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Rich Kennedy

Arrested Development

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We watched about half of the episodes so far. Initial reaction was positive, though I felt like a few spots really feel padded. We went to an Arrested Development party last night and watched the first two episodes ago and they were definitely funnier the second time around (especially the first George Sr., which I wasn't too keen on the first time through). I'm really excited to finish the rest.

For whatever reason, I really love the "This is the best handbag on the mountain!" gag.

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It loses some steam in the last few episodes, though, when it's already fairly clear what's going on and they retrace things you've probably already figured out.

Having reached the end, I must say that this does not characterize my experience at all. There are late-season story reveals that blew my mind. And it's in those last five or so episodes that I think it becomes apparent that these episodes should almost certainly be watched in order (at least the first time around).

This actually may be my favorite season. It doesn't seem as carefree as the show was back in the first three seasons, but the achievements of this season are immense. There's a potentially great article to be written about the Bluth family as an apocalyptic nightmare vision of humanity, following in the footsteps of SEINFELD, and finding good company in other recent comedies like BURN AFTER READING and IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA. Each individual in ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT is so hopelessly turned inwards that communication and revelation is an impossibility.

Edited by Ryan H.

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It could be that I was getting tired and burnt-out towards the end. We'll see how it feels on a second (more leisurely) watch-through.

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Each individual in ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT is so hopelessly turned inwards that communication and revelation is an impossibility.

Well put. I was initially underwhelmed, but then I became increasingly alarmed by this detailed interior momentum that happens. I had not been watching what I thought I had been watching.

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Do the Emmys give out a Best Editing award? Because I'd give this a nod in a big way, everything else on TV for the year sight-unseen. The original three seasons always played around creatively with cuts, reveals and timelines, but this is a masterstroke.

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This is a fairly involved analysis of the show and the way it's evolved in season four (so, obviously, spoilers!), arguing that it's "a show about conflicting ethical worldviews, and about why, as David Foster Wallace put it memorably, anything you worship will ultimately end up eating you alive." Edited by Ryan H.

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