« Reply #461 on: 06-13-2013 03:26 »

Also your argument on Community falls on deaf ears... I haven't watched the new episodes yet.

Gah, I meant Todd (from season 3)!

I was gonna say. I love Troy.

Also I think Winna hit the nail on the head with my grievous (and it is a very small one at that) when it comes to how the show changed from silly to black comedy. That especially shined with Tobias and Debrie (who I didn't like). The humor wasn't as zany (save for GOB) but it was still funny in a very dark sense. I liked season 4 a lot I really did, but it did change in tone. Which is interesting and I guess in a sense it would have gotten to this point eventually if the show had continued without being cancelled.
DrThunder88

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« Reply #462 on: 06-14-2013 14:12 »

Maybe Hurwitz is playing the long game.  This revival could just be the second act in his master scheme.  The tonal shift and different format are pretty consistent with the usual narrative structure.  After this series gets cancelled and revived again, he'll bring out the sunnier stuff.
winna

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« Reply #463 on: 06-14-2013 14:19 »

He is good at that to be fair.

That said, I don't know what it is... but adding Ron Howard to the cast is just kind of weird... almost too weird.  His parts were funny, even that horrible moment when Michael made himself look pretty creepy, but... just really weird.  Even the Rebel Alley stuff was funny too.

I dunno... I guess ultimately, AD season 4 wasn't bad... but it was certainly different.  Too bad we can't relate to any of the characters anymore. 

The whole time I was thinking of ways that some of the characters could handle things differently... Michael quitting his romantic pursuit... or George Michael just actually developing Fakeblock... he had a great idea, and his cousin got a shit ton of funding for it: hire programmers out of college like that fakebook movie, tell your cousin what's going on, and then delay before people think its vaporware.  Ultimately you save face, since its not vaporware anymore, you don't have to do work, and you become the president of your own company by sheer luck.  Bender from Futurama?
Beamer

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« Reply #464 on: 06-14-2013 14:49 »
« Last Edit on: 06-14-2013 14:53 »

But GM's story arc this season was all about his transition from innocent youth to truth-blurring Bluth! And playing up his resemblance to Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network parodies. tongue

That said, I don't know what it is... but adding Ron Howard to the cast is just kind of weird... almost too weird.

To be fair, they DID set it up at the end of season 3. I totally agree that it was overplayed, but enough great meta jokes came from it to make it worthwhile.

Bender from Futurama?

Anyone notice this for the great nod to The Immaculate Election that it is (when he ties with Bart Simpson)? wink
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« Reply #465 on: 06-15-2013 07:26 »

I just noticed how the whole funding for Fakeblock scheme is like the End B.S. Campaign or TBA thing...doyyyyyy.
Lost My Phone

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« Reply #466 on: 10-06-2013 00:10 »

Good news, everyone!

There could be a fifth season, or a movie, or maybe even both!
cyber_turnip

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« Reply #467 on: 10-06-2013 02:16 »

I didn't read that article because I read what I imagine it covers a few weeks ago, but Mitch Hurwitz said that he's now decided on a movie, followed by a 5th season and that he won't repeat the character-specific anthology-style of season 4.

He said that's what he wants to do and he's going to write things to work that way, but it ultimately isn't completely his decision. I'm sure that Netflix will fall over themselves to get another season, but the movie might be harder to get together.
Beamer

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« Reply #468 on: 10-06-2013 05:56 »

Cyber Turnip - Mitch has jumped between wanting to do "a movie followed by one more season" and "two more seasons, no movie" several times since season 4's release. Do you have a link to back this claim up, because the last I heard, he was in talks with Netflix on a fifth season?
cyber_turnip

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« Reply #469 on: 10-06-2013 14:57 »

Here.
Beamer

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« Reply #470 on: 10-07-2013 07:23 »

Ehh, it still just sounds like general speculation to me. Hurwitz has a history of announcing what he'd like to do with the show before any deals have been made. He's already outright said that season 4 was the first installment of a three-part story arc he has planned. It does indeed sound like he wants the next installment to be a feature film, followed by one more Netflix season, though it has also been confirmed he's had meetings with Netflix about further Arrested Development outings - which you wouldn't think he'd be doing if he'd already settled on doing a film next.

I think, if the film didn't come to fruition, he'd happily go back to his originally-announced plan for two more seasons, the film is just the more preferable option for him. I also think that another Netflix season (or two) is the more realistic option, and I would personally prefer that to a film.
JoshTheater

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« Reply #471 on: 10-07-2013 08:19 »

I'd like to see a film, but I don't know if where this last season ended off is the best place to start the story for a theatrical release. I think I'd rather see another season first.
Beamer

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« Reply #472 on: 10-07-2013 08:32 »

I'd like to see a film, but I don't know if where this last season ended off is the best place to start the story for a theatrical release.

Agreed. They probably could've done a film after season 3, since season 4 was essentially somewhat of a re-introduction, but yeah, jumping into a feature film with so many ends left untied is kind of insane. An AD movie would already be a hard sell to non-fans without adding that into the mix.
cyber_turnip

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« Reply #473 on: 10-07-2013 10:16 »

Ehh, it still just sounds like general speculation to me. Hurwitz has a history of announcing what he'd like to do with the show before any deals have been made.

That's all I was claiming it to be. Hurwitz has decided that his favourite way to continue the show is a movie, then season 5, so that's what he's working towards - but, ultimately, it could go any way.
Beamer

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« Reply #474 on: 10-07-2013 13:31 »

Ah, fair enough. When you said he'd "now decided on" it, I thought it was some kind of announcement I hadn't heard of yet. He's been going back and forth between doing two more seasons / a movie and one more season for a while now... Pretty much since season 4's release.

You raised my hopes and dashed them quite expertly, sir! tongue
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