Somebody called me on the phone. He said “Hey, did you hear about the Arrested Development reunion?” I was pretty stoked, because after Fishbone, they were my favorite band at Lollapalooza in 1993. Then he told me it wasn’t the hip-hop group, it was that TV show with all the rich white folks on it.
Click here for the cast’s most embarrassing roles since leaving the show.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Arrested Development. I’ve watched the entire series repeatedly. I choked up a little when Fox finally gave it the axe. It was easily the best sitcom in television history until Party Down came along and provided some stiff competition. Talking about The Seaward, hot cops, and Mr. Bananagrabber brings an instant smile to my face, if not a minor titter and yet… I’m a little underwhelmed by the return of the show.
Trying to recreate Arrested Development is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. I’m sure people were pretty amped when Aerosmith got back together, and then they dropped Permanent Vacation and the Armageddon soundtrack, a couple of stiff kicks to the balls. I mean, take a minute to step back from your irrational exuberance and ask yourself: How many band break up, get back together and make good records?
I’m not saying the new shows and movie won’t be funny. They probably would be if I had never heard of Arrested Development. But expectations kill and momentum means something in comedy. Michael Cera isn’t cute little awkward George Michael anymore, he’s Michael Fucking Cera, the douche who’s made a career out of playing irritating, twee “male” versions of the manic pixie dream girl, minus the mania and god dammit, he wouldn’t even take his picture with me and my friends at a bowling alley in Koreatown even though I’m pretty sure he didn’t even know we were just trying to clown on him.
It’s not just prancing Michael Cera and his red wool cap, either. Has anyone noticed how lame Will Arnett has gotten? The sex tape was great. I even liked Let’s Go To Prison. But now he’s on some TV show about trying to stay cool while raising a fucking baby? Isn’t he about fifteen years too old to star on a show like that? More to the point, isn’t that show for the type of people who post pictures of themselves holding up diapers soiled in unnatural colors while smiling and making “oopsie” faces, AKA the type of people who make you want to kill all parents instead of becoming one?
Point is: The show was great in its time, but there’s a pretty good chance that time has passed away, along with the blissful innocence of the Bush years. America has new anxieties, irritants and pathologies to explore and exploit for comic potential now. Today, Arrested Development is about as relevant as M*A*S*H.