Arrested Development

Jason Bateman in Bad Words

Bad Words is a really dark comedy. Its lead, Guy (Jason Bateman), is crude and selfish, and he won’t stop until he proves his point. Sometimes he goes about his plan in mean-spirited ways, but for Bateman it’s pivotal that an audience embraces the character. That’s not as difficult as it sounds. He makes the National Spelling Bee contest actual fun, so you’re already on his side from the start. Not only is Guy likable despite his edges, but he’s also empathetic. Andrew Dodge‘s script gives him the right kind of motive that never interrupts the film’s initial comedic tone. There’s just enough of Guy’s past and his twisted and sweet friendship with a kid, never too much of it to make him an unbelievable softie. There’s plenty of tonal tightropes in this movie, but Bateman, who was also in the director’s seat for the movie, was well-aware of them from the start. I spoke to Bateman at SXSW this week, and this is what he had to say about his anti-hero character, directing for the first time and more:

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camacho

It wouldn’t be a bad bet to wage that there’s no one walking around Comic-Con with more muscles than Terry Crews. I’ve spoken with Crews before over the phone, but interviewing him in person is considerably more emasculating. Not only because the guy is a mammoth of all things brawn, metal, and steel, but because Crews is a guy with charm out the wazoo. I think I could throw some of the meanest insults at the guy and still see a smile on his face. Or he could crush me with his pinky. I sat down with Crews at Comic-Con to discuss his work in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, the sequel to the 2009 animated surprise hit. Crews, playing officer Earl Deveraux, is filling in for Mr. T this time around, and while the actor said he had big shoes to fill, I’d say Mr. T couldn’t step into Crews’s boots.

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Arrested Development

The original 3 seasons of Arrested Development that ran from 2003-2006 represent arguably the highest form of situation comedy. The show contrived and constructed a complex web of intersecting situations within each episode that continually developed and overlapped with each other throughout the series. Gags like Tobias’s coming out as a denim-cutoff-donning “never-nude” were briefly hinted at, later explained, then circuitously referenced during the rest of the series as the characters and the ensemble developed through a fast-paced narrative. It’s Arrested Development’s deft balance of many simultaneous situations that made it such a continually rewarding, notably risky, and certainly groundbreaking show for network television: the show remunerates the attentive viewer by returning to gags and referencing situations from past episodes even as present situations rapidly advance. I can’t think of another show before it that successfully and inventively got so much mileage out of individual revisited gags. Rather than simply repeat the same gag, like a catchphrase, Arrested Development laboriously re-contextualized prior jokes with big and small variations on their results (e.g., the many ways Michael forgets who Anne is). Netflix’s new season of Arrested Development is, as reported, comparably ambitious in its approach to the situation comedy. The show makes good on its promise of audacity by replacing its prior experimentation with the situation with an experiment in structure.

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Arrested Development

I’m not a big fan of TV Shows with laugh tracks. It might be pretentious, but it always seemed like laugh tracks were a crutch for shows with bad writing, like hearing it made you more likely to laugh at a joke you’d otherwise roll your eyes at. This always made me uncomfortable because it seemed like such a pretentious thought. My shows, like Arrested Development and Futurama, don’t need laugh tracks because they’re better (I’d think to myself) and you idiots wouldn’t know good writing if it got way too high, fell asleep on your couch and woke up in the middle of the night to eat all your cereal (Good Writing is kind of a stoner). But good news, everyone: that pretentious thought was wrong. Laugh tracks have nothing to do with the quality of writing, and everything to do with what the show is about.

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Arrested Development George-Michael

Resurrected like a dead dove by Netflix, there’s no doubt that Arrested Development 4.0 is a beast made specifically for the internet. It’s no longer bound by commercial breaks (only answering to the internal metrics for how the streaming service defines commercial success) or the act structure and 22-minute length traditional TV entails. With the same bulk-drop mentality that Netflix started with House of Cards (which gets its own AD shout out), viewers can choose whether they want to watch one episode per week, a handful at a time, or all in one sitting. These are the two major structural differences that streaming provides, but there’s also the instantaneousness of social media that was largely missing when the show originally ran on FOX between 2003 and February 2006, ending its third season almost exactly a month before Twitter launched. It’s also not hard to imagine that it was the internet that brought the show back. With fan pages dedicated to connecting all of its dots and collecting all the quotes, the cult aspect of AD flourished on message boards and in memes alike, and its popularity within Netflix’s own walls must have been an enticement to push for a fourth season. All of that makes it feel a bit like the show once dubbed “too smart” for TV was an orphaned child who’s found the home she was always meant to live in. But like all families, there’s a bit of disfunction. The original run of the show was marked by clever turns of […]

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arresteddevelopment-drink

Cult television shows always end up with a certain level of melancholy because their fans feel they were canceled long before their time. It is this fan devotion that keeps these shows alive in reruns and on the various home video platforms. However, once in a while, a show gets resurrected on a different network (like Cougar Town), as a major motion picture (like Serenity), or even on a totally different delivery platform (like Arrested Development moving to Netflix). Arrested Development is one of those cult television shows that the fans refused to forget. It may never have been as popular as the similarly quirky but far more mainstream Seinfeld, but for the fans, it has worked its way into the fans’ lives as much as any show has. Take a drink to celebrate the series, and if watch enough episodes at once, you’ll end up as intoxicated as Lucille Bluth.

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Arrested Development Lineup

In the fourth episode of Arrested Development‘s third (and what initially seemed to be its final) season, Michael Bluth wakes up to find the handlebars of his bike in his bed, placed there by GOB, his sheets stained with bike grease. The moment is a clear reference to one of the most iconic scenes from The Godfather, where studio executive Jack Woltz awakes to find the severed head of his prized horse in his bed after refusing to give Johnny Fontaine a prize role in the film. But Arrested Development‘s relationship to The Godfather trilogy isn’t isolated to occasional references or sly parodies. Instead, the underlying structure of the series seems to be modeled off Francis Ford Coppola’s canonized adaptation of Mario Puzo’s crime saga. Here are a few connections between the three existing seasons of Arrested Development and the three Godfather films. Perhaps there will be more to look for when Arrested Development pulls us back in on May 26th.

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Arrested Development Season 4

Somebody somewhere just blue himself. Probably millions of people, really. With the return of a beloved show like Arrested Development, there’s always that small voice in that back of your head worried that it won’t be as good. Or worse, that it will be a disaster which abjectly ruins all the warm memories you had and proves that cancelled passions should stay dormant. The trailer for AD‘s Netflix-powered season 4 should help slap that little voice for doubting. Check it out for yourself:

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mnad_nasa

Tonight on Movie News After Dark, we go back to the 1960s for a NASA series (squee!), get a behind the scenes look at how Transformers are made, talk TV controversy, make fun of Zach Braff, look at a few great summer movie previews and go rapid-fire with a ton of character posters.

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Arrested-Development-Michael-550x825

While it’s still hard to believe that we’re finally getting new episodes of the brilliant Arrested Development (thanks, Netflix!), it’s not hard to believe that the show has started rolling out funny and clever bits of marketing that make something like “getting excited about character posters” not seem insane. Instead of unveiling a set of stills featuring each member of the Bluth family in all their glory, the series has instead crafted a series of posters that use recognizable props that apply to each individual Bluth, so fans of the show will instantly be able to recognize their favorite star with ease (the one we want on our walls ASAP? Lucille’s classic pill bottle). Season 4 of Arrested Development arrives on Netflix in its entirety at 12:01 AM Pacific Time on Sunday, May 26th, so set your alarms now. Check out the rest of the “character” posters after the break. [Vulture, TV Line, IGN]

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Arrested

You’ve known that it was coming, you’ve planned for it, you’ve reupholstered your sofa for it, so this is merely a public service announcement to inform you that the new 15-episode season of Arrested Development is hitting Netflix on Sunday, May 26th. That gives you a month and a half to figure out how much hot ham water you’ll need to muscle through all 15 without a break as well as a good excuse for calling in sick to work that Monday. Maybe hot ham water poisoning. And, seriously, what boss makes you work on Memorial Day anyway? Oh, and here’s an anticipation-filled poster too:

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mnad_arrested

Tonight on America’s #1 nightly entertainment news column, the Bluth family changes television forever, Harvey Weinstein is a playa, Hollywood is done with sex and Damon Lindelof explains himself (or Prometheus 2). Also, Terrence Malick jokes.

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Arrested Development

I’m guessing you just blue yourself, because I did. Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Mitch Hurwitz made too much footage when filming the new Netflix-ordered Arrested Development, so they’re just going to make Netflix buy more and extend the season from 10 episodes to 12-15. That’s right. They had so much good material, that they’re going to weave in new stories and work it all into a larger-than-anticipated block. Production has suspended so that Hurwitz can review and re-plan for renewed filming in January. So far, the change does not seem like it will alter the release in March of all the episodes. Feel free to celebrate by endlessly quoting the show in the comments section.

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Arrested Development

Are you willing to put down your hot ham water and do a ton of work for the chance to win a small part in the new season of Arrested Development? That’s unsurprising. After all, you’re messing around on our site instead of researching how to save your employer another few thousand dollars a year by switching copier machine companies or whatever. Why not take a little extra time to achieve a life goal? The production is hosting the You’re Gonna Get Some Walk-Ons contest, and the rules are simple.

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Arrested Development

Will there ever be an Arrested Development movie? If you’re anything like those of us around Reject HQ, you may have lost sleep over the question in the years following the exit of Mitch Hurwitz’s comedy series from the airwaves. Blame Joss Whedon, who turned the loss of Firefly into a pretty entertaining big screen experiment with Serenity. Now every TV show we love that gets cancelled will suffer the fate of unending rumors about a cinematic adaptation. In the case of Arrested Development, rumors have come and gone and come again. And until Netflix announced that it would be bringing the series back for another season on its streaming platform, none of us really thought we’d ever get to spend time with the Bluthes again. Even as we were writing articles like 8 Things We Need to See in the Arrested Development Movie, we didn’t seriously think it would happen. We were simply delusional. Playful, even. But now, things might actually be different.

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If you’ve never seen Jonathan Ames’s recently cancelled HBO show Bored to Death, you might want to brush up on the premium cable mystery/comedy show, for costar Ted Danson recently suggested in an interview with French journalist Pierre Lenglas (according to Lenglas’s Twitter account) that a feature-length Bored to Death movie might be in the works. To be fair, nothing official has been announced and, according to Vulture, HBO qualified Danson’s statement my stating that the creators and talent of the show are only in the early stages of conversation. But with Jason Schwartzman and Zack Galifianakis rounding out the show’s cast, a Bored to Death movie might make quite a bit of sense. Bored to Death ran for three seasons from 2009-2011, and chronicled the misadventures of Jonathan Ames (Schwartzman), a struggling writer who becomes an amateur detective in order to get over being dumped by his girlfriend Suzanne (Olivia Thirlby). His best friend Ray (Galifianakis) is a deeply insecure comic book artist who struggles to maintain power in his relationship with his on-again, off-again girlfriend Leah (Heather Burns). Danson plays Ames’s boss, George Christopher, the editor of a New Yorker-style magazine and a ginormous pothead. While the show lost steam for me in its third season, Bored to Death was a clever and surprisingly warm show about the difficulties of commitment, the changes in New York City’s boroughs, the death of the printed word, and narcissism. It’s the type of show that could only have aired on HBO.

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What is Movie News After Dark? A lot of nightly movie news columns are about life, this one is like a slice of cake. We begin tonight with the master himself, Alfred Hitchcock. More appropriately, we begin with Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in Sacha Gervasi’s Hitchcock, the story of the making of Psycho. He’s got a bit of the look, in so much as he had the Nixon look. But as we know, even if he looks like Don Rickles playing Alfred Hitchcock, he’s likely to bring the thunda.

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Arrested Development is coming back

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that never got to go to Motherboy, as it’s not human and does not, as it turns out, have a mother. It will have to take to watching old episodes of Arrested Development to fuel its disfunction. Or perhaps it can watch some new episodes… Tonight’s top story, Arrested Development is coming back. And we have Netflix to thank for it. The DVD rental service turned confused corporate buffoon turned hero to all in the kingdom of nerddom has inked a deal, along with 20th Century Fox, to bring back AD for 10 episodes that will stream exclusively to Netflix subscribers in early 2013. And there’s still a rumor about a movie, but lets not get ahead of ourselves. Editor’s Note: There’s also more news this evening, so keep reading…

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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published: 12.05.2014
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