Arrested Development 4×15, ‘Blockheads’

Attested Development: AnonymouSPOILERS

 

This is a finale masquerading as a show-opener.  It moves rather slowly, spending a lot of time reshowing old clips, which feel particularly long if you’re just holding your breath waiting for some great denouements and are counting the minutes the season has left.  It focuses on one issue more than the other episodes, making the watcher feel that this is a true branching-off point for the show where relationships will evolve and new territory lies unexplored.  “Blockheads” takes us right up to the edge of this bold, new world and then…abruptly punches us in the face.  Because that’s where it stops.  I would have been very happy if this had been the first episode of the series.  As just an episode of a great show, it’s adequate at first and then very exciting as you realize how it will change the tone.  As the finale of this particular, long-awaited season…all I can say is that I’d better get my denouement SOON, GODDAMMIT.

 

OTHER THOUGHTS

1. Really, Michael, a cactus?  Why is a cactus the present you’re bringing?

2. I really, really want this Rebel-off between the Bluth men to involve SOMEONE wearing a kilt.

3. The Gerard Depardieu jokes are great.

4. Gob is surprisingly resourceful about this whole house-filling venture.  I bet he could come up with some housing cons as good as George used to.

5. How does Lucille2 have so much money if she always supports the failing Bluth Company?  Austerity seems to make money from celebrities, but it’s not like her lifestyle is cheap, plus she’s got plenty of rehab bills for herself.

6. Now that Tom’s a sex-offender it makes his behaviour towards George Michael at the Bluth Christmas parties…different.

7. Guy Fawkes masks….the Richter quintuplets, maybe?

8. Who do you think is responsible for Lucille2’s vanishing act?

Arrested Development 4×14, ‘Off the Hook’

Attested Development: Blind SPOILERS Monster

 

I think this episode may have played better if it had come sooner in the season.  Because by the time you get to the next to last episode, you’re going Where Is Baby Buster!? and I Want Satisfying Conclusions Approaching and you’re a lot less tolerant of episodes that seem more stuck in a past characterization.  “Off the Hook” was Buster’s one shot at branching out on his own and…he just replayed and got deeper in a lot of old issues.  Everyone knows how Buster’s initial impulses would land him with fake Lucilles and back with Lucille2, but after that I felt there was a lot of room for other options that just didn’t happen.  Even working from jokes he’s done in the past: He could have wound up working as a servant with Mexican immigrants again and somehow tied that into finding out about the wall plan.  Lucille2 could have sent him to work for her campaign somehow.  He could have gone political like everyone else and tried to officially launch his Amputated-People-Aren’t-Scary campaign with all kinds of hilarious consequences.  We’ve been over the military and Buster’s gaming streak, I didn’t need to see them again.  The giant hand had some fun, but could have been better.  I love Tony Hale and I think Buster could have had an amazing episode.  Basically, Arrested Development is better than this.

 

OTHER THOUGHTS:

1. I found it incongruous that the one scene the show failed to tie in with the person’s story arc later is Buster’s appearance in George’s wall video.  When did he go down there, anyhow?  I checked and he already had the hand, so…the Loves let him get kidnapped?  Or something?  o.O

2. So, the lesson is all women who are mad at their husbands (or baby-daddies) want revenge sex.

 

Arrested Development 4×13, ‘It Gets Better’

Attested Development: Overtly SPOILERS

 

Okay, this episode was difficult for me the first time around.  First of all, I found it difficult to really enjoy George Michael’s new swagger and college exploits while knowing he still ends up trying to do woodblock things into Julliard.  *facepalm*  The characterization just didn’t track for me at all.  Second, the chicken dance was something I’ve been looking forward to All Season Long and then to finally almost get one,  a NEW ONE even, and then just cut him off before he does it???  I am still disgruntled.  Third, the stories coming together and connecting with other episode pieces seems much longer in this one-more reshowing of things like the traffic cancellation calls and the voting thing that just really missed the mark for me.  Fourth, when they said he was just beginning to lie my brain kept going, “But-but!-Lying to Maeby to get her to come back to their fake wedding!  Lying about seeing Les Cousins Dangereux!  Lying about visiting Pop-Pop in prison!  Etc.!”  It’s been long established that George Michael lies his ass off to try and get close to Maeby and it felt disappointingly inconsistent for the show to play it off as new.  Plus, the second the woodblock is heard, the whole joke and tale behind this lie is known to the audience, so it had no surprise value.  These are the reasons I was decidedly Disappointed when I watched this episode.

 

It does improve on second viewing-I know what I can’t expect to happen and I’m not sitting there going “Why are they showing more old scenes instead of just the tidbit we actually need to connect them-the season is almost OVER and you’ve got THINGS TO DO!”  This time I could relax more into the new things and enjoy the parts that are actually new in this episode: Getting rid of all the old vehicles!  Gob-shirts!  Sexual awakenings, ole!  And these parts that are purely about George Michael’s new adventure, not connecting with any other part of the season, are gold.

 

OTHER THOUGHTS:

1. You never, EVER have a college student refuse donations.  Ever.  This is just blasphemy, everyone, even for the Bluths.

2. Do you think a Les Cousins Dangereux poster is now hiding under his bullfighting poster?

3. I do like how George Michael cock-blocks himself with math.

4. One day George Michael’s bastard will meet Michael’s bastard with Not-Blind-Maggie while each thinks the other is the pimp of the woman he loves and wants to rescue from prostitution or something.

5. “You’re a terrible mother.”  Smooth, George Michael, smooth.

Arrested Development 4×12, ‘Senoritis’

Attested Development: Lifetime SPOILERS Award

 

To me, Maeby’s always seemed like the glue of the series, rather than the sparkle or the cloth.  She brought out George Michael’s issues with his dad, manipulated her parents, and generally went around running into people to keep everyone up on their doings and finding new ways to exploit others’ absurdities.  This episode is basically exactly what I expected a Maeby-centric episode would be.  It’s more spongecake keeping up a comedy fruit that feels separate from what’s actually happening here.  Most of my enjoyment stemmed from noting how Maeby is growing more like other family members, how she’s changed, how she affects George Michael, etc., rather than anything in this particular plot.  Thus, she’s become the glue of desserts-spongecake with fruit, rather than anything sweeter or more layered.  But it did hold the very specific satisfactions of allowing longtime fans to experience the historically-based humor and to see Maeby symbolize the show at large by being in the same skewed circumstances as previous seasons and realizing that it’s good to have change.

 

OTHER THOUGHTS:

1. This plot did have the biggest hole-Maeby wanted something incriminating on the undercover cop because she thought she might have been seen in the bar (presumably by him or his cop friends and so the danger lay in him knowing she was over highschool age), so she comes up with a plan to keep him from using this knowledge that is based on him believing she’s still 17?  That makes no sense.  I mean, if she thought she had a window to have sex with him before his cop friends could tell him she’s older that would make the best of it…but she didn’t act like it was a race and if she had ended up having sex with an undercover cop who thought she was underage, surely the other cops, who would be the proof that she was really 23, would back up their fellow cop as knowing she really wasn’t a minor.  *throws up hands*

2. There were not enough ostriches.  Apparently the school’s team is the Ostriches, shouldn’t there have been a mascot running around?

3. That’s what Barry’s move should be-masquerade as the Ostrich Mascot at a game.

 

Arrested Development 4×11, “A New Attitude”

Attested Development: And listen to the sound…of SPOILERS.

This is the best episode this season.  This is what I expect of Arrested Development: the most messed up friendship beginning ever.  Also, Sally’s sly instead of perfect!  Ann’s conniving instead of egging!  Gob both makes progress, yet screws things up awfully!  Tony Wonder matches him wonderfully.  This episode is awesome.

OTHER THOUGHTS:

1. Okay, what is that stuffed animal in the corner of Tony’s place?  A bear?  If so, why is it so short?

2. George Michael really doesn’t have that much cause to complain here.  After all, this time Gob just kissed him, instead of getting to third base like last time they hung out.

3. I’m assuming Tony’s fake chin-hair is composed of lucky rabbits’ feet.  That might come off as he’s eating a frozen treat sometime and he can accost the sellers of said treat with the fact that “It tasted like a foot!”

4. Gob totally listened to Michael when he used to go on about being the only one with the “sweet sting of sweat on his brow”!  Aw, brotherly love surfaces.

5. Destroying Our Life is the name of Tony Wonder and Gob Bluth’s new DVD.  They will put their initials, WB on it all showily and then get sued by Warner Brothers.

6. Clearly, Sally is not the great marketer if she needs that much money to brand a magician gay.

7. Who wants to bet Tony likes to make love to “Your Body is a Wonderland”?

8. Ah, the Explaining-the-Fuck-Out-of-Everything disease.  Tony, I’m afraid you’ve been infected by Ron Howard.

Arrested Development 4×10, “Queen B”

Attested Development: Whoever goes after Lucille will be one SPOILERY cookie.

 

Huzzah-Lucille Walter has taken the stage!  Always practical, Lucille.  One must think of video editing even while being assaulted, drinking is always an act, and even society matriarchs must notice the help when they also perform prisonly duties like cavity searches.  Also, it is important to keep brothers from colluding.  If Tobias’s last episode taught a few lessons, Lucille’s is Chock Full of Smokes of Wisdom.  (Never confide in therapists who imitate their wall posters of Bob Fosse seems like good advice.)  This is the cheese fondue of this season: everything Lucille touches becomes fun and tasty, with plenty of characterization to bite into, humor with a biting crunch, and a storyline to savor.  Lucille’s tactical maneuvers and personal realizations gave this episode a solid frame, with enough rebounds and wit that even this long episode felt short.  Plus, Lucille Bluth sings!  Honestly!  For Tobias!  To be a Villain!  It is hard to get more perfect than that.  This is firmly my second favorite episode of the season.

 

OTHER THINGS:

1. Lucille had a house she could go under?  With an ostrich-what?  Ostrich purse?  Boots?  Stuffed Animal?  Brooch?  Boa?

2. I really wanted one glorious news-shot of Lucille Bluth on the ship-sinking-like-Titanic, splay-armed to keep her balance out front akin to Kate Winslet in Titanic and giving Lucille2 the bird with both hands.  Can this still happen somehow?

3. In my mind, Buster carrying out threats against himself means tearing is room apart, a la kitchen-tearing when Rosa lost his parakeet, and perhaps doing something dastardly (meaning hilariously inappropriate) with his hook as part of the display.

4. How do we suppose Lucille even knew about the Gangie movies?  She never seemed a theater or newspaper-reading type.  Have people been mentioning this to her for awhile and she’s just sensitive to it now?  Did Maeby make sure she saw a picture of it, just to poke the bear or from boredom?

5. Perhaps now she can have more dates with Wayne Jarvis!

6. Lucille advising Buster to say it was an eel by his leg seems like Ursula using her eels to manipulate things.  Hee.

Arrested Development 4×9, ‘Smashed’

Attested Development: Sobriety is the most important thing-but we’ll see how good the SPOILERS are.

 

So, this is the episode that teaches things.  Things I’ve learned are:

1. Apparently all therapists really want to be in theater.

2. Hell is almost frozen over, for Tobias has learned NOT TO SAY “ANALRAPIST”-???

3. No wonder Emmett Richter wouldn’t let TV show its face-he’d be forced to horde all the pictures and souvenirs he could get his hands on from it and he clearly doesn’t have the room for that, what with all the fancy fake flowers lining his home.

4. The best way to brush off meetings is to make them a hat-on-haircut meeting.

5. Now even Tobias is more aware than Michael.

6. Tobias is much more successful at family interaction without Lindsay.  Huh.

7. Everything I do can also be described as choreographing.

Previous Older Entries