Some Charming One-Star ‘Arrested Development’ Reviews

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?"

What indeed.

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Your Third Hangover: The Funniest Critic Reviews Of ‘Hangover Part 3’

Like most hangovers, the third one is just not quite as fun as the first – and so is the consensus of The Hangover Part III, which opened today. But that doesn’t stop critics from making some hilarious one-liners about it, whether they meant to or not. Here’s the funniest:

  • "It is somehow even worse than the second." – FOX News
  • "Mr. Chow is more than just a silly, bisexual coke head this time around. He’s clearly a sociopath." – Boston.com
  • "Entitled fraternity dicks return to The Hangover Part III." – The Village Voice
  • "Galifianakis does hairy man child better than anyone since Robin Williams." – Total Film
  • "This is nothing short of a tragedy." – Vulture
  • "Mr. Chow goes full frontal. Can we ever erase the image from our minds?" – She Knows
  • "SPOILER ALERT: there is no hangover." – Screen Crush

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Having Dinner With Immaculate Infatuation

Within 10 minutes of ordering a beer and munching on some introductory kale salad at Jack’s Wife Freda with Andrew Steinthal and Chris Stang, it was easy to forget just how well-known the two guys really are.

Perhaps it was their good-humored bickering over pork buns or their unbridled excitement over a really good mackerel sandwich from Momofuku Ssäm, but the effect that these music-execs-by-day and food-critics-by-night have on their fans wasn’t recalled until hours later, upon reading a tweet.

"Major #celebritysighting last night. One table away from @immaculateinfat at Jack’s Wife Freda and too starstruck to say hello."

As the forces behind Immaculate Infatuation, a website full of hundreds of national "restaurant reviews that don’t suck," Steinthal and Stang tell a story with their critiques. With their conversational quips, brutal honesty, and name-drop-free reviews, the guys have cultivated their own corner of the culinary scene, fulfilling a need that no one even knew existed. Since the site launched in 2009, Immaculate Infatuation has expanded from just reviews, to interviews with “Infatuation-approved personalities,” videos, an iPhone app, and a 65-page New York Summer Guide full of recommendations, round-ups, – and lots of pictures. 

Between our first forkful of vegetable curry, to our last bite of whole fish, Steinthal and Stang shared over dinner their first business ideas, the similarities between music and food, and why they never, ever could live together. 

You both met at a CMJ convention 11 years ago. When did you realize you could work together on something?
Steinthal: We were college music directors at our radio stations in our respective schools, and we hit it off really well. We both were super passionate about music, made sure to stay in touch, and when we moved to New York, were keen on doing something together. Did we know back then we would ever do food? Hell no. Eleven years ago, I didn’t eat anything compared to what I eat now. I was such a picky eater. But as you grow up and you’re in NYC, it all kind of comes together, and I started really liking restaurants and food. Four or five years ago, we got really sick of going to bars and started going to restaurants all the time.

And when did Immaculate Infatuation come into the picture? Was that your first business idea?
Stang:
At one point we were like, “let’s do a t-shirt company,” cause we knew we wanted to do something and we were creative and driven. But in going out to dinner with our friends, we realized this is an opportunity for us to provide a service for people that don’t go to The New York Times to find restaurant recommendations. Our buddies weren’t the kind of guys perusing the dining section to find out where to take their date on Saturday night; they’d call us for recommendations. That’s when it occurred to us that this is where we can focus our energy into.
Steinthal: They don’t care if the guy from Eataly is behind the counter. Most people out there don’t know anything about these restaurant people. They just want a good restaurant. 

Which neighborhood has some of the best food?
Stang:
Overall, Nolita and the West Village.
Steinthal: But at the moment, Williamsburg. I’d rather eat in Williamsburg right now for new restaurants than any other place. There are so many good restaurants there right now, it’s not even funny.

What’s your favorite?
Steinthal: 
There’s this place called Allswell.
(Both gasp.)
Steinthal: Just so good.
Stang: Really, really good.
(The food arrives.)
Stang: It’s really dark in here. This isn’t really conducive to taking photos.
Steinthal: Just do it.

When did you guys first realize, "Wow, our site has some power?"
Steinthal: When we reviewed Post Office, this little whiskey bar in South Williamsburg.
Stang: We spent our whole night there drinking and eating. It was one of the best meals we had in a long, long time. The kitchen is the size of a postage stamp.
Steinthal: We reviewed it on a Monday or Tuesday, and then that weekend, there were 10-15 tweets saying “at Post Office, thanks Immaculate Infatuation, this place is amazing.” That’s when we were like, “whoa, this is happening. We are driving people into that restaurant.”
Stang: And it’s cool because that place wasn’t going to get written up in New York Magazine any time soon. They were doing something cool and interesting and we could help.
Steinthal: Those are the places we love to find. Not the ones everyone is talking about, but yet they’re doing something really cool.

What restaurant just doesn’t get enough attention?
Steinthal: This place in the East Village called Prima. Big focus on fish. They’re not getting written about since there’s nothing really remarkable about the menu – the food is just really simple and good – but they deserve to be known.
Stang: They have this one dessert that’s a classic French puff pastry, it’s really good, but it doesn’t register on the foodie scale, for whatever reason.
Steinthal: L’Artusi also falls into that. It doesn’t really get written about.
Stang: It’s never in the conversation about must-visit restaurants in New York City. That might be my personal favorite restaurant in the city.
Steinthal: This sounds cliched, but mine is Momofuku Ssäm Bar.
Stang: That mackerel sandwich they do? Bananas.
Steinthal: I get so excited every time I eat there.
Stang: The Chinese sausage and rice cakes.
Steinthal: Yeah.

What’s the one dining experience you’ve both disagreed on?
Stang: The biggest beef we have with each other is that I think Ippudo pork buns are better than Momofuku’s porn buns. Ippudo is a Japanese chain of ramen restaurants. It’s so crazy now, there’s like a two-hour wait even at lunch.
Steinthal: I’m obsessed with pork buns. Momofuku’s are way better.
Stang: That is what we disagree on. There is nothing as divisive as the pork bun. That’ll be what ends this website one day. Like on Behind the Music, “where did it start?”

You’ve been working in the music industry for years. How does your work in that field compare with your work in the food world?
Steinthal: At our jobs, we sometimes break bands, and we nurture and develop artists. So, with this website we’re doing the same thing. We’re pulling out every stop, connecting with every person on Twitter, every person we meet, trying to make a connection with everyone.
Stang: We try to make a personal connection with the people who read our site because we’ve seen what a difference it makes when a recording artist has a personal connection with their fans.

So you two work in the music industry – in the same building – and work together in your off-hours. Have you ever lived together?
Steinthal: Oh God no.
Stang: One of us wouldn’t be alive.
Steinthal: You can only get so much.
Steinthal & Stang: Yeah.

New NYC Guide Additions: Miyagi, Parlor Steakhouse, Miranda, the Randolph

imageIn New York, check out new listings for Miyagi (sweet little Japanese café on sweet little Village block), Parlor Steakhouse (Eastside swells digging the prime and the raw), Miranda (Italian-Latin fusion in Brooklyn), and the Randolph (masterful concotions prepared by serious dudes in vests with excellent mustaches). For full New York listings, see our restaurant guide and nightlife guide.

‘The Doorman’: Denied

imageWaiting in line outside a New York City club is a humbling, often humiliating experience. You certainly didn’t wear your Louboutins for nothing. Trevor W., a fictitious doorman at an exclusive New York club said it best: “The doorman is God really at the door.” Wayne Price’s mockumentary, The Doorman, follows Trevor — a self-absorbed, late-twentysomething metrosexual — played by Argentinean actor Lucas Akoskin. Trevor avoids cultural identification by refusing to name where he’s from. Spying a camera crew, Trevor is only too happy to invite them backstage at New York’s Fashion Week to capture him double-kiss designers and play with models’ hair. In a limo, Trevor tells the camera, “You don’t have to be big. You can be small. All you need is people to think you’re big. You just need connections. The only connection you need is me.” And the movie pretty much goes on like that.

In E! True Hollywood Story fashion, the camera alternates between shots of celebrities shouting “Hi!” to Trevor, following him to dressing rooms where he parades uniform options, and interviews with real-life scenesters such as Frederick Lesort of Frederick’s and Amy Sacco of Bungalow 8. Trevor is hot, and he won’t let you forget it. He leads the audience around the country working at special events to prove his maxim: “If you don’t know me, it’s game over.”

In Miami, Trevor and a couple arm-candy bimbos give a tour of his stunning apartment, complete with a poster-sized image of a blindfolded female nude. In Las Vegas, he gorges at the all-you-can-eat buffets and complains that the major hotels fight over who gets to host him. In LA, he turns bus belonging to the band 311 into a VIP bus simply by standing outside, arms crossed. His delusions of grandeur come crashing to a Britney-esque end after he fails to recognize Nicholas Cage. At the same time Trevor is blacklisted from his coveted job, Price loses the audience’s attention. Trevor tries to become a TV actor, a rock star, and even works as a doorman for the Superbowl, but his antics fall flat. Singing “Ave Maria” in a silver wig with an ambiguous Latin accent just isn’t funny. Trevor dines with actor Peter Bogdanovich, but even when Trevor confuses “dairy” and “dirty,” it’s clear Bogdanovich carries the scene. As the final blow, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy design expert Thom Filicia rejects Trevor because Thom can’t in good conscious propose that a man living in Chelsea wear a matching turquoise shirt and pants for the “straight guy” role.

Allegedly comical symbolism is heavy at the end, when Trevor stands at the PetCo door, deciding which owners and their domesticated dates can get it. After all, what’s the real difference between a glorified warehouse in the Meatpacking District and a corporate pet store, other than the types of animals inside?

As Trevor, Akoskin is best posing for the camera and strutting his star quality. Up close, and especially at the end, he’s just a poor Borat impersonator with a velvet rope. The film is funniest during the credits, when Trevor bans entry to a subway car and a path in Central Park. While clubbers and Page Six readers might snicker at Trevor’s hubris and relish the decline of the last doorman who had the gall to reject their Jimmy Choos and custom jeans, unlike, say, Best in Show, relatively little of this mockumentary appeals to a larger audience. Don’t bother waiting in line.