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Friday, January 25, 2008

Archived Forum Post: Arrested Development

On November 20, 2006, Jason Loya wrote:

I've been watching the Arrested Development first season DVD set (I know it's not a "film" but without the commercial interruptions and the fact that it is shot single camera qualifies it for this part of the forum). Being someone who doesn't actually watch any television at all, I wasn't sure what to expect when I borrowed the DVD set from a friend of mine. I was half expecting to have to lie to said friend and tell him how fantastic the TV show is just before I gouge my eyes out. This same friend usually doesn't hold back his opinions much regarding my personal favorites such as David Lynch - but what can I say - I'm a nice guy. In any case, with Arrested Development, it didn't even come to this. I am able to save the charade for another day because after just a couple episodes I found myself actually enjoying it! It is a 3 disk set and follows the Bluth family's endeavors and antics in a very film-like fashion. This is perhaps the first reason why I like it - the show doesn't reek of television. It is a 16:9 presentation with camera work that is far more interesting than a 3 camera studio setup. Most of the time, the shots are hand held, making you feel like you are a close observer of the family - like you're in the room with them and not really just some bored and listless lump on the couch. The characters are unique and entertaining and again - not usual television stock. The story for the most part is funny and witty and easy to follow while the writing is relevant to the show's contemporary audience.

The entire first disk is excellent. As the characters are set up in their world, I found myself easily engrossed and regularly laughing out loud. The first half of the second disk has signs of a production that was in turmoil. They swapped actresses for the same character and made about three or four episodes that just do not seem to go anywhere, lacking the same vibrancy as the others. At that point in my viewing, I almost gave up on the show. Certain characters that I had grown to like were not acting like themselves at all while certain themes began to seem redundant. However, right when I was about to chalk the first disk up to luck and banish the set to TV hell, I watched 1, then 2, then 3 more episodes and laughed my ass off. So at this point I'm 2/3 done with the set and the show has new life. So far, I definitely recommend this DVD set for some fun, lighthearted, and sometimes enjoyably crass entertainment. I'll write again when I finish the series.

On February 14, 2007, Katy Savage replied:

Arrested Development has got to be one of the funniest shows in recent TV history -- I'm glad our friend John strong-armed me into borrowing the DVDs. And although it's sad that it's off the air, I'm glad the show's writers wrapped everything up in the last episode and gave it some closure.

Remember that show The Wonder Years? My roommate's friend brought over a bootleg copy of the entire run of the show (some 800 episodes or something like that) and it just D R A G G E D... And in the end, the show never satisfies you. Winnie and Kevin never fulfill their companionship, and all the time you invested in the show is utterly wasted. Arrested Development, on the other hand, gives you everything you want... Even the cousinly sexual tension that keeps you on edge the whole show is resolved.

And YES YES YES, DVD is the ONLY way to go when you're watching anything with a continuous plot...

And today, using the company's Blogger account, Ryan DeRamos posts another episode of Arrested Development, hosted on Hulu:

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