Arrested Development Gets The Ax
November 11, 2005 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Arrested Development Gets The Ax There was no official announcement -- there rarely is when the networks wield the ax -- but after two and a half wonderfully funny seasons, Fox's Emmy-winning "Arrested Development' is dead. It's not like no one saw this coming, but who the hell are all the people watching Nanny 911 and So You Think You Can Dance instead of the best show on TV?
posted by TunnelArmr (203 comments total)
 
AD wasn't really that funny. It was the same schtick over and over and everything felt rather forced. A lot of the jokes were almost cringe-inducing.

That it was better than most crap on TV is much more of an indictment of TV than a compliment of AD.

And this post sucks.
posted by xmutex at 4:22 PM on November 11, 2005


AD is the funniest non-animated show I've seen since Mr. Show.
posted by Jairus at 4:24 PM on November 11, 2005


.
posted by Jairus at 4:24 PM on November 11, 2005


fuck fuck fuck FUCK. It's the best comedy on TV, too bad the ratings blow.

I just got the second season DVD a few days ago. I was really looking forward to a full season.
posted by mathowie at 4:25 PM on November 11, 2005


Maybe it will come back after strong DVD sales like The Family Guy. Then again, AD hardly made me chuckle, and FG still makes me laugh my ass off.
posted by VulcanMike at 4:25 PM on November 11, 2005


I had no idea AD had such low ratings. So long to another great show...
posted by iamck at 4:26 PM on November 11, 2005


This is sad. Still it would have been terrible to watch the show decline. Here's to it going out as one of the funniest shows ever written, sincerely.

"Anal Rapist" was truly great.
posted by Peter H at 4:27 PM on November 11, 2005


Maybe it can live on, on cable?

It would have made a great HBO show-- imagine if they could add more 'adult' themes, language, and situations?
posted by cell divide at 4:29 PM on November 11, 2005


I thought the best comedy on TV were the White House Press Briefings lately. Dance, Scotty, dance! Mmm, I guess that's probably tragi-comedy huh?
posted by fenriq at 4:29 PM on November 11, 2005


It really is the funniest thing on network TV. I've already emailed HBO begging them to pick it up.
posted by papakwanz at 4:29 PM on November 11, 2005


I hope to see a write-in-to-HBO-campaign posted on Metafilter Projects in the near future.
posted by Jairus at 4:30 PM on November 11, 2005


C'mon....Fox? Like they have any conception of reality.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:31 PM on November 11, 2005


Variety makes it sound like it's not officially cancelled yet. I didn't realize the first two seasons were short, too:
Skein has never produced a full season of 22 episodes, with Fox cutting the order for the show every season it's aired.
posted by Sibrax at 4:31 PM on November 11, 2005


One of the cleverest, funniest shows on television ever, which is exactly why it's never gotten good enough ratings to survive the axe.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:32 PM on November 11, 2005


Very sad. I got into this show late, and now they're yanking it!
posted by crythecry at 4:33 PM on November 11, 2005


I've gotten hooked on 3 shows via Netflix, only to find out soon after that each was cancelled (Arrested Development, Dead Like Me, and Wonder Falls). Damn!
posted by john m at 4:34 PM on November 11, 2005


Well, they brought Family Guy back after extremely angry fans told them how stupid they were, so perhaps it's just a matter of time before it's back.
posted by spicynuts at 4:34 PM on November 11, 2005


Without question, the funniest sitcom ever produced. I seriously question what's wrong with people who aren't amused by it. How does a show win successive back to back emmy's for best comedy, best writing & several cast awards (not to mention the Golden Globes & the lesser award shows) and get met with blank stares. At some point, members of the audience who don't get it should look inwards, see what it is in themselves that can't comprehend great comedy.
posted by jonson at 4:35 PM on November 11, 2005


It is/was the only "appointment" tv my family has watched for the past year.

I am pissed.
posted by Danf at 4:36 PM on November 11, 2005


The machine gun absurdity level may shy some people away. The same people who laugh at pratfalls.
posted by uni verse at 4:37 PM on November 11, 2005


I really like King Of Queens.
posted by jonmc at 4:40 PM on November 11, 2005


What pisses me off is this line: the network may have finally given up on trying to bring an audience to the show.

When have Fox ever really got behind this show? I didn't start watching it until the 2nd season, and that wasn't because of Fox's promotion, it was because I kept hearing from OTHER sources that it was funny. Now for the third season they put it on Monday, knowing it's going to be preempted for a month for baseball, and then up against MNF. The most they ever did was at the beginning of this season when they said they'd give Carmen Electra one of their Emmy's if 15 million people watched the season premiere, and I only saw 1 commercial for that.

If they had been smart, they would have been pushing this show hard from the very beginning, instead of hoping that "word of mouth" and "critical praise" would bring people to it. They should have had guest spots on The Simpsons (I think Jason Bateman was on once), send the cast on the interview junket, commercials during all their biggest shows. Instead, they just let it die, almost like Fox doesn't want a smart Emmy winner on when they could show all their other shit.
posted by papakwanz at 4:40 PM on November 11, 2005


This is the only TV show in recent memory that literally has made me spit out my drink in laughter. I didn't think that actually happened in the real world. I hope the show gets resurrected.
posted by brain_drain at 4:43 PM on November 11, 2005


I'm glad they killed Kitchen Confidential. That show deserved to be tied in a burlap sack and thrown into the ocean. And Xander is looking way puffy.
posted by bardic at 4:43 PM on November 11, 2005


There goes the only show on Fox that I watched.
posted by my sock puppet account at 4:43 PM on November 11, 2005


Without question, the funniest sitcom ever produced.

Mmmm, that must be some good Kool-Aid.

I saw a few episodes and was underwhelmed. It didn't suck, but I didn't get all the critical raves.

But I do understand the paid of having a favorite show that never caught on being canceled.
posted by pmurray63 at 4:44 PM on November 11, 2005


Metafilter: fuck fuck fuck FUCK
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:44 PM on November 11, 2005


Actually, Fox promoted the hell out of the show, and renewed it twice against all odds. I know that Fox has mistreated some shows (including Kitchen Confidential, which isn't being picked up for a full seasons after only 3 episodes have been aired), but I think the gave AD as much support as they could.
posted by amarynth at 4:45 PM on November 11, 2005


Metafilter: It didn't suck, but I didn't get all the critical raves.
posted by papakwanz at 4:45 PM on November 11, 2005


amarynth- they did renew it, but IMHO that was due to fan angst, and not Fox's desire to see the show succeed. Fox is kind of my default stupid television when nothing else is on, and I rarely saw any ads for it before or after I started watching AD.
posted by papakwanz at 4:47 PM on November 11, 2005


FOX has a horrible track record of cancelling promising shows before they have a chance to find their groove and their audience (Kitchen Confidential, case in point). As much as I would relish the opportunity to curse the name of FOX yet again, I can't really fault them for giving 2.5 seasons to a great show with miserable ratings.

So instead I choose to blame xmutex.

I really hope AD can find a new home on a more suitable network.
posted by Galvatron at 4:52 PM on November 11, 2005


I never saw AD, but aren't these the guys that did for Firefly?
posted by freebird at 4:54 PM on November 11, 2005


I am very upset that this show will not be on television anymore. It may not have been the funniest show on television but I do feel that it's one of the best sitcoms in a long time.

I wonder if its cancellation has anything at all to do with Jason Bateman's recent illness.
posted by inconsequentialist at 4:54 PM on November 11, 2005


I am SOOOOOOO glad I do not own a television....
posted by ParisParamus at 4:55 PM on November 11, 2005


inconsequentialist: what does he have? Unless his illness is lowratingitis, I doubt it was a determining factor, at least from Fox's point of view.
posted by papakwanz at 4:55 PM on November 11, 2005


All those people who think the show is hilarious, are you talking about this season?

The first two were moderately funny (I thought it was really hitting its stride when Gob took over the company in season 2), but the third season was pretty bad.

I know it was impossible to find (8:30pm Mondays?), but when I watched it this year, I did not laugh much at all.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:56 PM on November 11, 2005


What's with the Kool-Aid meme? It is a jonestown dealie?
posted by undule at 4:57 PM on November 11, 2005


I'm not sure what he has or had. I just remember hearing recently that he wouldn't be able to film for a few weeks and this post announcement made me wonder if it wasn't more serious than was initially made public. I doubt it's the case but I also thought it a bit of a coincidence. I wish them all the best of course.
posted by inconsequentialist at 4:57 PM on November 11, 2005


Mmmm, that must be some good Kool-Aid.

Fuck off.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:00 PM on November 11, 2005


I am SOOOOOOO glad I do not own a television....

I'm not sure if Paris is snarking or not, but I'm starting to agree with him. I've been trying my own "Turn-off TV week" this week, and I've quite enjoyed it. I've been reading, burning music, writing, etc. instead.

I was worried that it might start costing me money (i.e. spending on alternative forms of entertainment), but it's nothing compared to a monthly cable bill. If only I could get my woman to agree...
posted by mrgrimm at 5:00 PM on November 11, 2005


.
posted by Busithoth at 5:01 PM on November 11, 2005


I really hate the war at home. It's such a shitty bag of shit. I really like Arrested Development and think its a great show, it would fit in so well on NBC tuesdays with my My Name is Earl Scrubs and (US) Office, that's wishlist stuff.

I think to be fair the writers were kind of insensitive to the fact that the show still hadn't found its audience, they just piled on jokes that were contingent on having seen an episode two seasons ago. I think well the deserve a huge amount of credit for making a terrific show they deserve some blame for its failure too.
posted by I Foody at 5:07 PM on November 11, 2005


It's not like no one saw this coming, but who the hell are all the people watching Nanny 911 and So You Think You Can Dance instead of the best show on TV?

The same amount as for AD, and probably less. But that's not what matters. Nanny 911 doesn't have to pay (or at least pay as much) for costuming, sets, SAG/AFTRA fees, full writing staff, and the salaries of a dozen people in an ensemble cast. It's a show that can afford to have few people watching as long as the sponsors keep paying the appropriate cost to their ratings. AD isn't, and as Galvatron noted it's had over two years.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:09 PM on November 11, 2005


Futurama. Firefly. AD.

(And, blast me all you like, but The Lone Gunmen).
posted by spinning jennie at 5:14 PM on November 11, 2005


papakwanz: Bateman had throat surgery.
posted by inconsequentialist at 5:15 PM on November 11, 2005


What do Arrested Developement like Radiohead, The Daily Show, Paul Krugman, and the fuckingiPod all have in common. They're all products relentlessly hyped around MeFiLand.

Listen: no matter how much "just give it another chance," "you're just not trying hard enough," you pelt us with, some of us simply do not like it. (this goes for any or all of the above).

The fact that you might like these things does not make you smarter, better or more worthwhile beings. But the fact that you won't shut up about them and that there are a whole legion of you does get annoying. Hype is hype, whether it's from a corporation or a community weblog.
posted by jonmc at 5:15 PM on November 11, 2005


Damnit. I wonder how many of us eagerly waited to get the bittorents as we didn't have tv/aren't in the states/whatever. This was my favorite show on tv since Six Feet Under finished.
posted by allen.spaulding at 5:19 PM on November 11, 2005


I'll chime in with another 'best show on television'

You'd think that with the huge DVD sales of similarly low-rated yet brilliant shows like Firefly or Futurama that they'd keep it around. I mean, its ratings aren't good, but they're not a timeslot killer - just mediocre. Whatever midseason replacement comedy they come up with to replace it will be hard-pressed to do better, and it won't come with AD's long-term revenue.
posted by Simon! at 5:19 PM on November 11, 2005


I am SOOOOOOO glad I do not own a television....

Haha, Paris has actually said something worthwhile :P.

Seriously people get a life. I do own a television, which I use to watch The Daily Show and maybe an odd episode of South Park (on the same network). I really don't understand how people can get so involved in something so meaningless and waste their lives in front of the glowing cube.

And anyway, I saw one episode of Arrested Development and I thought it sucked. It seemed like they were basically trying to take seinfeildian Rube-Goldberg plots and crank up the absurdity. And a bunch of dumb jokes about surreal characters that most people probably wouldn't identify with.

Like I said, I've only seen one episode, but based on that experience, I wouldn't tune in again.
posted by delmoi at 5:24 PM on November 11, 2005


I haven't seen AD, Nanny 911, or So you think you can dance, but I'm guessing I'd much prefer to watch dancers of different backgrounds try to transcend their cultural comfort zones, rather than watch some sitcom.

I enjoy watching comedies while I'm watching them, they're extremely amusing, but afterwards, I don't feel like I've gained anything. I've just wasted more of my life in front of the tube. I think I'd learn more from the dance show.

Of course, this is conjecture, since I haven't ever seen any of them.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:28 PM on November 11, 2005


I've never seen it. What was it about?
posted by davy at 5:28 PM on November 11, 2005


jonmc, if you so consistently find yourself at odds with many different elements of a subculture's taste or style, perhaps its time for a change of scenery.
posted by uni verse at 5:29 PM on November 11, 2005


Remember, kids, liking something makes you a mindless, viral-marketing sheep. But not liking something makes you the special, unique snowflake you are!
posted by arto at 5:30 PM on November 11, 2005


jonmc, if you so consistently find yourself at odds with many different elements of a subculture's taste or style, perhaps its time for a change of scenery.

Or perhaps I should stick around to provide a different perspective. Or would that bother you ever so much? Are your opinions and tastes that delicate?
posted by jonmc at 5:35 PM on November 11, 2005


The more I read uni verse's comment, the angrier I'm getting. He basically just said "If you don't agree with us, leave or stop talking!"

There's that old "free exchange of ideas," spirit, hah?
posted by jonmc at 5:37 PM on November 11, 2005


Jason Bateman once said in an interview that he wanted to do a storyline where he had a relationship with a character played by his sister Justine Bateman. She would be very religious and refuse to do more than kiss before marriage. Of course they would end up breaking up before marrying, but the ick factor would have been hilarious to see them exploit.
posted by amro at 5:39 PM on November 11, 2005


Arrested Developement like Radiohead, The Daily Show, Paul Krugman, and the fuckingiPod

Any particular one you like the least?
posted by jeblis at 5:44 PM on November 11, 2005


I can certainly see why some of you didn't like it. And far be it from me to hype something. But.. that show sure made me laugh.
posted by agropyron at 5:45 PM on November 11, 2005


The Daily Show is OK for chuckles, the rest I could do without. And I honestly don't begrudge anyone who likes them. But I am a little bit irked at being told to leave because I voiced my dislike. This a community weblog, not an Arrested Development fan board, so y'all are just gonna have to deal with dissenting opinons, over a fucking TV show. can your tender little psyches handle that?
posted by jonmc at 5:47 PM on November 11, 2005


The show is relentlessly funny. I always watch with tivo in hand, ready to pause/replay. I will miss it.
posted by dontoine at 5:50 PM on November 11, 2005


Jeebus, jonmc, drop the damn chip from your shoulder. There was none of that here.

I like King of Queens a lot. Arrested Development was far funnier to me.

But I wonder, how do you folks find time for TV, what will all of this MeFi?
posted by teece at 5:50 PM on November 11, 2005



Jeebus, jonmc, drop the damn chip from your shoulder. There was none of that here.


[ahem]
posted by jonmc at 5:51 PM on November 11, 2005


[that was posted after I composed my comment, jonmc. I'm reffering to this, which just seems silly. This thread is pretty damn tame, and then you bust out with that bizarre shit. Did someone shit in your Cheerios today?]
posted by teece at 5:55 PM on November 11, 2005


They shit in his Cheerios... AND told him to watch Arrested Development!
posted by agropyron at 5:56 PM on November 11, 2005


You're all morons, on either side.

Yeah, that's right, I'm the new jonmc.
posted by BaxterG4 at 5:56 PM on November 11, 2005


Jonmc isn't just too cool for school he's too cool for recess.
posted by I Foody at 5:58 PM on November 11, 2005


Why, why compare "Arrested Development" with "So You Think You Can Dance?" Isn't there room for both?
And what do you expect - it's television, for Chrissakes.
posted by hellbient at 6:01 PM on November 11, 2005


This thread is pretty damn tame, and then you bust out with that bizarre shit.

What's bizarre about it? There've been many (some would say too many) FPP's about all the subjects i mentioned. And any time, some one voices a dissenting opinion (on these fairly inconsequential subjects) they get accused of trolling and piled on.

Now, I've posted on things I like, too, but those were single posts on people who had never (or rarely) been even mentioned here, not micro-updates by an army of posters on topics that have been discussed ad nauseam. And each post had commenters with dissenting opinions, which is to be expected.

And these are products, I might add, not issues of huge import.
posted by jonmc at 6:01 PM on November 11, 2005


Ha ha ha. You posted that sad rant while staring into a very similar glowing cube. Whoops.

Personally, I can't imagine how people waste their time staring a chunk of dead tree with ink all over it.
posted by zerolives at 6:03 PM on November 11, 2005



Jonmc isn't just too cool for school he's too cool for recess.


It's also Friday night and he's probably at least half way into his six pack of Schlitz. Maybe more. Thing is, I agree with him, except for the iPod, which to me is just a walkman and I can't understand getting angry at a walkman. But that is a derail. Now excuse me while I pop my fourth beer and throw a zombie movie in the DVD.
posted by spicynuts at 6:03 PM on November 11, 2005


It's also Friday night and he's probably at least half way into his six pack of Schlitz.

I had surgery on my kidneys a week ago. I'm just off a vicodin regimen and haven't had a drink since last wednesday. Nice try, though.
posted by jonmc at 6:05 PM on November 11, 2005


Seriously jonmc, why show up in a memorial thread for fans of a beloved cult show and yell at people (none of whom were talking to you) about how you're not going to like the show, you're just not and why won't people just let you not like it goddammit!!! What did you hope to gain, another feather in your cap as the arbiter of what is and isn't cool?
posted by jonson at 6:06 PM on November 11, 2005


jonmc, you ARE trolling. It's not like this is a thread about some economic policy by the US government where there can be reasoned debate on both sides. This is basically a post about a specific thing that some people are interested in. If it is not something you like or care about, then the only reason to come on and express a "dissenting opinion" is to be contrarian. There can be no reasoned debate to prove whether or not AD is good or not, it comes down to subjective opinion. Now, you can argue that maybe it's not MeFi worthy, and that's a subject for MeTa. But this is a post that says "AD was cancelled, come here if you are an AD fan to kvetch about it." Coming to say, "you guys are buying into the hype" or "this show isn't any good" is just being a dick.
posted by papakwanz at 6:06 PM on November 11, 2005


Coming to say, "you guys are buying into the hype" or "this show isn't any good" is just being a dick.

Bullshit.

So, by your logic, any posts about any cultural product should only allow complimentary opinions. Many of the comments in my threads linked abopve would have to be excised then.

This board is for discussion, not therapy.
posted by jonmc at 6:08 PM on November 11, 2005


Chill, everybody. It's Friday night for most of you. Go do something... say, watch some episodes of Arrested Development on DVD. Or, if you don't didn't like Arrested Development, go not watch some episodes of Arrested Development on DVD.

Or, if it makes you feel better, yell at me for telling you to go either watch or not watch some episodes of Arrested Development on DVD.
posted by BaxterG4 at 6:13 PM on November 11, 2005


jonmc: ok, what discussion do you hope to prompt with this:

I really like King Of Queens.
posted by jonmc at 4:40 PM PST on November 11

Some spectacular debate skill, that.

Seriously, you've already made it quite clear that you have no interest in AD. There are plenty of things posted on MeFi that I have no interest in, or that I even dislike, but I don't feel the need to go in and post nonsequitors or tell people that they are stupid for liking something. That is, IMO, trolling. Are you a bad person if you do it? No, but it's not exactly cool or productive.
posted by papakwanz at 6:18 PM on November 11, 2005


Yeah I didn't mean to be a part of the pile on. I just thought that the too cool for recess line was kinda clever. More clever than true.
posted by I Foody at 6:18 PM on November 11, 2005


does anybody else here assign television/film/singer voices to the names here on talkscape? i started doing that quite a while back, just to make it interesting while reading.

arrested development was awesome. and almost every voice on the show has a corresponding user here, in my mind. i'll miss you guys.
posted by troybob at 6:18 PM on November 11, 2005


Best show ever.

.

(For those who didn't find it funny, while I know this sounds trolly, I in all honesty feel sorry for you. It was brilliantly written, paced and acted. Tons of recurring jokes but not so many any new viewers would feel lost. It can always be argued that there really are no bad/good things ,just preferred things. I really preferred this. Enjoy Freddie or Two and half guys or whatever forumulaic dribble American loves nowadays...)
posted by dig_duggler at 6:19 PM on November 11, 2005


troybob: I want to be Carl Weathers!
posted by papakwanz at 6:20 PM on November 11, 2005


also
King of Queens > Arrested Development?

yikes. You must be a gas at the office Xmas party.
posted by dig_duggler at 6:20 PM on November 11, 2005


almost every voice on the show has a corresponding user here, in my mind.

Do tell!
posted by amro at 6:23 PM on November 11, 2005


Though I find your continued championing of anti-intellectual tastes as refreshing as our president's, jonmc, there's a difference between disagreeing over matters of taste and asserting that people are "hyping" products here. In the case of the latter, you're calling people who probably consider themselves genuine fans of a show all disingenuous, and doing so in thread about the show's demise. I certainly can see why someone might see that as 'trolling,' but I personally think it's just a dick move.
posted by drpynchon at 6:24 PM on November 11, 2005


cool...i never assigned carl weathers...

...one thing cool about arrested development is that sometimes they showed stuff (like documents) on the screen that you could pause for tivo *ducks to avoid inevitable slingings from the tivo-haters club, and they were constructed for maximum hilarity
posted by troybob at 6:26 PM on November 11, 2005


Oh yes, ArrDev was made for the pausers. I liked how Steve Holt's mom was Eve Holt, and her yearbook quote was "Eve Holt!" (presumably yelled in the same way Steve yells his name.)
posted by agropyron at 6:34 PM on November 11, 2005


Your favorite TV-show sucks.
In fact, your whole goddamn frakking television-set sucks.
posted by signal at 6:41 PM on November 11, 2005


Sometimes it seems that all we do is discuss etiquette.

Yeah he pulled the annoying jump into the soccer thread and make sure everyone knows just how much you dislike it comment. Probably best to ignore it.
posted by jeblis at 6:41 PM on November 11, 2005


The times I've seen the show, I thought it was mildly amusing. Never anywhere even close to laugh-out-loud funny, for me.

It really is a headscratcher for me that my tastes would differ so wildly from what seems to be (leaving aside our favorite contrarian, Jon) a consensus that the show is/was the Greatest Thing Ever.

Each to their own. Strange, at least to me, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:42 PM on November 11, 2005


It is the rare show that makes me wonder "How DID they come up with that?", but AD is one of those shows. Each 22 minute episode is meticulously plotted, and is so filled with different types of humor (satire, wordplay, slapstick) that I am in awe of it. Those people who are underwhelmed by it? Well, fine, good for you... I personally don't understand for the life of me how anyone could watch Monday Night Football OR King of Queens. Monday Night Football, blech, King of Queens, yawn. I, for one, will miss AD, and am sure that it will be talked about long after America's Prettiest Retard goes off the air.
posted by newfers at 6:52 PM on November 11, 2005


While I'd agree with jonmc that this is a discussion site, it isn't a "jonmc must comment on every thread" site, either. If there are things you don't like, jonmc, and you don't have anything constructive or substantive to add to the discussion, maybe you should just refrain from commenting in that thread instead of feeling obligated to mark your territory.

Back on topic: I love AD, but it's very hard to get into because of the season long plots. Frankly, it works better in DVD format where you can sit and watch all the episodes and appreciate all the thought that went into stringing jokes and references throughout the episodes (like the blue handprints all over the show house that we're still seeing in season 3).
posted by MegoSteve at 6:52 PM on November 11, 2005


It's a damn shame tv is about making money. It would be great for FOX's image if they kept their good shows on for a while. Why wouldn't a network want to tout all their Emmy wins and nominations?

David Cross said last year it would probably be replaced by something like "America's Cutest Retards." I'll put ten bucks down right now and say whatever they replace AD with will last less than half as long.
posted by kyleg at 6:53 PM on November 11, 2005


By the way, last week's intro in the 'family guy' was the funniest thing I have seen in 15 years (since Monty Python). With the crazy intro of their baby fighting Osama and then driving over famous TV celebrities to the tune of police squad. He's just not holding back at all.
posted by uni verse at 6:54 PM on November 11, 2005


I disagree with the post's premise. Usually there is official word that the show is cancelled. It's when they strike the sets.

Also, we've had five episodes. The order has been cut to 13. That still leaves eight to show.
posted by smackfu at 6:55 PM on November 11, 2005


What do Arrested Developement like Radiohead, The Daily Show, Paul Krugman, and the fuckingiPod all have in common. They're all products relentlessly hyped around MeFiLand.

I dont think I have *ever* found myself thinking in alignment with anything this person has said up until this moment, but I agree with them 100% on the whole Ipod thing. It's a bit overdone.

But AD is/was excellently done. A very unique show.
posted by meehawl at 6:56 PM on November 11, 2005


Is this something I'd need to own a television to know about?
posted by jewzilla at 7:02 PM on November 11, 2005 [1 favorite]


Well. I never got this show. The cinema verité style was annoying. Everything felt forced. I tried watching a couple times after listening to rave reviews from friends, just didn't think it was funny.

Sorry so many here will miss it though. I'm sure Fox will replace it with another horrid dysfunctional family sitcom starring an abrasive male standup comedian... who's just certainly gonna be the next breakout star.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 7:05 PM on November 11, 2005


I hope it isn't cancelled. A short season doesn't seem like a death knell considering the network is FOX. Any show on that network is at the whim of whatever sporting events are in season. Baseball, Football and Hockey all carve bits and pieces out of a normal schedule. On the other hand though I love the show I probably won't see it very often, moving it to Monday was a bad move at least for me. I just don't have time to watch TV on weekdays and I'm lousy at remembering to catch up with whats on my TIVO.
posted by substrate at 7:06 PM on November 11, 2005


By the way, last week's intro in the 'family guy' was the funniest thing I have seen in 15 years (since Monty Python). With the crazy intro of their baby fighting Osama and then driving over famous TV celebrities to the tune of police squad. He's just not holding back at all.

Are you serious? I thought last week was the worst episode I have ever seen, and I'm a pretty big Family Guy fan. I think I laughed twice.


AD is pretty much done for though, it seems they're airing the episodes as a courtesy to the show's cast and producers and the fans. It's just going to be tying up loose ends.

According to Jason Bateman: "It was a great run, and it's great that the network didn't cancel us outright, and they're letting us do five more [episodes which have not yet been shot] where we can wrap up a lot of story arcs."

Bateman said it would be a "complete shock" if Arrested were to be asked back for the 2006-07 season.

posted by kyleg at 7:09 PM on November 11, 2005


By the way, last week's intro in the 'family guy' was the craziest thing I have seen in 15 years (since Monty Python). Especially the zany intro of their baby fighting Osama and then driving over famous TV celebrities to the tune of police squad. He's just not holding back at all. Not like some people *cough-- simpsons--cough*.
posted by uni verse at 7:10 PM on November 11, 2005


also
King of Queens > Arrested Development?

yikes. You must be a gas at the office Xmas party.


Wow, you judge people buy their tastes in TV shows, You're deep, man.

And while I do enjoy KoQ (It's a harmlessly amusing sitcom), that was meant as a non-sequituir type of joke. It was the "go find a change of scenery," that got my blood boiling.

But, sorry, I just never found AD all that amusing. I'm a bit mystified why you're all recting like you walked in on me probing your wife with a salami. Is a TV show that important to you?

If there are things you don't like, jonmc, and you don't have anything constructive or substantive to add to the discussion, maybe you should just refrain from commenting in that thread instead of feeling obligated to mark your territory.

Why? To avoiding upsetting a fan? Are their egos that tender? Like I said before, I've posted on things I enjoy and in every thread, people piped up to voice dissenting opinions. I'm cool with that. But AD, like radiohead, like the iPod is some kind of sacred cow around here and I have blashemed against it.

(also, sorry I was late returning, but I was watching a DVD of Homicide: Life On the Street. Now, there was a show that didn't deserve to be canceled.)

I personally don't understand for the life of me how anyone could watch Monday Night Football OR King of Queens. Monday Night Football, blech, King of Queens, yawn.

Yes, you're above such things. God, I'm tired of posturing middlebrow pseudo intellectuals.

Though I find your continued championing of anti-intellectual tastes as refreshing as our president's, jonmc,

Now, you're just getting nasty. And we've had numerous AD threads here. That does amount to hype after awhile, especially when it's something anybody with access to a TV Guide can learn about.
posted by jonmc at 7:10 PM on November 11, 2005


It's crazy that with so many TV stations, there is no place for quirky niche audiences to find a home, but I guess that's the reality of TV. I wonder though if it would be possible to do a show designed exclusively for DVD sales.

Does anybody know what a show like that costs to produce and what it could expect to earn via DVD sales? I'm sure there'd be a big risk in something like that, but is it at all feasible?
posted by willnot at 7:12 PM on November 11, 2005


But man, we can all agree that the Dictators suck.
posted by bardic at 7:13 PM on November 11, 2005


and dig duggler: your comments show that you're main goal in life is to feel superior to the rest of the world and to demonstrate that to us through your superior tastes. And, for that, I honestly feel sorry for you.
posted by jonmc at 7:16 PM on November 11, 2005


I do enjoy KoQ

Heh. That's funny.

Anyway: Jon, you're right, the comment that basically told you to leave MeFi was completley out of line. But, I don't think you exactly came in to this particular thread with the best intentions. Your comment after the non-sequitor was "this is all hype." That's different, and a bit snarkier, than "I just never found AD all that amusing."
posted by papakwanz at 7:16 PM on November 11, 2005


"I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it."
posted by SashaPT at 7:17 PM on November 11, 2005


also, I am not anti-intellectual. I am ant-sophistry, which is a lot of what passes for intellectualism is.
posted by jonmc at 7:17 PM on November 11, 2005


Eh, it was alright. AD never reached the level of quality that made me actually turn on the television for the sake of watching it.
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:18 PM on November 11, 2005


Is this something I'd need to own a television to know about?

jewzilla: If you post a GIF, drop a "Metafilter:... " slogan, and make a *heads off to make popcorn* comment in your next three comments - you will hit for the cycle!

Seriously though folks, AD will be missed. Clever, multi-layered humor, edgy at times... Best comedy on network TV in a long time.

Frankly, it works better in DVD format where you can sit and watch all the episodes and appreciate all the...

Couldn't you say that about any TV series on DVD?
posted by 27 at 7:18 PM on November 11, 2005


.
posted by swift at 7:19 PM on November 11, 2005


But, I don't think you exactly came in to this particular thread with the best intentions. Your comment after the non-sequitor was "this is all hype."

Well, we've had at least 3 or 4 threads about AD. I think that does amount to a kind of hype, especially when it's one of those cultural objects every self-styled intellectual maverick has on his lips as well (to quote the aforementioned Dictators "you're a nonconformist, just like everybody else.").

and just to wrap it all up: radiohead sucks, too.
posted by jonmc at 7:21 PM on November 11, 2005


Naw, Family Guy in DVD form is -too- much Family Guy. It is impossible to sit through more than two episodes without getting an overdose. They keep too many of their throw-away jokes in that show that they just build up and overwhelm the palate.
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:21 PM on November 11, 2005


. argh .
posted by unklspot at 7:29 PM on November 11, 2005


teece:
"This thread is pretty damn tame, and then you bust out with that bizarre shit. Did someone shit in your Cheerios today?"


I don't think it came out of nowhere, I think the post itself was almost begging for it with:

"who the hell are all the people watching Nanny 911 and So You Think You Can Dance instead of the best show on TV?"

It strikes me that if a nice memorial thread is what was desired, throwing stones at the neighbours is a reliable way to ensure that won't happen.
posted by -harlequin- at 7:29 PM on November 11, 2005


I can't believe no one has said this:

They killed it moving it from Sunday night. I watched it religiously after Simpsons, but this season, I've only managed to catch it once. I remember thinking, "Finally, Fox has something to keep me from switching channels after The Simpsons", something they barely managed to do at all in the last ten years.
posted by glycolized at 7:30 PM on November 11, 2005


I was afraid this would happen. Seriously, this was the single funniest sitcom on TV. Why did you kill the laughter Fox? Why did you kill the laughter!?

Oh well, now I have an excuse to drink.
posted by gambit at 7:30 PM on November 11, 2005


Here's my sitcom theory, for what it's worth: The future of quality American comedies lies in shorter episode orders. I'm no expert (although I do have a few spec scripts lying around if any douchebag agents out there would like to read them), but all of the quality British and HBO sitcoms come in six or ten episode seasons, not 22 episode marathons. This lowers the cost and reduces the risk networks take investing in them. Plus on HBO, there's no pandering to Nielsen families, which research shows are largely a bunch of savages.

And for the "I don't own a TV" Amish who insist on chiming in every TV thread: You can read the AD scripts by candlelight and pretend you're a dandy fop reading a delightful farce from the 17th century.

Sorry for the length, and assuming anyone cares about my opinion, especially since I barely read what anyone else wrote. "Boo-hoo," "Waa-waaa," "Well, I never!" righteous indignation made it hard to sift through.
posted by BigFatWhale at 7:34 PM on November 11, 2005


(for the record I've never watched Nanny 911 or So You Think You Can Dance either)

I remember when I was in my twenties, a co-worker of mine got very upset when I told I didn't find Jim Carrey funny. She acted as if I told her I liked to sodomize bunny rabbits. This seems to me to be a similar reaction here. Which is doubly disappointing since MeFi is supposed to be a site full of free-thinking, alternative culture, intellectual types. But the "alternative culture,' is nothing more than a photo negative of the mainstream. Same hype, same herd behavior, same intolerance of dissent.
posted by jonmc at 7:34 PM on November 11, 2005


I'm most pissed that they gave it's timeslot to"the war at home" I mentioned it before but its such a bad show in every way its aweful. King of queens isn't a bad show it's just a show but war at home is the worst sitcom on tv (I haven't seen Freddy) and AD lost its time slot to the worst show.
posted by I Foody at 7:36 PM on November 11, 2005


I definitely only have vaginal heterosexual coitus with bunny rabbits.
posted by I Foody at 7:38 PM on November 11, 2005


I agree that War At Home sucks (even though I've like Michael Rapaport in other stuff). It's just a bad attempt at Married With Children without good one liners or Ed O'Neill's charm.

(and for the last time I never presented KoQ as the peak of TV, it's just a show I chuckle at, mainly because I live in Queens and encounter guys like the main charachter all the time)
posted by jonmc at 7:39 PM on November 11, 2005


But man, we can all agree that the Dictators suck.

A benevolent dictator would probably make for a very efficient government.
posted by jeblis at 7:45 PM on November 11, 2005


Maybe AD was the funniest thing on TV, but that just shows what a load of shit TV programming is. Stop bitching about it, and just stop watching the damn thing. Life's too short.
posted by Coventry at 7:57 PM on November 11, 2005


and dig duggler: your comments show that you're main goal in life is to feel superior to the rest of the world and to demonstrate that to us through your superior tastes. And, for that, I honestly feel sorry for you.

Being superior and all, I don't need your stinking pity.

Kneel before Zod.
posted by dig_duggler at 8:05 PM on November 11, 2005


I'm sorry to hear about your show. I liked it, but didn't mind missing it either. I am also apparently (unless I missed something in the ranting) the only person here to enjoy "So You Think You Can Dance?" To each their own.

I'm sorry, though, the best non-animated show on network TV is "My Name is Earl."
posted by bairey at 8:06 PM on November 11, 2005


can i just say that i cannot wait to watch arrested development reruns on my ipod?

just kidding.

that was a damn funny show, although I can't help but be sorta grateful to have one less thing to be compelled to watch.

less tv = more not vegetating
posted by puddles at 8:06 PM on November 11, 2005


If HBO was smart - and I think they are very smart - they would pick up the show and let it shine to its full potential. Network audiences aren't sophisticated enough to get the humor buried deep within AD. Cheers to the AD writers for never stooping to the level of patheticness one needs to stoop to get noticed by the moron watching public cesspool that is George Bush's America.
posted by any major dude at 8:09 PM on November 11, 2005


crap.
posted by RockyChrysler at 8:23 PM on November 11, 2005


I'm sorry, though, the best non-animated show on network TV is "My Name is Earl."

Oh snap!
posted by BaxterG4 at 8:28 PM on November 11, 2005


From the Variety story:
Instead of the two laffers, Fox will air repeats of drama "Prison Break" in the 8-9 p.m. Monday slot for the rest of the sweep.
Wow. Good move.
posted by blendor at 8:32 PM on November 11, 2005


I still miss Grand.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:34 PM on November 11, 2005


i can understand that arrested development is not to everybody's taste. but what's with begrudging others their enjoyment of it? it's a bit of fun, some clever entertainment, some cool actors. just because someone is disappointed to see it go does not condemn them as bandwagoneers or obsessive fans.

what i really don't get, jonmc, is that you invest such a level of seriousness--all that alternative/mainstream more-cynical-than-thou shit and your way overplayed intolerance-of-dissent victim rant--and in doing so you give this topic more attention than the typical fan of the show. the only hype (and hypocrisy) i see in this thread is signed 'posted by jonmc'
posted by troybob at 8:35 PM on November 11, 2005


Cheers to the AD writers for never stooping to the level of patheticness one needs to stoop to get noticed by the moron watching public cesspool that is George Bush's Americ

I do remember the 'dumbing of america' meme being fairly popular back when Beavis and Butthead was around.
posted by my sock puppet account at 8:42 PM on November 11, 2005


I suspect...The British!
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:44 PM on November 11, 2005


jonmc writes "What do Arrested Developement like Radiohead, The Daily Show, Paul Krugman, and the fuckingiPod all have in common. They're all products relentlessly hyped around MeFiLand. "

What's the matter jonmc, did Paul Krugman pan your iPod competitor/clone on The Daily Show? I don't know about the rest but I hardly think some Mefi members are the only ones to like the Daily Show.
posted by Mitheral at 8:52 PM on November 11, 2005


Or perhaps I should stick around to provide a different perspective. Or would that bother you ever so much? Are your opinions and tastes that delicate?

I have this mental image of jonmc as a punk in the 80's, torturing himself by hanging out with the preppies 24/7. Whenever they ask him why he hangs around if he finds them so goddamn painful, he says, 'You're afraid of my ideas! Why are you so small-minded?' Then he listens to a bunch of Ramones LPs and puts safety pins in his denim jacket.
posted by verb at 8:57 PM on November 11, 2005


(For those who didn't find it funny, while I know this sounds trolly, I in all honesty feel sorry for you. It was brilliantly written, paced and acted. Tons of recurring jokes but not so many any new viewers would feel lost. It can always be argued that there really are no bad/good things ,just preferred things. I really preferred this. Enjoy Freddie or Two and half guys or whatever forumulaic dribble American loves nowadays...)

This is a truly dumb statement, and I feel sorry for you that you have uttered it. Just because TV is generally a steaming pile (except for Seahawks games) doesn't mean that the few shows that somehow transcend the steaming to become daringly mediocre are somehow great.

AD was funny once in a while but tried so goddamned hard to be zany! and quirky! and different! that it really just felt forced!

But you go right ahead believing yourself so righteously possessed of wit and intelligence that your favorite TV crud was somehow better than the rest of the crud the neanderthals are watching.
posted by xmutex at 8:59 PM on November 11, 2005


And Jesus christ people, Ron Howard's involved with it.
posted by xmutex at 9:03 PM on November 11, 2005


But you go right ahead believing yourself so righteously possessed of wit and intelligence...

your own post is so imbued with this very arrogance that i'm surprised you can tolerate being in the same room with yourself
posted by troybob at 9:09 PM on November 11, 2005


I never saw AD, but gathered it was very popular with a lot of folks including people whose opinion I respect. I knew the show had a big buzz around it when Jason Bateman appeared on Conan and the audience went nuts. My whole thought was: "They're going apeshit over Jason Bateman the 80's sitcom kid/teen? There must be more to this."

Hang in there folks, if you start a letter writing campaign and start buying the DVD's they might bring it back, although that ploy didn't work for Freaks and Geeks :(
posted by Devils Slide at 9:15 PM on November 11, 2005


She acted as if I told her I liked to sodomize bunny rabbits. This seems to me to be a similar reaction here.

You are truly overstating the reaction to your comments in this thread. One guy said "Go away heathen!!", a whole bunch of people said "Jeez, jonmc, you've got a chip on your shoulder", and some other folks said "I sure liked it!"
posted by agropyron at 9:19 PM on November 11, 2005


your own post is so imbued with this very arrogance that i'm surprised you can tolerate being in the same room with yourself

But I barely can.
posted by xmutex at 9:30 PM on November 11, 2005


I for one curse FOX's sudden, but inevitable betrayal.*

I really loved it, but this was the clear path from the beginning. AD is a great show, but it mercifully went out before it jumped the shark. Too bad that HBO or FX probably won't pick it up for new episodes, but that would be the best case scenario for the fans now.

*Gold star for the MeFite that can name the reference to another truly wonderful, groundbreaking show that FOX killed for financial reasons.
posted by marc1919 at 9:31 PM on November 11, 2005


AD was all right. It made me laugh. Sometimes. Mostly it was just sitcom hell.

Hey, at least Trailer Park Boys is still on. What is that now, 5th season?

Oh, wait. I have to download that from smelly commie Canadian potheads.

And fuck no, the bleeped fucking American cable version doesn't fucking count. Gonna have to get J-Roc and the motherfuckin' Dogpile up on that shit like Bubbles on a two dollar bitch or Randy on a sack of double cheeseburgers, y'know what I'm saying? Shit. Show them motherfuckers who runs this trailer park.

And I love jonmc, but this made me laugh.
posted by loquacious at 9:35 PM on November 11, 2005


I know the whole Jonmc thing should be long since have been dropped, but kvetching "wow, you judge people buy their tastes in TV shows, You're deep, man" and then following it with "God, I'm tired of posturing middlebrow pseudo intellectuals" because he doesn't like King of Queens...

That...

That was just beautiful man.

Thank you, Jonmc.

Thank you.
posted by Simon! at 9:41 PM on November 11, 2005


All of you randomly sticking your head in the door to make us aware of the fact that you do not own a television set can stop now. It does not make you special and it only makes the rest of us bored.
posted by glenwood at 9:42 PM on November 11, 2005


*Gold star for the MeFite that can name the reference to another truly wonderful, groundbreaking show that FOX killed for financial reasons.

Get a Life - Such show topics included the eating of a space alien, a robotic paper-boy and numerous beheadings. Get a Life was also one of the first television shows that featured the killing of the star of the show.

You meant a Gold Star television, right?
posted by hellbient at 9:50 PM on November 11, 2005


marc1919: Firefly! I think that was one of the first things out of Wash's mouth in s01e01.
posted by joeblough at 9:50 PM on November 11, 2005


if the firefly quote was a Get a Life reference... wow. GaL was a truly awesome show, but chris elliot is definitely an acquired taste. i'd hate to see this thread re: GaL!

for the record: i loved AD, agree that the 3rd season is a bit shaky... but as "crappy" as s03 is... "analrapist" makes up for it in spades.
posted by joeblough at 9:54 PM on November 11, 2005


The fact that you might like these things does not make you smarter, better or more worthwhile beings. But the fact that you won't shut up about them and that there are a whole legion of you does get annoying. Hype is hype, whether it's from a corporation or a community weblog.

You are right. Liking the show does not make you smarter, better, or more worthwhile.

Simultaneously, getting your panties in a knot because an Arrested Development thread contains messages enthusing about, gasp, Arrested Development ... makes you dumber.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:55 PM on November 11, 2005


Everyone's laughing, and riding, and cornholing except Buster!
posted by troybob at 10:04 PM on November 11, 2005


.
posted by clgregor at 10:05 PM on November 11, 2005


Fox has cancelled a lot of good shows before their time. Futurama, GaL, Family Guy (now back), AD, The Ben Stiller Show (another Emmy Winner, but at the time the lowest rated show on Network TV, I believe).
posted by papakwanz at 10:35 PM on November 11, 2005


.
posted by adzm at 10:36 PM on November 11, 2005


...
...
...

No, wait - that's for the Brady Bunch.
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:47 PM on November 11, 2005


Ha ha ha. You posted that sad rant while staring into a very similar glowing cube. Whoops.

Nu-uh, I have an LCD. And yes, I am aware that posting thousands and thousands of comments on the internet is not the most productive thing in the world, but, ugh, television? The idea of watching enough TV that I'd actually start viewing sitcoms... And most Americans watch so much. Sitting there, hour after hour, day after day, brain turned off. Doing absolutely nothing. Creeps me out. I can't really say one is better then the other, but one just gives me the willies.(TV's not so bad as a social thing)

(also, sorry I was late returning, but I was watching a DVD of Homicide: Life On the Street. Now, there was a show that didn't deserve to be canceled.)

Damn straight, although it wasn't that great after Pembleton left.

And interestingly, I've seen a few episodes of King of Queens. It's a pretty standard sitcom, and kinda entertaining.

i can understand that arrested development is not to everybody's taste. but what's with begrudging others their enjoyment of it? it's a bit of fun, some clever entertainment, some cool actors.

I think the problem is that AD fans constantly rant about how stupid the world is (and by implication, everyone who doesn't like the show) because they're not watching it. "Idiot Masses" they say, but really AD is just silly. Maybe I should check out some more episodes sometime in order to form a more educated opinion about it, but I probably won't.

All of you randomly sticking your head in the door to make us aware of the fact that you do not own a television set can stop now. It does not make you special and it only makes the rest of us bored.

That's not true at all, I appreciate knowing who doesn't own a TV, and respect people who do not.
posted by delmoi at 10:49 PM on November 11, 2005


btw, we've had a lot more threads about Lost which is at least good, except for the fact that's just a SCAM to get you to keep watching. If TV is a drug, Lost is fucking heroin. That show gets me so wound up I can't stand watching it.
posted by delmoi at 10:51 PM on November 11, 2005


NBC's The Office is better...
posted by jakeaust at 11:04 PM on November 11, 2005


I am beginning to think that network TV executives are completely disconnected from the real world as a whole, and somehow see all possible BAD decisions as the BEST decisions they could make.
How else can you explain their habit of always cancelling the best and most popular new shows, while keeping the horrible crap nobody watches?
posted by nightchrome at 11:08 PM on November 11, 2005


Nightchrome:
"How else can you explain their habit of always cancelling the best and most popular new shows, while keeping the horrible crap nobody watches?"

Hypothesis 1. The most popular shows are popular because of high quality (writing, production, acting, etc), and thus are so expensive that the crappy shows offer better advertising dollar per content production dollar.

Hypothesis 2. They're a bunch of utter morons.

Personally, my money is on [2]. :-)
/one of those annoying people that liked Firefly
posted by -harlequin- at 11:34 PM on November 11, 2005


Normally I enjoy intelligent TV shows such as The Office (both the UK and US versions) and Veronica Mars, but I've tried watching Arrested Development many times and never thought it was all that great. Of course, this doesn't mean that the Nielsen families aren't mostly idiots.
posted by gyc at 11:40 PM on November 11, 2005


Damn straight, although it wasn't that great after Pembleton left.

Holy crap Pembleton was one of the best dramatic characters in the history of filmed entertainment. I miss Andre Braugher.
posted by xmutex at 11:41 PM on November 11, 2005


I think it started out extraordinarily funny, but by the second season was too off-the-wall to have any meaning.

The real problem was that when I tried to introduce friends to it, they would be utterly confused - so I'd have to make them watch the pilot first. You can't jump into AD late.
posted by thejoshu at 12:07 AM on November 12, 2005


Or perhaps I should stick around to provide a different perspective. Or would that bother you ever so much? Are your opinions and tastes that delicate?
posted by jonmc at 5:35 PM PST on November 11


Telling people that they're idiots for liking a show isn't exactly Galileo-level intellectual courage, jon. But way to take a stand.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:28 AM on November 12, 2005


I liked/didn't like it. And I will/won't miss it. I'm smarter/sassier/more sophisticated/less conforming than you.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:11 AM on November 12, 2005


Holy crap Pembleton was one of the best dramatic characters in the history of filmed entertainment. I miss Andre Braugher.

Me too but then there was that doctor show where they decided "let's make this the Andre Braugheriest it can possibly be!" and that didn't work out so well. Sort of like that Joan Cusack sitcom.
posted by furiousthought at 2:12 AM on November 12, 2005


I am the Giraffe! I AM the Giraffe! I... amtheGiraffe!

Hey, do you think this guy is the giraffe or what?

/misses Get a Life

And nobody's yet answered the fundamental question for those of us who are in the dark: Simple, what's the show about? The closest I've read is this comment.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:56 AM on November 12, 2005


Simply, that is.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:56 AM on November 12, 2005


Semi-quoting the intro, it's about a family of weird characters and the one kinda-normal brother who has to step up and run things after the father is imprisoned.

The biggest problem with Arrested Development was that it was too in-jokey. You can't start at the beginning of a season, because they reference jokes from the previous year. If you started at the beginning, though...it was great.

The second biggest problem is that it wasn't popular. Critics liked it, mefites liked it, but nobody watched it. Which kind of tends to kill a show.

Also, what's non-conformist about liking King of Queens? Isn't that, like, one of the highest rated comedies on TV?
posted by graventy at 7:18 AM on November 12, 2005


To add more to what it's about: the show is about the Bluth family, who are accustomed to wealth but lose it when the family company falls apart and the father is sent to jail; michael, the more responsible son, tries to keep the failing land development business together through all the investigation; and he tries to keep the family together though they fail to accept that they must adjust their standard of living.

What I liked about the comedy is that it exists on different levels simultaneously, owing to the range of talents of its cast and writers. The plots (loose as they are) constantly reference earlier episodes, rewarding the constant viewer (though I never thought necessarily locking out the new one). There is goofy slapstick kind of stuff mixed in with cultural references that come across as more timely and more connected to reality than on other shows (the family business is believed to have built palaces for saddam; the father, on house arrest, gets an idea to escape using jet pants, and the first result in his online search is the statement 'do you mean jet packs?); ron howard's narration sometimes interacts with the story, and the show references his previous career (someone refers to a character negatively as "Opie," and howard as narrator say something like "she had gone too far, and had best watch her mouth"; the show starred henry winkler as an attorney, and on his departure from the show he was replaced by scott baio, on whom one of the family comments that he "skews younger"; at the end of one scene in a bathroom, henry winkler goes to comb his hair and does the Fonzie gesture). Lots of references to smoking weed; funny and intentionally awkward ways around the censors on the language. Some of the jokes and references are made painfully, intentionally obvious; some are very subtle.

To me, I think the key to the show was that each time I watched an episode more than once I would find something different funny, or catch something I would not have caught before. And with every episode, I enjoyed the fact that I would not 'get' everything, making the comedy richer for the fact that there seemed more than I could comprehend. (Some people don't like this; often I like british comedies in particular because I don't get all the references, and it makes it somehow funnier trying to imagine what they mean.)
posted by troybob at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2005


Looks like my point got lost in my being offended by uni verse and dig duggler. The fact that troybob (a poster I generally respect and enjoy seems irritated with me would seem to indicate this).

I do stand beside what I said about there being more hype than neccessary around here surrounding this show (and some other products). I never meant to imply that anyone was an idiot for liking AD, I just don't much care for the implication that one is some kind of slack-jawed couch potato for not liking it.

delmoi's comment (of all people ;>) seems to communicate what I was trying to get across better than I did. And right on about Homicide. That was literally the best police show ever made.

Truth be told, I don't actually watch that much new network TV. I prefer the old stuff like I Love lucy, The Honeymooners, M*A*S*H, All In The Family, etc. Most newer shows seem like rewrites of the old classics to me. Hell, Law & Order which I do enjoy, was once described as "Dragnet with moral complexity." Kind of a shame jack Webb isn't around to do a guest spot. NTM, all the forensics shows should send half their royalty checks to jack Klugman. What hath Quincy wrought?

That How I Met Your Mother show has some potential, I think. Plus it has Alyson Hannigan which can make up for just about anything.
posted by jonmc at 8:28 AM on November 12, 2005


Also, what's non-conformist about liking King of Queens? Isn't that, like, one of the highest rated comedies on TV?

I never claimed there was anything nonconformist about liking ot. That Dictators quote was more directed at the high and mighty tone of a few commenters.
posted by jonmc at 8:30 AM on November 12, 2005


my favorite of the older stuff is the george burns and gracie allen show, which i haven't seen in ages (but see just now that there are episodes on DVD!)

and i'm always smallest when i argue personality and not topic...i always hate myself for it later...i'll try to be better (*he says yet again*)
posted by troybob at 8:40 AM on November 12, 2005


my favorite of the older stuff is the george burns and gracie allen show, which i haven't seen in ages

I have an mp3 of one of the old radio shows that I could yousendit.com to you if you want.

Also, re:Homicide, Braugher was indeed incredible on the show, and it did go downhill after he left, but the supporting cast was truly phenomenal as well. Kyle Secor, Jon Polito, Richard Belzer and especially Yaphet Kotto were all incredible as well. I especially loved the scene where Polito begins stripping off his clothes to show Kotto his bullet wounds. It shows that a hero cop isn't some dashing Rambo figure but some bald fat Dad type in Montgomery ward boxer shorts.

Also re: older TV. mrs jonmc teaches high school in the South Bronx. One day she got into a conversation with her mostly black american, Latino, and African imigrant students about TV shows and was stunned to find out that they liked the older stuff better, too. I Love Lucy was specifically mentioned as a favorite. Which is understandable. This still has me in pants-wetting hysterics 40-odd years down the line. I read an article that when I Love Lucy began being broadcast in Africa, the show was so popular that "Lucy," became the most popular baby name for girls and the government began offering cash premiums to people to give their kids traditional tribal names.
posted by jonmc at 8:54 AM on November 12, 2005


I wonder if a great AD episode could be crafted from the silly argument that consumed more than half of this thread. Hm.

I, myself, was shocked that the show was suddenly cancelled. Shocked, because I had assumed that since it had managed by some miracle to get a third season, that it would remain the entire season. Ah well. What is surprising is the decision to not aim for that magical fourth season benchmark required for preferred syndication.

Anyhoots, I salute you AD, and perhaps, you'll find a re-birth somewhere else.
posted by Atreides at 8:57 AM on November 12, 2005


I gave AD a chance - watched most of the first season, but it didn't grab me.

It had the flavour of a scripted reality show. I dislike reality shows, because they are train-wrecks of cruelty, manipulation and psychosis.

I disliked AD because it combined that experience with the underlying message that somehow the proper course of action is to "go with the flow" and things may work out. That passivity made the protagonist utterly unappealing.

So, like most of the TV out there, I stopped watching it.

The show managed to be too much like a reality show for the people who don't like reality shows, and not enough like a reality show for people who like reality shows.
posted by Crosius at 9:10 AM on November 12, 2005


jonmc, I love you, but King of Queens is the only show I've gone out of my way to ban in my household. Kevin James and Nick Bukakke are negative fun. I don't begrudge anyone not liking AD, but for those who are amazed at the reaction to Fox's treatment, I have to say it's unfortunately the kind of thing you have to be with from the beginning to get all the layers of jokes and things flying around (ex: who's busting on Ron Howard? His narration meta-jokes are consistently funny, and the ties to Happy Days, Mayberry RFD, Joanie Loves Chachi just add another layer). I don't suggest you trust me and run out and buy the DVDs, but there is something there. And hating on us elitists for celebrating a great band that never became popular is worse than us hating on the kids wearing a once-great-unheard-of band's t-shirt.

I'm at a loss for why one medium is inherently better than another. How does the appearance of writing in a visual format on a TV make it less intellectually stimulating than reading it on paper? As an elitist, I look all the way down my nose at those of you who think the possession of a teevee is indicative of middle-American-ness and that that condition is some sort of disease, as though there were something fatally flawed in the American character that can be extrapolated as equivalent to the horror of the Bush Administration and our current, overly-boisterous neighborliness in the Middle East. I see this as a flaw not in Us, but one in you: if you don't like yourself and think there's something diseased and rotten inside, something that would make you cut and run when a crisis hit, don't assume the rest of us are that way too.
posted by yerfatma at 9:21 AM on November 12, 2005


jonmc, I love you, but King of Queens is the only show I've gone out of my way to ban in my household. Kevin James and Nick Bukakke are negative fun.

Actually, KoQ and MeFi have intersected in my life. Recently there was an episode where Carrie said that Deke was Doug's "work wife."

Divine_wino from MeFi and me go out drinking about once a week, but mrs.mc has yet to meet him, due to masstransit inconveiences. She has begun describing him as my "bar wife."
posted by jonmc at 9:25 AM on November 12, 2005


Fox cancels the show the same week it airs an episode taking pot shots at the war. I loved the ending where Senior Bluth, having stolen the Pope Mobile to get away from the police, realizes that it's not really bullet proof, but is thankful he didn't take the Humvee.
posted by Feisty at 9:31 AM on November 12, 2005


I watched the first two episodes and was underwhelmed. It seemed to me it was a case of contrived whackiness. Contrived whackiness was funny to me when I was young: Steve Martin, Monty Python, Soap, but now I just find it...contrived. If AD transcended this in later episodes then maybe I missed the boat, but it just didn't appeal to me.

Reno 911, same thing.

I had to stop watching Curb Your Enthusiasm because it just became too aggrevating. I kept yelling at the TV-- "Who the hell does that??!!" It really appealed to my husband (a HUGE fan of Seinfeld) but even he agreed that only the first season was funny and the writing went downhill fast.

The only comedy I watch (besides The Daily Show) is The Office (American). It is not as subtle as the original British version, but it has more laughs. The British version could barely be called a "comedy" it was often so excrutiating to watch. I'm hoping the storylines and the characters of the American Office stay as funny as they are now, but it is a rare show that can keep my interest for more than two years.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:32 AM on November 12, 2005


Um, it's Fox guys. If it's a decent show, of course they're going to cancel it.
posted by jzb at 9:33 AM on November 12, 2005


The 'analrapist' joke this season was one of the funniest things I have ever seen on TV. That said, this show was hit or miss for me (but still worth the effort of tracking it down), and I was hoping to see it continue for a long run (remember that Seinfeld didn't find the perfect balance until around season four).
posted by Quartermass at 9:34 AM on November 12, 2005


cool about the radio show jonmc

yeah, and this week's had the "Church and State Fair" featuring the 'inner beauty' contest! (and GOB's certificate of accreditation as pageant judge lists his celebrity status as 'Local/C'...and his area of expertise as 'outer'..and on the bottom says 'this document has no meaning')
posted by troybob at 9:39 AM on November 12, 2005


Here's The Burns & Allen for ya, troy. Enjoy.
posted by jonmc at 9:45 AM on November 12, 2005


Um, it's Fox guys. If it's a decent show, of course they're going to cancel it.

Ya, Fox. What a bunch of pussies.
posted by Feisty at 9:47 AM on November 12, 2005


Um, it's Fox guys. If it's a decent show, of course they're going to cancel it.

Fox has axed tons of great or promising shows* too early. But they did give Arrested Development a chance. The only real mistakes they made were this season moving it to Monday and preempting it for Prison Break reruns.

I think Arrested Development is the best show on tv, at least that I've seen. But I understand it's definitely not a show for everybody and really had to be watched from the start to get a lot of the jokes.

*Futurama, Firefly, The Tick, Andy Richter, Wonderfalls...
posted by 6550 at 10:03 AM on November 12, 2005


I think it's safe to say that there's rarely a scene in AD that doesn't have an in-joke. A whole lot of them seem to be Internet-memed... and I swear they've occasionally pulled humour from MeFi. [waves to whichever scriptwriter reads MeFi]. A lot of the time the jokes are so subtle or unexpected that they slip right by -- especially these last two episodes, where they are making some subtle, and not so subtle, comments on the Iraq war.

The first dozen or so episodes of "Green Acres" are wonderful. The first episode is especially surreal, and uses techniques that I had thought were only recently developed.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:20 AM on November 12, 2005


I hate to say this, but the voices in my head say I have to.

jonmc is the dios of pop culture mefi.
posted by mr.marx at 12:12 PM on November 12, 2005


Metafilter: jonmc is tired of hearing about the shit you sheep enjoy
posted by slapshot57 at 1:11 PM on November 12, 2005


Didn't Fox kill Undeclared too?

Fox: Where good shows go to die.
posted by craniac at 1:38 PM on November 12, 2005


What do Arrested Developement like Radiohead, The Daily Show, Paul Krugman, and the fuckingiPod all have in common.

Wait...there's a new ipod model out? [reaches for wallet]
posted by craniac at 2:00 PM on November 12, 2005


What a fun, sexy time for you.
posted by kbanas at 3:20 PM on November 12, 2005


joeblough gets the gold star
posted by marc1919 at 3:22 PM on November 12, 2005


I thought I'd compile the material this thread provided for The Quotable jonmc.

"The fact that you might like these things does not make you smarter, better or more worthwhile beings."

"The "alternative culture,' is nothing more than a photo negative of the mainstream. Same hype, same herd behavior, same intolerance" of dissent."

"It's one of those cultural objects every self-styled intellectual maverick has on his lips as well (to quote the aforementioned Dictators "you're a nonconformist, just like everybody else.")."

"Or perhaps I should stick around to provide a different perspective. Or would that bother you ever so much? Are your opinions and tastes that delicate?"

"And these are products, I might add, not issues of huge import."

"Why? To avoiding upsetting a fan? Are their egos that tender?"

"Y'all are just gonna have to deal with dissenting opinons, over a fucking TV show. can your tender little psyches handle that?"

"I am not anti-intellectual. I am ant-sophistry, which is a lot of what passes for intellectualism is."

"God, I'm tired of posturing middlebrow pseudo intellectuals."

"Your comments show that you're main goal in life is to feel superior to the rest of the world and to demonstrate that to us through your superior tastes. And, for that, I honestly feel sorry for you."

"I really like King Of Queens."

"Radiohead sucks, too."

"A co-worker of mine got very upset when I told I didn't find Jim Carrey funny. She acted as if I told her I liked to sodomize bunny rabbits. This seems to me to be a similar reaction here."

Yay!

P.S. Pleeease give it a rest.
posted by ludwig_van at 3:31 PM on November 12, 2005


I liked when he burned his arm on the Corn Baller.
posted by jenovus at 5:03 PM on November 12, 2005


corn baller was a great recurring joke.

Maeby's alter ego Shirley.

Steve Holt!

also, buster getting his hand bit off by a loose seal is a high point for me. Smart, smart writing.

sigh, I'm really gonna miss that show.
posted by dig_duggler at 8:10 PM on November 12, 2005


Is it just my interpretation of things, or is the latest episode of AD making fun of the show itself: the new love-interest is mentally retarded or crazy, and is the perfect match for Michael and the zany life he lives. It's like they're saying "yah, the show is retarded crazy -- and here's the proof!"
posted by five fresh fish at 9:54 AM on November 13, 2005


Or equating love with that which feels familiar. Because their lives don't impact one another her zaniness is sweet, but with his family their zaniness becomes his responsibility.
posted by Feisty at 12:04 PM on November 13, 2005


There was a hint in that last episode that she is in fact mentally deficient, ie. either a loon or oddly dysfunctional in normal society. I think she'll fit the family perfectly: completely at ease with lunacy and zaniness.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:36 PM on November 13, 2005


It's interesting they'd choose to go with a character with seemingly more eccentricities. But thinking back to Gob's and Michael's normal-like love interests, they were rather bland. I would have thought the previous girlfriends would have juxtaposed nicely, highlighting the family.

One of my favorite episodes was when darling Buster let loose about his mother with a stream of profanity that left his siblings agape.
posted by Feisty at 10:10 AM on November 14, 2005


Jon,
You my boy, you know that, I love AD and Ipods and find King of Queens amusing, especially because Jerry Stiller is a funny funny man. So I am all over the road. I think you might be mistaken as to what motivates people in this thread to want to talk about AD and perhaps your natural contrarian nature is creating some of the tension, I think I said this to you last week, but just because a bunch of people like something, doesn't make it bad.

Plus everyone knows that you are MY bar wife. I got the boo-dwar photos to prove it.

I will burn them in exchange for six or seven buds at the end of the week. Bring home toilet paper.

PS. AD is really good,It sucks ass that it is cancelled. I would so much rather see it than Welsh Nanny yet again resists the urge to kill everyone in the house and go out for a pint and some beans on toast, which would be well within her rights. Or whatever that show is called.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:22 AM on November 14, 2005


I suspect that if the Arrested Development crew really had their shit together, they could very well run it successfully from the web. The actors might actually have to take pay cuts, and earn a more upper-middle-class income, perhaps $100 grand a year instead of $30 grand an episode, but it could be done.

I'd certainly toss a few bucks in the kitty for a new episode.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:22 PM on November 14, 2005


johnmc, i think you're wrong about hype.
to me, hype is a company trying to sell you something. They're telling you it's great because they got a vested interest in it. Hype is not a bunch of people talking about something they bought and liked. That's word of mouth and it's real. It certainly may be annoying, but the purpose is different.
posted by Miles Long at 1:06 PM on November 14, 2005


[turns gold star over and over in hands, regarding it as our beloved MR.F does, and then takes a big bite]
posted by joeblough at 5:11 PM on November 14, 2005


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