It’s curious what you can find lingering on YouTube for years and what gets removed almost instantly. Sometimes, entire TV programs—the full run of the wildly discomfiting and hilarious Peep Show, for example—turn up there, and nobody bats an eye! But the BBC is pretty chill. What’s more shocking is that a TV show that ran on two major American networks could exist on the site without IP lawyers throwing a fit.
The wave of hype surrounding the new fourth season of Arrested Development has come and gone. People watched it, they had opinions about it, and they expressed those opinions very loudly. The new season was indeed polarizing, but one generally positive consensus about the show seems to be the inclusion of the hilarious and underrated-pretty-much-until-now Maria Bamford as DeBrie Bardeaux, Tobias’ fellow aspiring actress / love interest. Bamford’s goofy, physical comedy and committed delivery won rave reviews, and now she’s taking her talents to the Internet.
Last week, Bamford launched a new web series, "Ask My Mom!" In it, she plays herself and her mother Marilyn, a "70-year-old retired family therapist and a Netflix connoisseur." Marilyn is really an older, more composed version of Bamford, with an interest in the sexy, violent parts of The Bible. Maria films Marilyn offering advice to viewers, about important things like communication and sex. And, you know what? Even though Bamford’s character acting remains the star, the advice isn’t half-bad. If you can’t stand to listen to someone, pretending they’re a baby and responding to them like you’re listening intently isn’t actually the worst idea. Watch the first two episodes below.
Have you heard? Arrested Development’s fourth season, which “aired” on Netflix over the weekend, is – [extended drumroll] – different! As in, it is not the first three seasons all over again! As you can imagine, some long-time fans were furious about details such as: the passage of time, the tweaks for a new channel, and other things they couldn’t possibly have expected. Here are some one-star complaints from alleged series loyalists:
"Having loved the show previously, I can’t believe how bad the new season is. Or at least the first three shows, since that’s when I gave up watching. And jeez, what has happened to Portia de Rossi’s looks. Is it just too much botox?"
Hey, sorry a woman’s appearance ruined this for you! Also, good job not sticking with an experimental format that would have yielded the great comedic payoffs you’re used to if you’d paid even slight attention!
"Nope, this is just bad. No matter how many celeb cameos, the pace just isn’t there. The reoccurring ironies are too strained and not funny. Sorry Netflix. You obviously needed this one to work."
By “celeb cameos,” I’m assuming you mean appearances by all the celebrities who were in it the first time around. Netflix appreciates your pity, however.
"I’ll hop-on in agreement about the first 3 seasons – best American sitcom ever. 2 episodes of season 4 and "i’ve made a huge mistake". Completely destroyed the regard that i had for the series."
This one gets points for the in-joke up top, loses points for bandwagon behavior. Once again, if you’ve only watched the first couple episodes of season four, you have not even begun to understand the brilliance at work. Or would you prefer more Charlize Theron episodes?
"The first 3 seasons were one of the best sitcoms of all times.The fourth season is abysmal. It’s not funny. It hardly even tries to be funny. Who the hell thought it was a good idea to make Ron Howard a central character?? I’d say Fox made the right decision killing the show before Hurwitz’s ego did."
Fox was right? Yeah, that sounds like a true Arrested Development fan. And wait, Hurwitz’s ego made Howard appear on camera? Weird.
"Did not like what I did watch of this show with no people of color in the cast period. The show doesn’t make any reasonable sense. What’s the point?"
Follow MIles on Twitter here.
(For those who didn’t spend the weekend catching up, note there are spoilers ahead.)
Many of you probably spent your three-day weekend binge-watching the new season of Arrested Development on Netflix Instant. Some of you probably loved it unconditionally no matter what, like a long-lost family member (family is the most important thing!), and some of you perhaps were disappointed, like Michael Bluth often is in his family. Still, there were a lot of things to like about the new season: Tobias and GOB’s especially wacky storylines, the Entourage parody, the painful but Arrested Development-appropriate skewerings of the housing crisis and the rise of Herman Cain, but most of all, the new crop of guest stars.
The new guest stars this season were especially stellar. Broadway legend Tommy Tune as Argyle Austero, the musical theatre-loving brother of Liza Minnelli’s Lucille II was an especially brilliant casting move, and his scenes were toe-tapping fun. Maria Bamford’s turn as recovering failed actress DeBree Bardeaux will hopefully escalate her to deserved national treasure status, and perhaps was one of the high points of the entire new season. And Max Winkler and Kristen Wiig, appearing as Young Barry Zuckerkorn and Young Lucille Bluth, respectively, were both surprisingly on point. The former was a nice continuation of the circle of former Happy Days cast members on the show as well.
But as much as the new guest stars shone and deserve all the accolades and smiley Emojis for their performances, the most pleasant surprise of this season has been a recurring guest star in all four seasons: anchorman John Beard, played by actual Emmy Award-winning newsman John Beard, a native of Buffalo and most recently appearing on the city’s WGRZ network.
Beard has played a stock-character news anchor in television and movies before, including 24, Spider-Man and The Siege, but he’s perhaps most recognized (outside of his actual anchoring career) for his role in Arrested Development as Newport Beach’s premiere anchor. And with more exposition needed to catch everyone up on the last five years, Beard has had more time to shine and become an integral part of the plot. His hosting of a To Catch a Predator-style show was a key point in the Tobias arc; he now even has a son, John Beard Jr., played by Ben Schwartz, who essentially made him another Jean-Ralphio, not that we’re complaining, who featured in GOB’s story. He helped move the plot along, all while becoming an important character in and of himself and getting a lot more screen time. And he did it all with the clarity and professionalism that you’d expect in a seasoned anchor.
The weekend is finally almost here. Arrested Development is returning to the small screens, with the entire season to be released at once, a setup that begs for Monday-off binge watching and probably some server crashes. Seeing as many of you won’t have to work the next day, it’s the perfect excuse to have a party. A little grilling, some beer and some watching the most hyped non-sports-related television event in years. Here are some suggestions for your perfect Bluth family shindig.
Frozen bananas. A real-life banana stand toured the world over the past several weeks, hitting New York, Los Angeles, London and Seamless, but you know they’re never quite as good as homemade. Melt some chocolate, dip some bananas in it, roll ‘em in nuts if you feel so inclined, put ‘em in the freezer and BAM! everyone will love you. Or get the storebought. Whichever.
Libations. Cloudmir Vodka may not actually exist, but vodka cocktails seem like the perfect accompaniment to an Arrested Development marathon. At least, Lucille would approve. Maybe some wine as well. For the Buster in your group, be sure to have some nice, big juice boxes on hand.
Good company. People who won’t talk, make out our Tweet during the entire thing. Especially that last one. You can’t expect the Internet to not give you spoilers, but that doesn’t mean you get to ruin it for people who have to work over the weekend, or whatever. Just be considerate and be kind.
The perfect soundtrack. This must include gratuitous ukulele as a tribute to the show’s unmistakable theme song, a little Vince Guaraldi from the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, several instances of Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” and, of course, who could forget in-universe classics like “Big Yellow Joint” and “It Ain’t Easy Being White.”
Breaks for important things like sleep and sunlight. It is a three-day weekend, and even if you don’t have to work, it might still be nice out where you are and you should really also seriously remember to take care of yourself. Go for a walk between episodes or find a park and get some fresh air. Hell, if you’re not one for exercise, just go find a patio or a porch on which to have a drink. Arrested Development will still be there when you come back. Really. It’s okay to go outside.
Activities. Most notably, a chicken dance contest. Protips can be found below.
It’s not like Netflix really needs to do anything to promote the upcoming new season of Arrested Development, which is now just a little more than a week away, but they’re certainly pulling out all the stops. In addition to trailers and all sorts of promos on Netflix and around the Internet, a real-life Bluth’s frozen banana stand has appeared in major cities like New York and London, and Seamless.com even featured a banana stand menu featuring other iconic AD food items like the Skip’s Scramble and Cloudmir Vodka. It’s all a bit exhausting, really.
And now, for funsies, Netlfix has added Insert Me Anywhere, the newest venture from former blue man and licensed analrapist Dr. Tobias Fünke. Tobias presents his greenscreen sizzle reel to director James Cameron, whose movies he has all seen (except for Avatar, Titanic and the Terminator series). Anyone can replace the green screen and add an extra dose of Tobias into their next summer blockbuster, student film or bad PhotoShop. There are all kinds of Tobias to be had that fans of the show might recognize, from the "Big Man on Campus" to "Motorcycle Ruffian," in which he enthusiastically waves at his fellow gang members, twists the old hog handles and dons the "leather daddy" outfit from AD. Check it out and see which Tobias is right for you and your next project..
Arrested Development is almost here, and for those who are fans of the show but perhaps unwilling to travel to London and overpay to eat at a real frozen banana stand, the final trailer for the new season is generating some excitement. And here’s what you have to look forward to in the new season, according to the clip.
Michael! George! Oscar! Lucille! Gob! Tobias! Buster! Lindsay! George Michael! Maeby! Streaming! The stair car! Michael moves to Phoenix! An ostrich! "The Final Countdown!" George Michael goes to college! George Michael also has a poster up in his dorm room that literally just says "Music," which is kind of amazing! And he still has feelings for Maeby! Of course he does! Tobias’ failed acting ambitions! Buster still dealing with Oedipus complex! Judy Greer returns as Kitty Sanchez! Lupus! Illusions! Buster stammer-screaming for Lucille! Juice boxes! Buster still has a hook!
Calling it right here, right now: the palpable excitement generated going into season four of cult classic sitcom Arrested Development, to air exclusively on Netflix, will almost certainly bring the website to its knees come May 26, the premiere date. The number of people trying to get accounts that day just to see this show would probably be trouble enough—but all the die-hards tuning in at once? Apocalypse.
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We’ve all been patiently drinking our juice and counting down the days until Netflix unveils Arrested Development‘s revived new season on May 26th. And as the cult comedy was wont to do, the fifteen new episodes look to be chock-full of guest appearances—from Henry Winkler reprising his role as Barry Zuckerkorn and Scott Baio’s Bob Loblaw to Liza Minelli as the vertigo-ridden Lucille Austero. And now, it appears that everyone’s favorite Office dude John Krasinski will be making a cameo appearance on the show as well.
With The Office sadly ending for good on May 16th, it will be a nice treat to see that goofy ol’ face on our screens, even if we’re not sure just what his role will be. The details on his role are hush hush as of now, but in the season, he’ll be joined by everyone from Isla Fisher, Andy Richter, Kristen Wiig, Conan OBrien, John Slattery, Ben Stiller, and Seth Rogen as guests.
So in the meantime, prepare yourself for the new season with some bloopers from the past.