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Arrested Development


Rich Kennedy
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More stunt casting as the show heads toward a finale.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Last night was the greatest ending to any television episode ever.  I am not hyperbolizing.

ha, yeah, that episode just kept on getting better and better until reaching untold levels of Arrested Development greatness. I love how the Tobias hair-plants thing is taking a really dark turn as well. Can't wait for next week.

Ok, in my quest to avoid essay writing I downloaded the Monday night episode I had missed (instead I went to see Good Night and Good Luck).

BRILLIANT. They handled the ending nicely, in what could have been cruel and uncomfortable, instead it was hilarious but sweet.

Oh, and not only are Tobias's hair implants ridiculous, but his clueless throw-away lines just get me all the time:

(To Michael discussing British-isms)

TOBIAS: Oh yes, like how they call "tourists," "poofters." laugh.gif

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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More stunt casting as the show heads toward a finale.

Wow, before I read the name, I thought that was Marilyn Manson without makeup. Is that Justine's new look, or is she in character for the role? huh.gif

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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Catch a few reruns in the 8:30-9:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) slot the next few weeks, now that Kitchen Confidential has been axed.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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So my wife meets me for lunch, and casually lets it drop that she watched Arrested Development last night. She says this matter-of-factly, but she knows that, in my excitement to see King Kong last night, I forgot to ask my co-worker to tape the episode. So I can't watch it. And the news that she enjoyed it ... it's like a dagger to my heart.

She told me about the episode, and I laughed listening to her descriptions of various scenes.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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So my wife meets me for lunch, and casually lets it drop that she watched Arrested Development last night. She says this matter-of-factly, but she knows that, in my excitement to see King Kong last night, I forgot to ask my co-worker to tape the episode. So I can't watch it. And the news that she enjoyed it ... it's like a dagger to my heart.

She told me about the episode, and I laughed listening to her descriptions of various scenes.

I can totally understand. I was enroute from Victoria to Saskatoon, inflight while the episode aired. Fortunately my brother taped it and I got to see it. I laughed harder than I have at any other episode this year. Some supremely funny moments.

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Oh, heck, let's just post the entire Variety article:

---

Fox still hasn't officially canceled "Arrested Development," but if it does, other networks are interested in the show.

Both ABC and Showtime have had conversations with 20th Century Fox TV and indicated they're open to making a deal for new episodes of the critically beloved, Emmy-winning comedy from creator Mitch Hurwitz. No formal negotiations have taken place, and there are still numerous hurdles that might prevent such a move -- including the show's hefty pricetag.

That said, those familiar with the talks described them as serious, with Showtime said to be in particularly hot pursuit of the ratings-challenged laffer, now on life support at Fox. Skein's third-season order was recently cut to 13 episodes.

Showtime could be a good place for "Arrested." Skein's subversive humor and heavily serialized storylines always made it a tough sell as a mass-appeal broadcast series. What's more, Showtime already has a potential companion for "Arrested" in "Weeds," which just received a second-season pickup. That show is a suburban satire centered on a drug-dealing soccer mom played by Mary-Louise Parker.

Network entertainment topper Robert Greenblatt has made an aggressive push to make Showtime a player in the comedy biz. He's greenlit several since his arrival -- including "Fat Actress" and "Barbershop" -- and "Arrested" could be the piece de resistance. If even half of the skein's Fox viewers -- last averaging around 4 million per episode -- watched on Showtime, "Arrested" would be an instant cable hit.

ABC, meanwhile, is also looking to make its mark in comedy, having already established itself as the home of TV's most buzzworthy dramas ("Lost," "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy"). Net has high hopes for upcoming laffers, such as "Emily's Reason's Why Not," "Crumbs" and "Sons and Daughters," as well as a sophomore contender, "Jake in Progress."

Since Fox has yet to officially cop to canceling "Arrested," 20th can't formally make any deals with another net. There are other barriers to setting the show up elsewhere, however.

Studio has already deficited millions in order to produce the show, which costs about $1. 6 million per half-hour to produce. It's believed 20th deficits about $400,000 per episode.

Even if ABC or Showtime stepped up with the same license fee Fox now forks over for the show, 20th execs will have to decide whether it's worth it to sink more money into a show that isn't a proven ratings winner. That's one reason the studio might push for at least a 22-episode (or greater) commitment from a net.

Studio needs 36 episodes to get "Arrested" to the magic number of 88 episodes required for syndication. But even if it gets to syndication, there's no guarantee of a rich payday in the off-net market.

On the other hand, "Arrested" is a winner in the DVD market, and more episodes mean more DVD sales. Skein could also take off if given mass exposure on a cabler such as Showtime -- particularly now that the feevee cabler is part of Leslie Moonves' CBS Corp. family.

Moonves certainly knows something about making lemons out of lemonade. One of his first acts upon taking over CBS was picking up a show from NBC called "JAG." Skein ran for nearly a decade on the Eye and spawned the successful spinoff "NCIS."

Studio, Showtime and ABC declined comment.

---

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Anybody other than Prins catch Monday's possible finale, which was so ridiculously and deliciously meta? I loved it, from the musings on what it would take to make the Bluths more likeable to the pleas for help for the family from the Home Builders' Organization (HBO)-- to which someone replied, "It's showtime!"

If it dies, it dies. There are two good consolation prizes from early death:

1. These people are too funny and talented not to work again. Like what happened to Freaks and Geeks, where Apatow has gone on to bigger (if not better) things. I don't know what Feig has done apart from writing a book, but he'll turn up.

2. At least the show will never reach the staleness that eventually plagues most of the other long-running shows.

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I watched it. The HBO/Showtime quip was cute.

The best news in recent weeks was seeing my brother open the "Season 2" DVD set on Christmas morning. He hasn't seen season 1 yet. I told him I'd yet to see season 2, and he seemed agreeable to let me borrow it at some future date. So I have that to look forward to, even if the show never resurfaces.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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  • 2 weeks later...

Two-hour season (don't say series -- just don't) finale on Feburary 10th -- the final four episodes will be playing back-to-back-to-back-to-you-know.

From the Buffalo News: "'It is highly unlikely the show is coming back, but no definitive final answer has been made,' said [Fox President Peter] Liguori. He plans to look at the ratings for the final four episodes...and at development of new shows before completely deciding whether to pull the plug."

And from the Seattle P-I: "At the beginning of Showtime's session on Thursday afternoon, entertainment president Robert Greenblatt confirmed that the channel was in talks with Twentieth Century Fox Studios to bring "Arrested Development" to Showtime. He also indicated, in so many words, that he would love, love, L-O-V-E to give the pretty-much-cancelled Fox series a new home on premium cable, adding it would make a perfect companion to the channel's original series 'Weeds,' which was picked up for a second season. 'I think it's an incredibly bold and original show,' Greenblatt said...A few key things have to be in place to seal the deal, Greenblatt said. First, we must assume that the licensing and production costs would have to come down. More importantly, he added, 'I think the show is only worth continuing if Mitch Hurwitz was at the helm running it...He's the genius behind it. And he hasn't yet come to that decision to continue the show...He's been through a sort of emotional roller coaster over the last couple years.'"

Dale

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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I am betting that finale will come out on DVD, but just in case it doesn't, and someone happens to record it, and burn a copy for my wife and I, we would be willing to do all sorts of things in return.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a reminder for all you fans to tune in tomorrow night, as it may be our farewell to the best show on television. I for one am filled with a mix of excitement (two-hours of new AD!) and sadness (see above comment about the end of the best show on TV).

Edited by Anders

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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BETRAYED! By the cable company.

My co-worker, who promised to tape the finale, said her cable went out Friday night. So, no tape. I've got a request into a friend who watches the show, hoping he or someone he knows taped the episodes, but if there's a tape circulating amongst A&Fers, I'm interested in that alternative as well.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I have a tape, and I've seen enough to know that it did tape properly. After I watch it again in the next day or two, I would be happy to start a tape-chain.

Dale

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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  • 1 month later...

According to Variety, Mitch Herwitz has decided to walk away from Arrested Development, which pretty much kills any deal with Showtime to continue the series.

I'm fine with the decision - it ended on a high note, and the show went out with it's head held high - well, as high as the Bluths' could go... ;)

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  • 4 months later...

Oh. My. Goodness.

After hearing a lot about this show, I finally rented season 1, disc 1. This is fantastic. Perhaps about 10% misses (such as the over-use of "Christmastime"). The rest is pure genius. The running Blue-Man-Group gag was just exquisite. I can't wait to watch the rest (and read the rest of this thread)! Some of the characterization is so brilliant and the running commentary on a whole range of topics is really well done.

I'm so glad you liked it Alan!

I know now that you'll join me in rooting for "AD" tonight at the Emmys. It would be a nice way to go out.

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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