Arrested Development 4×1 “Flight of the Phoenix”

Attested Development: SPOILERS can’t be voted out.

 

Overall, I feel this was a weak start to the series.  Michael as the straight man is incapable of making me laugh the way I’d been looking forward to Arrested Development making me laugh for years.  I had expected Michael to have a break in Cabo for at least a couple days.  Then he’d come back due to a George deal or something, but still-expectations.  Plus, Michael was always the one who was supposed to have options, which made him staying with his kooky family so telling and poignant.  Being hit over the head with the message that nope, now he has no options whatsoever that don’t involve leaning on family members just undercuts that familiar dynamic and the breath of heartwarming that used to keep the hard times plots from overflowing.  I was underwhelmed by the story and overwhelmed by changes.  Luckily, this proved just a jumping off point.  Other thoughts:

1. Oh, Michael.  He can never try to do anything with Lucille 2 without making her dizzy.

2. I do not share the joy in Kristin Wiig and Seth Rogen as young Lucille and George Sr.  First, we had plenty of flashbacks with the actual actors before.  Second and most importantly, in a season where I already feel I don’t get enough of particularly Jessica Walters, seeing her replaced like that feels like a low blow.  Surely that wasn’t actually necessary?

3. See, when Michael’s going on and on and on about a plan like that voting one is usually when Lindsay or Gob or someone walks in and distracts me from it so I’m getting something other than tired at the only gag currently going.  This was the point where I really started to fear this new season.

4. More Loose seal! jokes=always funny.

5. Anyone else curious about the name P-Hound?  Is he going to be, like, Gene Parmesan’s apprentice and sniff out scandals?

6. I feel like using his memories of Gob’s magic hands to “accidentally” squirt soap in Michael’s eyes whenever he tries to join him in the shower should be George Michael’s first move in the battle of privacy.

7. Do we assume George Michael gets everything by scholarship and that’s why he’s unaffected by money troubles thus far?

8. I feel like Michael’s luggage would have had some sort of leftover blueprint or flier for “Sudden Valley” that would have caused him trouble at airport security.  It’s the layout of what-a bomb in the shape of a burning bush?  Or it’s clearly Al Quaeda code for a strike because, after all, the name “Sudden Valley” is a total giveaway?  I feel there could have been a funnier sequence than the voting with that, particularly if they ended up by trying to contact his son for confirmation about his recent lodging or something and then the off-the-phone officer used facial recognition and pulled up the CIA file on George Michael’s Star Wars video as a terrorist training film.  Michael would then be released so as not to tip off his more dangerous son, although probably with a tail-maybe Ice?  (And then P-Hound would be endorsed by the government in his first pro job of officially surveilling George Michael Bluth. ((Instead of him just doing it for Gene Parmesan, clearly at Lucille’s behest, so that she can stay on top of what’s happening with her son with highest potential.  After all, P-Hound did seem to be assigned only after Michael moved in.)))  This is how it goes in my head.

9. I love the airport paintings behind Michael.

10. I am always going to be on board with random ostriches here.

 

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