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November 21, 2008

Arrested Development Movie Looking Kinda Like a Go

Kinda. It's not a movie until the deal is actually announced.

I sorta figured that Michael Cera might hold out for more money, but I'm surprised he's the lone hold out and still holding out.

Dude, you're a child actor. Keep in mind the rather poor record of child actors converting into successful adult actors before turning down a job and pissing off people who'll be in a position to help you in the future.

Pretty much every actor from the show has heat. Don't let a good turn in Superbad make you into a dick.

Thanks to PetiteDov.

A Thought About Arrested Development: It was the first sit-com mystery show. At least AFAIK.


The show was very unfriendly as regards attracting new viewers, what with its constant in-jokes and references to past material. Kinda like this blog -- not in terms of quality, God knows, but that newcomer-unfriendliness due to the accumulated back-material one had to know to get a lot of the jokes.

Even I, a fan, frequently got annoyed at Ron Howard's constant interruptive narration as he had to explain previous plot-bits and jokes to set up the current episodes. I can only imagine what new viewers thought of this constant "Okay, wait, let me go back and explain" structure of the show. If I was shouting in my head Oh, just get on with it already, people sampling the show must have just been changing the channel completely.

The other thing is that it was structured, in metaplot, as a mystery, like Twin Peaks with puppets and strong themes of incest. I'm not sure if other comedies have been, at heart, mysteries before. The Big Huge Mystery being Maybe's parentage (and whether George Michael would get it on with her), and the Less Big Mystery about what exactly the Bluth Company had been doing in Iraq. This was also, I think, alienating to newcomers, who didn't have the background to get why fans might find this or that particular bit of information about one of the mysteries so tantalizing.

Unlike other sit-coms, which are almost entirely self-contained in each episode, the last episode's ending bring the show back to Situation Zero (the starting situation) with nothing at all having changed, everything was always changing on Arrested Development, as new information was imparted and many plot conceits stretched over three, five or more episodes.

Two great mysteries dropped in at the very end, with unexpected and great payoffs, were of course Who is GOB's unseen religious girlfriend? and Who is Nellie Bluth? (Double payoff on Nellie Bluth -- not only does Justine Batement make an appearance (and of course attempt to have sex with her real-life brother) but the actual Nellie Bluth turns out to be Lindsey, thus solving the Maybe Parentage Mystery.

The downside to a movie is that the series really did wrap up all of its mysteries completely. Not really a damn thing left on that front -- they told all. No more teasing; they delivered the solutions completely.

So my question, as a huge fan of the show, is whether a movie will have the same pull as the show now that the mystery is gone. Sure, they can deliver laughs, but they'll be missing that X factor of always wondering what exactly is up with this bizarrely incestuous crime family.

Twin Peaks famously became awful when it was revealed who killed Laura Palmer, but then, that was primarily a mystery (with comic and soap opera trappings) so it relied much more on the mystery.

Arrested Development certainly didn't rely as much on that to carry it (many people might not have considered the show a mystery at all, and will probably argue with my characterzation), but for me, at least, it was a big part of the appeal. All of my favorite episodes are about the mystery elements.

(And/or Kitty.

Who is hot. Even with Especially with her malformed breast implants and strangely misaligned nipples.)

Incidentally... Hulu now features both Arrested Development and Firefly.

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posted by Ace at 04:41 PM

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