We all need “a new start” from time to time, which makes it even more beautiful that this wonderful show got one. I mean, really, are there any words to capture how wonderful this new season of Arrested Development is? Not just in execution, but in the very idea that it exists? Who would have thought Netflix would have swooped in and saved the day, like some greased up Carl Weathers? Surely not I, yet, it has. And though it may take an episode or two to get back into the manic rhythm of the Bluth family, once you are there, it is just like riding a jetpack. Once you do it once, you pretty much never forget how it works. And as an added bonus, the new season of Arrested Development has some AMAZING guest stars and cameos (which has pretty much been a constant for this amazing show since it launched).
As you can probably tell from the title of this article, there will be some spoilers here, but only for the first half of the season, and I will keep the best jokes from being spoiled, do don’t worry. I am six episodes deep, trying my damnedest to stretch the whole season out, but finding myself incapable of doing so. Also, another thing you can probably tell from this opening is that there will be a lot of Arrested Development inside jokes here, so if something doesn’t make sense to you, take comfort in knowing it will make sense to someone else. Plus, how is it SUPPOSED to make sense to someone who is wearing a seventy dollar suit, when I am wearing a sixty two hundred dollar suit. COME ON??!!!
To me, Workaholics being on Arrested Development is like the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup of modern sitcoms. A perfect union.
I will admit, of all the cameos on this list, this is the one that made me squeal the loudest. I adore Workaholics, and think is the best “stoner slacker” show ever made. Did I just name that sub-genre. Yes. Yes I did. And on the other extreme, Arrested Development is a show that requires its audience to be quick and on their feet, so to see these two shows sort of “merge” was very cool for me. I also thought it was awesome that all three of them were on, all working as airport attendants. It felt like Arrested Development did that as a nod to Workaholics, like the old school rulers handing off the crown to the potential new school rulers.
I know I may have looked too much into it, and it might just be what it is, some guest stars, but still, I am a writer. I over think everything. And subtext or not, it was just an awesome surprise to see the braj’es and the Bluths, meeting up. I encourage more of that. Remember, Adam DeVine was on the show before as a different character, so it could happen again.
It is nice to see the narrator step out from behind the mic for a change.
I love that one of the first times we meet Ron Howard on this show (which, frankly, is long overdue at this point), he is trying to cast a new Opie. And even he says something along the lines of:
Can’t beat the original.
It is those meta moments that make Arrested Development work so well, and resonate with the audience. It is a show not afraid to make fun of itself, especially for a laugh. So the idea that Arrested Development takes a bit of a Seinfeld turn, and Michael Bluth is talking to Ron Howard about getting a Bluth family movie made, is brilliant, and works on many levels. We also get to see Ron’s business partner, Brian Grazer, in a small cameo, and they do it in a way where they mock themselves. The idea that Imagine Entertainment (which Howard and Grazer own) has a running feud with, well, I won’t ruin it, but it’s absolutely hilarious.
Who has the tallest building in L.A? I shoulda known that was a “thing”.
There is a slight spoiler in this picture about who appears next on the list.
Whoever it was that cast Seth Rogen as a young George Bluth deserves some kind of award. When Arrested Development used to use flashback scenes, they would use the same actor, and have them wear a wiig (see what I did there), which worked really well, I will admit, but it works better having different actors playing their younger selves. Why? It opens the door for more comedy gold. And while some may say Rogen us underplaying George Bluth, I would argue that. if you think about how George acts most of the time, Rogen is spot on. And even on top of it working, it was just a blast to see that first flashback and realize what the show was doing now.
Speaking of the first flashback, let me get to the reason we all are here.
I would not put it past Michael to somehow find a wormhole and accidentally have sex with his Mom, thusly creating himself, and ending the show, and the world.
No, I take back what I said about the person who cast Rogen deserving an award. The person who cast Kristen Wiig as the young version of the Bluth matriarch is the one who deserves the award. What? Don’t I think they were both cast by the same person? I don’t understand the question and I refuse to answer it.
Whereas Rogen may play a subtle version of George Bluth, Kristen Wiig goes the opposite route and plays up all the ways we detest (and laugh) at Lucille Bluth. She is drunk, and vapid, and has no real feelings, other than whatever it may take to better her own life at that exact moment. She is the worst aspects of all Moms, and she is played with brilliant aplomb by Wiig, who is obviously having a great deal of fun losing herself in the role. We haven’t seen Wiig shine this bright since Bridesmaids, and reminds us she kinda needs to be cast in everything, ever.
Get on that, Hollywood. If you get stuck or encounter any problems, I have a guy you can call. Bob Lob Law.
Also, look for the Google maps car, which is used to great hilarity in this episode.
Another absolute surprise was the casting of Isla Fisher as a young up and coming actress that Michael wants to play his wife (and to have sex with). I don’t think she retarded, but only time will tell on this one (*plays theme to For British Eyes Only). While it may be easy to forget with the current slew of shitty romantic comedies most actresses are forced to act in if they want to eat, Isla started out making us laugh, and it is nice to see her return to those roots.
Again, this is a complex relationship, and I shalln’t reveal too much about it. Ah, screw it. She plays Ron Howard’s daughter, but Michael thinks she is Ron Howard’s mistress. That sentence alone pretty much sums up why I love this show so much. It is even more complicated (and oft hilarious) than real life.
And if you think the guest stars are good, wait until you catch these…
I actually peed a tiny bit in my pants when this came on the screen.
The MST3K Boys:
There are few TV moments in the last ten years that made me as singularly happy as seeing (and hearing) the MST3K boys on Arrested Development. And what were they making fun of? An old version of the Fantastic Four, starring Tobias Funke’s new heroin-addicted girlfriend. They meet at the Method One acting clinic. Oh wait, it’s a methadone clinic. For the win.
Conan O’ Brien:
What makes this cameo so cool is that Conan is basically playing second fiddle to Andy Richter for once, who is a recurring guest this season. And also, Conan plays AGAINST type of what he is known to be. Here, he is a womanizing asshole, and that’s an awesome side to see of this ginger giant.
Community Creator Dan Harmon
What you are seeing here is Arrested Development giving props to the creator of the show that was basically Arrested Development’s spiritual successor.
So not only has Community called Dan Harmon back to work on season five, but Arrested Development cast him in a “blink and you’ll miss it” cameo that just reminds us that there is no show experience quite as meta, or quite as awesome, as Arrested Development. Your own show fires you, and an even better show calls you in as a sort of nod to your hard work. The only thing better than that is a big old bowl full of ham water.