909 Watches TV: The Shield, Firefly, Arrested Development

909

909
Staff member
WAR STORIES

This is an episode where we learn a little more about the Chinese involvement in this show, but not enough at all I'd say. The actions of the torturer in this show are repeatedly tied to Xiang Yu, a mass murderer from ancient Chinese history. This guy Niska isn't one of my favorite guest characters. This is the second episode he was in, and I find him to be too cartoony for the show. He does some diabolical shit here though. Wash is mad at Zoe because she's too close to Mal. Mal and Wash go on a mission and get captured. Then they get tortured. Of course, Zoe rescues her husband first, which solves the conflict of this episode. Then they come back. War Stories has some real bright spots. A woman comes on the ship to be with Inara. Jayne jerks off. Book shoots people in the knee. River gets a gun and shoots three people without even looking at them. That's the kind of stuff I was hoping for.

TRASH

So, yeah. Special hell. Trash is a Christina Hendricks return episode. We don't know her character's real name and we may never know, but this episode is a rare case of media where they show the end of the episode at the start and I'm interested in seeing how they got there. The twists and turns in this episode are classic. Not all the characters are used to their potential, but enough of them are and they all have their moment. Yep, Jayne finds out that River and Simon know he's a traitor. Yep, they all robbed someone knowing that Saffron/Bridget/Yolanda would turn on them. They dealt with it. All of this is very funny and I think this is my favorite episode of the bunch. The plot is great all along, the twists and turns are great, there's a small amount of action, and everyone fits in their role perfectly. Also, more Morena Baccarin.

It's weird that I'll be done with the show tonight and watching the movie tomorrow. Doesn't seem right.
 

909

909
Staff member
THE MESSAGE

I actually watched these three episodes spread over two days, but I didn't want to post one review yesterday and two today. This is the kind of episode I feel would belong better in a later season, but the show never continued and therefore it doesn't matter when they made it, just that they made it. I'm pretty sure they never wound up fencing the item from the previous episode. Anyway, back to the plot. The crew of the Serenity goes to a planet where they get their mail. Upon arrival, they receive a box containing a coffin, and when they open it, Zoe and Mal know who this is. Except it turns out he ain't dead. I appreciate the flashback to Zoe and Mal's time in the military though. We had a good villain here. After all that happened, this turns out to be a big nothing because the dead guy...dies, but the scene where the villain threatens the space jew sure is interesting. The existence of a space jew sure is interesting. I still can't believe a show with this many open, this many interesting questions would get cancelled.

HEART OF GOLD

We could call this the one where we find out Inara has a huge crush on Mal. However, it is a crush that dies a very hard death here, or so it seems. The crazy mom from The OC is here and in need of help. There's a lunatic on their planet who thinks he can control every woman on it. Serenity must go there and put a stop to it because the madam of this...whorehouse knows Inara quite well. Mal bangs her. Sadness is had. Crazy guy tries to take his son away. Mother of his son kills him. Classic Western style setup here and the episode finishes off as such. It's interesting how much emotions overtake the characters in this episode. A lot of the episodes in this show don't really have that. This was certainly the most Western episode of them all though. I mean, obviously this is supposed to be a space Western, but a lot of the premises simply don't fit into that genre the way this does. The setting is also perfect. Just throw in some machine guns, a hovering car, and some lasers and there you have space.

OBJECTS IN SPACE

Finally, as a closer, we have River's episode. The episode is entirely about her and it's as great as the rest if not better. The key component here is that the villain is probably the best of them all. Early is coming for River of course, but he isn't remotely compared to do that. It would be cool if this character ever returned, but this was the last episode. In any case, I think there was some key resolution here. We know what River can do and what she can't do. We know how bad the Alliance wants River brought in. We also know how uncomfortable the other characters are around her, how they feel about protecting her, and all of that. There's a great amount of insight here. I didn't quite expect that ending though. The crew of Serenity hasn't been above killing people, and I guess they thought they were killing Early in their own way. But did they? Probably not. The start of this episode also couldn't have possibly been more strange, but all of this is great. Early dealing with each of the crew was, well, on a spectrum full of variety. No one encounter was similar to the next.

Now, for real I will watch the movie tonight but I'm only going to review it the way I reviewed these episodes.
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
yeah there was just so much potential in this show and fox just completely jerked it around and killed it out of the gate. not the first or last time they'd do it either.
 

909

909
Staff member
SERENITY

Alright, so like I said, because this is a movie for a TV show it goes in here. Anyway, I bet a lot of Firefly fans were eagerly anticipating this film, which only disappointed in two very specific ways. You just cannot kill off beloved characters from your TV show in that fashion. That being said, Serenity answers a lot of questions that I still had remaining. What were the Reavers, after all? How come the Alliance couldn't capture River when they were going against a small crew on a transport ship? Well, now we know all of that. The China aspect still wasn't fully spelled out unless I'm missing something.

Okay, so, the movie. It's good but not great. The deaths of Wash and Book are a major problem to me. Mal turns into a complete dick and I dig that. It seems odd that Wash's death was essentially no-sold. He wasn't just one of the crew. Shouldn't be surprising that I have a problem with that. Otherwise, yeah, everything's good. We have a good plot with River that explains a hell of a lot. The action scenes are better than in the show. We see the Reavers kill shit and we see many more of them than before. Of course, this was supposed to be more than one movie and it wasn't. So it's hard to read into anything as being other than a complete conclusion to something that should never have ended so quickly.
 

909

909
Staff member
Favorite Episode: We're in the business of narrowing it down to one here. Objects in Space. Of course the best one was the last one in Whedon's order.

Least Favorite: The Train Job. Incredible that anyone would make this the first episode when they'd already planned a better one.

Favorite Character: Mal. This question ain't all that hard to answer. In the movie, they almost fucked up his character though.

Least Favorite: Simon. Nah man you aren't remotely interesting enough to get this much screen time.

Favorite Guest Star: Christina Hendricks. Take me to the special hell.
Favorite Adversary: Jubal Early. This guy had great lines that were all wonderfully played.
Least Favorite Guest Star: That guy Niska. Also the worst villain. Terrible character.
Best Scenes: Alright, there's a couple ones. Mal shoving Early into space. Inara tricking Saffron. Wash and Mal talking while being tortured. Most of the heist. The reveal of the Jayne statue. Christina Hendricks...well, you know. Do I gotta tell you?
Worst Scenes: I don't really need to do this but I'm sure you know that almost all of them are with Niska. The first scene of the series also feels way out of place.


Anyway, I would only say this was a good show. It can't be a great show because the cast was very large and there weren't enough episodes. It's fucked up the way shows like Firefly get handled.
 

909

909
Staff member
Next up:



Arrested Development

Yep, another show Fox didn't really give a chance.
 

909

909
Staff member
I'm not sure how to review 20 minute comedies in any meaningful way, these are extremely likely to be very short.

PILOT

This episode is classic, certainly in the upper echelon of ways to introduce a cast for a new show. Like I said, I don't know where to start. All of these people are varying levels of stupid and that would seem to include Michael too. When it comes to a pilot for a half hour show, I think the most important thing is to make every single line count. They all do. Shocking people is another bonus and George Michael-Maeby is uhhhhh definitely shocking. The signs the gay protesters had were all hilarious, and pretty much so was everything else. This is going to be weird. The fake "next week on" moments are also amazing. I don't know if they're original but I've always been hoping to watch a show where they pulled some shit like that.

TOP BANANA

I immediately saw why everyone loves this show. This isn't the funniest episode in the world but there are a lot of moments that had me slapping my knee. Like when Gob threw the letter in the ocean. Or not in the ocean. I thought the implication of T-Bone being a flamer was something entirely different than what it actually turned out to be. Also, why does Tobias keep crying in the shower? Burning down the banana stand is exactly what I mean about Michael being as dumb as the rest of them, but in his own way.

BRINGING UP BUSTER

This episode is mostly about Buster and how he fits, or doesn't fit into the Bluth family. The gags where Buster is out of frame not paying attention while people talk shit about him do not get old. The other thing here is STEVE HOLT. George Michael is a sick kid who wants to kiss his cousin again. These plans are unwittingly foiled by Tobias, who is also sick and probably wouldn't care all that much. The skits w/r/t the Cornballer also cracked me up.

KEY DECISIONS

This is otherwise known as the episode where Gob tries to break out of prison. Except, you know, he can't. It would have been cool if he'd actually jumped off the balcony, but instead he gets out because some white power guy stabs him. Michael also sells the corporate jet so his family can have an airplane stair-car, which is used in...many ways. One is for Clint Howard to creep on Lindsay. Another is for him to take Marta to an awards ceremony. Gob hates her, Michael wants her, and Michael can't have her. In a much more sickening plotline, we have Buster hooking up with Liza Minelli. I hope she becomes more of a regular.
 

909

909
Staff member
CHARITY DRIVE

I gotta admit that I've seen this episode before. I don't have all that much to add as a result. This is a funny episode, but it's also one with a very long gag that wasn't as funny the second time that I watched it. Except for the fact that Michael thinks all Hispanic women look alike. That's a good one.

VISTING OURS

Alright so we got Judy Greer in here as a cross-eyed sex freak, hopefully not for the last time. We also have Saul Goodman as a marriage counselor, also hopefully not for the last time. But, the way that episode ended, I think it will be. The conjugal visit though, could you imagine getting your face pressed up against a window and being forced to watch it? No thanks.

IN GOD WE TRUST

When I watched this, I immediately turned to my mom and said that it was funny how Henry Winkler went from playing the Fonz, to well...playing old dorks. I also noticed that Marta was recast. The back and forth between Lindsay, Michael, and Lucille is very good. Tobias is a fucking freak. George Michael is on the way there. This guy Wayne is a strange one too. I laughed a lot during these twenty minutes.

MY MOTHER, THE CAR

I realize that according to the DVD placement of these episodes, Fox did the same thing with AD that they did with Firefly and renumbered the episodes at their leisure. Fortunately, so far that doesn't seem to matter. Gob's scenes with the yacht are highly enjoyable, and for the most part all these jokes are perverted enough that I can't believe they made it onto broadcast television. That's a good thing though, a show has to have something to differentiate it from all the others.

STORMING THE CASTLE

If you couldn't tell Marta was recast, you can definitely tell in this episode because Marta is a large part of it. Storming the Castle also features two of the best gags yet. Gob is a failure and we get to see him do a magic show. If you didn't laugh at this, there's something wrong with you. Same with leather daddy. Just what the fuck. George Sr. is also now Jewish. Alright then. I think I hate Buster though. The most pathetic character in these sorts of shows usually winds up on my bad side.

PIER PRESSURE

This episode is all about George Michael and marijuana. Well it's also about some other shit but it's mostly about that and is mostly extremely funny. We also learn much more about Michael and Lindsay's characters. Again, we see how Michael fits into such a dysfunctional family because he brings his own set of problems. These problems are caused by his father, who was one of those extremist overreacting parents who didn't know what to do about anything. Lindsay on the other hand is cool with her daughter not getting good grades and just being how she is, which doesn't sound all that good either. And then we have male strippers.
 

909

909
Staff member
PUBLIC RELATIONS

All that really mattered to me in this episode is Carl Weathers. There's a lot of Carl Weathers. Tobias is really good here too. The rest of the time is spent on a storyline where Michael hires a publicist who he wants to sleep with, I don't really care much about that. The magic show at the old folks home is gold though.

MARTA COMPLEX

This is a, uh...very good episode. I don't know where to start but if you've seen this show before you know what I'm talking about. The Marta thing is obviously going to come to a head soon and become a completed storyline. Buster also finally made me laugh a few times. Carl Weathers also stuck around for at least one more, and baby, you've got a stew going. George Michael is very unsettling and creepy at this point, his dad is only barely a little better. I can't believe they wrote an episode where Tobias and George Michael would have to share a room.

BEEF CONSOMME

I thought George Michael was already bad, but he's worse here...anyway, this episode isn't really about him. The Oscar de la Hoya gag here made me laugh so hard because I wasn't expecting it. Some of Gob's lines did the exact same thing. It's when the characters say something you don't expect them to say where the show really comes together. Buster is better here too. At the end, when they all fight, it's just too much. And Tobias is always gonna be fucking weird. Possibly a bad idea to shelve this plot line, but we'll see. That's probably it when it comes to Marta though.
 

909

909
Staff member
SHOCK AND AWW

I'm not sure how to properly address Heather Graham being in this show. We'll consider this addressed. This is a very funny episode though. Jane Lynch shows up at the prison and is sexually attracted to George Sr. While hard to believe, I'll let this play out because of how funny it is. Then there's Annyong. Annyong is an adopted Korean kid who has been given this name because he keeps saying the Korean word for hello, which I guess is annyong. Gob's revenge attempt is very funny as well. I don't know what's up with the Saddam Hussein thing, but it seems quite timely. The undercover agent thing also needs a good payoff.

STAFF INFECTION

It turns out that all the Bluth family members are drawing a check from the company even though they don't work there. This is one of the more weak episodes, but there's still highlights. The work stoppage is funny, so is Lindsay running the office. Unfortunately these things are only mildly funny. James Lipton as the prison warden is good casting, as is the outright cruelty that Michael subjects his employees to. Just sacrifice your life for us and we'll pay you...sometime! I like how this show initially tried to sneak on people that Michael was the normal one of this group. Well, if you believe that, alright then. I think this is also the episode with an out of nowhere fake dog cleaning.

ALTAR EGOS

All that really matters here is that Julia Louis-Dreyfus is in this episode as a blind woman. Michael sleeps with her. It then turns out that she is prosecuting his father. Like Daredevil. There's some easter eggs here too. Like, the part where they're in the court house and you only see the pictures of scummy Republican presidents on the wall. We also have Amy Poehler playing Gob's wife. He needs an annulment or a divorce and cannot admit to himself that he actually must do it. It's too embarrassing, or something. The jokes with Maggie are typical for a blind character in a comedy show, but they're all good.

JUSTICE IS BLIND

Will Michael open the case file, which it turns out Maggie faked because she's not blind after all and knows who Michael is? No, he didn't. This is really funny though. Tobias tries to not touch Maggie, who knows he's standing there and prevents from looking at her file boxes. And then Tobias maced her and Michael threw a bible in her face because she actually couldn't see it. Maeby is also pretending to be in a wheelchair so that she can make some money. Overall, this episode is packed with stuff and I can't mention all of it. I thought all of it was funny, yet it was different than the other episodes in that it was more physical humor.
 

909

909
Staff member
MISSING KITTY

It's about time we find out what happened to Kitty. Well, it turns out that she got her boobs done and judging from the outline of her shirt her nipples are lopsided. This is never outright stated but it made me laugh uncontrollably hard. Gob being obsessed with Girls Gone Wild type videos also fits the character very well. The magic show once again makes me laugh because of how ridiculous it is, and we also have Tobias killing White Power Bill. So, he won't get raped by White Power Bill.

BEST MAN FOR THE GOB

This is an episode that isn't as good as the other ones, but that's alright because it's still quite funny. The Tobias family band is the best part of all this. It's stupid, stupid, and more stupid. The bachelor party isn't all that good, but it causes Amy Poehler to leave the cast extremely quickly. I don't have much to say this time.

WHISTLER'S MOTHER

Alright, so this is another episode that I would say is merely average. I don't like Oscar. I hate when shows introduce siblings that the characters haven't talked about before and this is no exception. The lemon grove land purchase isn't one of my favorite things either. Maybe it's more that the episodes before this are so good, by extension making this one look much weaker. Lindsay's protest was good though.

NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER

Here's the return to form I was hoping for. The police want to know where Kitty disappeared to after Gob blew up the yacht, but it turns out that what they really want is for Michael to testify against his dad. It's also daughter take to work day, which makes George Michael upset because his dad used that day to take him to work in the past, and now he isn't. Everything here clicks, even the part with Oscar. Buster and Tobias are both really stupid. I laughed a lot.
 

909

909
Staff member
LET 'EM EAT CAKE

This one takes the cake. One hilarious revelation after another. Like, for example, George Sr. having built houses in Iraq for Saddam Hussein. Or the Atkins diet thing. The episode is a time capsule to what was assumed to be a very ridiculous time, yet nothing compared to what was ahead this year. It's still funny to look at from that scope. What's most important is that all of this is funny. Everyone's reaction when they think George Sr. is dead is classic. Of course, Fox fucked around with this season the entire way and they fucked around with the order of the episodes, and they also gave the creators no idea as to whether or not there would be a second season. Which, it turned out there was. Yet without anyone knowing that, they set up the next season quite perfectly.

THE ONE WHERE MICHAEL LEAVES

Tobias covered in blue paint. That's all that I really had to say. Lindsay and Tobias start an open marriage, she can't score and I'm surprised we don't get scenes of Tobias crying in the shower. Gob as the new company president is good for a lot of potential laughs, as is Tobias reasoning that an open marriage will work out well for him. Why? Who knows. It was great when he got ran over in similar fashion to George Sr's fake death. It's great how Michael continues to want to leave and just can't do it. This stuff with Oscar is also beyond ridiculous and in the following episodes it gets even more crazy.

THE ONE WHERE THEY BUILD A HOUSE

Now we get a lot more of painted Tobias, with some Ann jokes thrown in. I have no idea where the latter is going. Tobias is now following Lindsay while camouflaged in blue backgrounds, and potentially in other ones too. He is also very difficult to spot unless you know where you're supposed to look for him. George Sr. also ran off to Mexico, and I think at the end of this episode he dies too. Oscar, on the other hand, he's having an affair with Lucille and it's gross. It's supposed to be gross. The main thing in this episode however, is the model house being built when it shouldn't have been. It falls down, Buster sees Lucille and Oscar, and then Buster actually wants to go to Iraq. All of this is good.

AMIGOS

Amigos is a Mexico episode, where it is decided that Michael, George Michael, Maeby, Lindsay, and Ann are all going to head to Mexico in an attempt to find George Sr. This they cannot do. In Amigos we are also introduced to Gene Parmesan, a PI the family needs from time to time, and Ice, a bounty hunter hired by Gob to keep Michael from fleeing the country and leaving his family behind. Lindsay thinks she can have sex with Ice, nobody really cares about Ann, Maeby is jealous because George Michael doesn't give her attention anymore, and Gob is angry because he doesn't have friends. Can Gob please do the chicken dance more? Tobias is also now going to the hospital constantly and it is very funny. He also now sports new paint. This might be my favorite episode.
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
the twist with JLD's character was one of the funniest things. I love Gene Parmesan. This show just had so many funny ideas and characters.
 

909

909
Staff member
GOOD GRIEF!

So...this episode is the one where we find out George Sr. is alive and hiding underground like Saddam Hussein. After George Michael finds him, into the attic they go. The failed coffin trick as the end result of all this is one of my favorite moments in the show. It just can't get much better than that. Ann breaks up with George Michael here too. Michael thinks Ann is being hid in the attic. He is wrong. The scene where George Michael and George Sr. watch the wake from the attic is just absurd, but perhaps most absurd is the constant use of sad Peanuts music.

SAD SACK

This is the episode where Tobias takes a picture of his balls, which is mistaken for a map to WMD's. Lindsay's bits with STEVE HOLT are the highlight of this episode. She lost her voice and now sounds like a guy. Maybe Steve Holt likes guys. Michael's job here is to decide whether or not it's worth it to keep hiding his dad in the attic. He thinks that it is. George Sr. on the other hand has lost his mind because he can't handle Lucille being all over Oscar. I'm not sure Tobias wearing paint will ever get old. I can't believe anyone thought of that as a gag to push the show forward.

AFTERNOON DELIGHT

This is a Christmas episode, and one that is um...very creepy to say the least. Maeby and Michael do a duet of the titled song, which is wildly inappropriate. Gob acts like a complete idiot. Buster learns something new and uses it to hurt Gob. The narration is always great in this show, but I thought it was even more spot on here. The Michael and Maeby thing, though. I can't get over it. There weren't exactly a lot of shows at the time that would have written something so gross and creepy. Except, you know, this one.

There can't be better episodes than Amigos, Good Grief!, and Afternoon Delight. There just can't be.
 

909

909
Staff member
SWITCH HITTER

It's about time we had an episode about a company softball game. It turns out that Gob is a good softball player and his services are in need. I was right that these episodes weren't as good as the three I previously mentioned. They couldn't be. JK Simmons cracked me up here, and the fake eyebrows were great too. The chicken dance as well as the use of Ann were highlights as well. It just isn't what the other episodes were and it's going to be hard to watch a show knowing that such a standard won't be met.

QUEEN FOR A DAY

The Bluth family has their stock unfrozen and they all decide to sell it for immediate gratification. Wasting money is certainly one way to go about finally having it, and all of them waste it without exception. So, Lucille Austero comes back and buys all of it. I appreciate that they are now referring to her as Lucille 2. It's much easier. This is great though. We have the hot cops back as gangsters who subsequently get beaten up by vatos. Buster has also basically been gone most of this season and I think that's for the best. But, this wasn't the best episode I watched last night.

BURNING LOVE

I don't know where to start, but this was my favorite of the five I watched. Gob/Lucille 2 is hilarious. Michael/Sally is awkward if not quite interesting enough. Then it all comes together in one scene at a restaurant. I laughed hard at Gob reading the menu for Lucille 2. Michael, it turns out, is completely pathetic in a way that I would almost say is even worse than Gob. The gun stuff was good, but I was surprised they reused the auction concept. It was a little flat while the rest of the episode was anything but.

READY, AIM, MARRY ME

Everything about this episode should have failed. We have Martin Short guest starring as a cripple the Bluths are looking to exploit for some much needed cash. Is it still okay to say cripple? I don't really care. Anyway, Lindsay gets duped into going on a date with him while his handler swings him all over the place. Tobias also attempts to self cuck, while Gob and Buster make Lucille 2 very angry with them. I found that this was one of the best episodes in terms of fully utilizing the cast members that actually matter. George Michael and Maeby really don't matter very much right now, so they take a back seat, but everyone else excels.

OUT ON A LIMB

Where Arrested Development really succeeds is in two facets. One is that their usage of guest stars is near perfect. This show got the best guest stars you could hope to be in a show like this one, and Fox hated this show anyway. Go figure that one. Maybe they weren't pro-Iraq enough for Rupert Murdoch. The second thing is that the creator claims to have made up everything as he goes along. This absolutely makes sense when it comes to the last two episodes. It's also for the best. A comedy show needs to prevent themselves from being locked into certain situations. Instead, this show just changes everything over the course of a few minutes and things continue forward. It is done expertly. It seems that a lot of people hate this episode, and I understand why. The ending is classic though.
 

909

909
Staff member
HAND TO GOD

As shown at the end of the previous episode, Buster has lost his hand and is now wearing a hook. He uses this hook to stab Oscar, who we rarely see over the course of the following episodes as a result. I don't know why it was decided to have Buster lose his hand, but this makes him a more prominent part of the season. I'm not the biggest Buster fan as I've already said. Meanwhile this episode centers around Michael finding out that Maggie isn't really pregnant. Of course she isn't. Any ideas they had with the hook are not fully fleshed out here, and as a result this episode is a little more frustrating to watch than it is anything else.

MOTHERBOY XXX

I can't believe anyone thought up this one. The Burger King product placement is classic. Most importantly, I thought all of the scenes related to Motherboy were hilarious. This is one of the best ways the show has utilized Lucille and George Michael and it's a rarity in that they rarely share scenes with each other. I do feel like Lindsay might be getting the short stick this season though. There's a lot of episodes where the second most funny character has been sidelined. Anyway, this is all about Motherboy. I loved the concept of such an event.

THE IMMACULATE ELECTION

George Michael runs for student body president and loses, but everything on the way there is pretty good. This Mrs. Featherbottom thing is going to kill me from laughing so hard. Lindsay finally does something in that she throws out Tobias to bring us to the point at which Mrs. Featherbottom cleans the model home all the time, just wanting to be noticed and seen for once. Gob's campaign video for George Michael was great too. It feels like a time capsule in that Bush-era racism is completely accepted and not treated the same way that it is now.

SWORD OF DESTINY

Sword of Destiny goes back to something I said earlier, that this show was able to get the best guest stars. Ben Stiller is here as Tony Wonder, the kind of magician Gob wishes he could be. Gob wants Buster to help him do a trick, and it ends up with Gob's fingers being cut off. They're put back on, but that doesn't change how funny any of this is. Michael winds up in the hospital because he works too much, a doctor does a bunch of bad surgeries on him, and when it's time for Michael to leave, George Michael runs him over. I feel like all the episodes where Gob is doing magic tricks are better than the rest in large part because of how ridiculous the scenario is.
 

909

909
Staff member
MEAT THE VEALS

Michael is desperate to break Ann and George Michael up. He thinks that by forcing Ann's parents to meet his family, Ann and George Michael will break up. Well, Michael isn't entirely wrong. That's obviously coming soon. Regardless, Ann's mom wants to enter Michael's secular world and this is highly amusing. Gob's puppet is also really stupid, yet it's still a highlight of the episode because of how stupid it is. George Sr. also wants to renew his wedding vows and it ends very badly. Maeby's scenes with the movie studio are funny, but this seems like underutilization of the character at this point.

SPRING BREAKOUT

The Bluths are supposed to exonerate George Sr. in this episode. They fail at doing so. Kitty comes back and that's always a highlight. The spring break scenes are always good, and in addition this time we have a bonus of Lucille going through rehab while they're going on. Also, the cousin incest is back. My favorite parts, as usual, are when Gob does magic and fucks it up entirely. I feel like this will never get old. What really gets me about this show is that we're supposed to see the Bluths suffer, and somehow there's a different way in which it happens in every episode. It also doesn't get old.

RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS

I was wondering when George was going to send Oscar to prison and reverse the roles a little bit. It didn't take very long, but now, I guess he's going to be Oscar? Who knows. What's good here is when Tobias finds another woman before Lindsay can find another guy. In this case, Tobias finds Kitty and they go to Vegas for an audition. Who would've thought? I particularly enjoyed that the model home wasn't hooked up to any outgoing pipes, and that they were effectively shoveling water and blue paint and shit and diamond cream underneath their house. The house also collapsed. I'm not quite at the new seasons yet, but I know they have a horrible reputation. Hopefully they're still good in some way.
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
in some ways to me its like the simpsons. If it wasn't for how great the seasons were preceding them then they'd be thought of better. And they're certainly better than a lot of later simpsons seasons.

Apparently they put season 4 in the "correct" order and that really fixed a lot of the big issues but I haven't rewatched it since the first time I saw it. Just based on memory I know that having it in the order they have no will be a billion times easier to watch.
 

909

909
Staff member
THE CABIN SHOW

Arrested Development came back for one more season on Fox, and while I don't think this season is on the level of the first two (almost halfway through), it's still really good. Tobias is even more gay now than he was before, and he works at a place called Swallows, which leads to a nametag that says Tobias Swallows. In any case, this episode is about Michael learning that Oscar is the one serving time in place of his father, and about trying to find his father after learning that. It doesn't go that well. The Bluths do have a new vehicle though, and it has half a cabin loaded onto it. Maeby and George Michael had a couple good scenes too.

FOR BRITISH EYES ONLY

This was a bad choice for a season or half-season long story arc. I just don't find the British stuff all that funny after the first episode or so. Unfortunately I watched four episodes full of that stuff. George is now under house arrest which leads to good things, but things start to become a pattern to the point where I'm now wondering if I should review 30 minute comedies in blocks where I use two paragraphs to talk about 5 or six episodes. George Sr. starts trying to escape every episode. Tobias keeps getting different hair plugs. Charlize Theron is introduced as a really stupid woman. But again, a lot of the things in this and the following three episodes are funny derivatives of the same joke. It is hard to talk about a show when that happens.

FORGET ME NOW

While we're locked into the jokes some of the characters receive every episode, there are some variations on some of these jokes that make the episodes worthwhile. The Bob Loblaw introduction is pretty good and I thought this would be my favorite thing for a while. Instead, we have something even better when Bob Einstein shows up as a surrogate representative for George Sr. He repeats everything that George Sr. says and does everything he's told to do. This is far more amusing than it would seem to be. The Maeby scenes with Steve Holt are great because they're gross. Unfortunately the metahumor here is very bad and I don't want to hear it. But, at least there's a lot of good stuff here including when Buster knocks out Rita. The analrapist thing is fucking hilarious.

NOTAPUSY

This is probably the worst episode of the whole run, given the revelation at the end of the next episode which makes this one look so much worse. The short version is that Michael and Steve Holt are going to do a triathlon together because Gob is ignoring his son, Steve Holt. Maeby has also entered a beauty pageant as her alias, in a wheelchair. This episode is straight up bad other than when George Sr. is giving a speech to a bunch of gay conversion therapy candidates, and when Tobias is coaching Ann into being a better pageant entrant.

MR. F

Rita is just a bad character. There's no denying that. We find out that she's weird because she's mentally disabled, but I don't know what the writer's excuse for writing such a bad character is. On the bright side, Tobias is now completely gay. There isn't a lot of ambiguity here, but there never was. Also, fortunately this episode brings a lot of laughs at the end. Larry the surrogate is forced to do something that makes him sick, because Gob wants to make his father happy. Turns out his father is not there and it's Buster controlling the surrogate instead. The Godzilla gag is good too, but it's not really what it seems like this show was supposed to be about. I'll be glad when Rita is gone, but given all the things people have said about the decline of this show, I'm getting nervous about it.
 

909

909
Staff member
THE OCEAN WALKER

I can't possibly describe how much I dislike this Rita storyline, and unfortunately it takes up the entire episode this time. Michael wants to marry her. His family finds out she's mentally challenged and rich, so they want Michael to marry her regardless of any problems he may have with it. I need to repeat again that I hate this. Let's move on.

PRISON BREAK-IN

Rita is now gone, and that means the show improves some as a matter of course. Does it improve enough though? I think it does although not to the level it was at before. This time, James Lipton comes back and George Sr. wants to escape again. He thinks up a plan and while this makes almost no sense at all, the episode has great moments. Tobias is dying from his hair plugs, and there's a benefit being held in order to grift money out of idiots. At least, until they find out why Tobias is all messed up. This leads to a prison riot at a benefit being held in the prison. While perhaps this is too on the nose, I still liked it.

MAKING A STAND

Now we're cooking. In this episode, George Sr. puts Gob up to starting his own banana stand right across from Michael and George Michael's. The reason? He loves when his sons fight with each other. It even turns out that Gob and Michael were once made to participate in a video series called 'Boyfights'. This was really funny to me for some reason. I don't think I need to explain what that even is. The missing arm guy also comes back as part of this episode's main gag. Everything here was really good. Best part was when Maeby came up with a new idea for her screenplay. You know the one.

S.O.B.S

The Bluth family still needs money. George Sr. has the idea to do another fundraiser, this one also doesn't go well. Michael wants Lindsay to help more around the house, which leads to her cooking horrible food at said fundraiser and all other times as well. The Andy Richter moments here are strange, but most importantly is Tobias wanting to be a "discipline daddy." This episode really relies on Lindsay and how funny her arc is, and for that reason I appreciated it. I've been thinking for a while that they basically discarded her character.

FAKIN' IT

I believe the last four episodes of this season were all rushed and aired on the same night. This is a great episode. There were some callbacks to events that were under represented earlier on. Like, for example, Michael's thing as Peter Pan. Or Franklin. George Michael and Maeby bring back the incest too. We also get some more classic Arrested Development humor. Nichael Bluth is something that shouldn't have made me laugh so hard. Buster fakes a coma and Judge Reinhold has a show where he's a judge. I don't know how things will end, but I'm going to start the first Netflix season tonight too. So, it didn't really end.
 

909

909
Staff member
FAMILY TIES

This episode title is in reference to Justine Bateman having been on Family Ties. Or the fact she is related to Jason Bateman and they both play a huge part in this episode. Michael is still looking for N. Bluth, and he believes that Justine Bateman's character is his sister. Instead, she is a prostitute. Franklin also makes a comeback in a very goofy role I appreciated, and we also get a bit where Tobias and Lindsay are trying to have sex with the same guy. This was a lot more like the previous seasons, just as the last episode was. Once they got rid of Rita, things got better.

EXIT STRATEGY

It's time for our characters to actually go to Iraq. Gob is doing a USO Tour in Iraq, doing some magic for Jesus or whatever it is that the US Government wanted him to do. He gets arrested for starting an anti-Bush protest. It turns out that what the government really wanted was for Gob to get out of prison and lead them to one of his father's model homes, which he does. Michael and Buster do their thing and it turns out that George Sr. is now off the hook. No more light treason. Tobias is a fucking freak in this episode, he's probably the only character they didn't manage to give a bad episode at any point in the original run. The incest here was funny too, particularly given the events in the following episode.

DEVELOPMENT ARRESTED

It's time for the events of this show to come full circle, as the original run ends with a party on a boat. This time, a much larger boat. The Bluths are celebrating that George Sr. is no longer going to be in trouble. It also turns out that Lindsay is not actually a Bluth, she is adopted. That means Maeby is not George Michael's cousin. Lindsay wants to have sex with Michael as a result of all this. He says no. That's the only thing Michael says no to. He sells out constantly here. It also turns out that Gob is with Ann. Then, it turns out that Annyong fucked up the Bluths again and they're being investigated for more wrongdoing. This is a great episode, I don't know how they managed to shove all these elements into such a small frame of time.

This was a good way to end the show, even though a lot of people wanted it brought back and eventually got their wish. I'll start those episodes tonight.
 
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