After returning home from Iraq, George Sr. is finally cleared of all charges, and Michael is relieved to be the head of a successful company for a change. The real brains behind the madness ... Read allAfter returning home from Iraq, George Sr. is finally cleared of all charges, and Michael is relieved to be the head of a successful company for a change. The real brains behind the madness is revealed, and just as the family begins to celebrate their victory, a whole new set of ... Read allAfter returning home from Iraq, George Sr. is finally cleared of all charges, and Michael is relieved to be the head of a successful company for a change. The real brains behind the madness is revealed, and just as the family begins to celebrate their victory, a whole new set of problems emerge.
Season 3 of Arrested Development arrived in the post to me with an air of finality as I knew that this shorter season was it, with the series being axed in the way that all wonderful things seem to be in a television world of mediocrity and cookie-cutter sitcoms. Watching it I found myself frustrated and confused as to why it had been deal the final blow because, although it is not as good as the two previous seasons, season 3 is still very funny for the majority. Obviously the viewers were never there for it but, speaking for the UK I would like to thank BBC2 for consistently screening it on weeknights after midnight without an actual slot to remember the only way to have seen it in the UK on terrestrial would have been to have eagle eyes on the TV listings. Anyway, season 3 is more of the very smart and incredibly inventive comedy that fans are used to. To describe any of the jokes to anyone who hasn't seen it, you realise just how contrived it all is and if you don't believe me then try describing the Godzilla episode and you'll see. However when you watch it, it all just works together so well that you never feel like that and you understand just how creative it is within the contrivances of the plot and I am still astonished at how they come up with it.
The weakness here is in the plotting. The English spy thread produces plenty of laughs but is more obtrusive as a plot and it does "feel" like it is forced in a way that the normal plots do not. This improves once it gets back to the focus on the family and the business but by this point the season was climbing up to the gallows for execution. What this means per episode is that we do get plenty of references to the show and its demise written into the material; some of it is funny but too much of it just seems too obvious for a show as smart as this. These are my two problems with season 3, however the overwhelming thing is the comedy and this is almost as brilliant as ever. The characters remain very funny, the jokes are wildly creative and the delivery is pitch perfect from all involved. Bateman is VERY good at this sort of comedy and he is perfect yet again. Likewise Cera gets his awkward character bang on. Hale, Arnett, Cross, Tambor and Walter are all brilliant, as are de Rossi and Shawkat, even if they seem to has less to do. Unseen (apart from once) Howard's narration is really effective with his "actually" lines producing a lot of laughs. A shame that Winkler wasn't back, but Baio is a good reference and a very funny character name. Theron didn't really do it for me and she was part of the problem with her thread. Otherwise though, there wasn't really a weak link in the main cast.
And so it ended, with a final episode that nicely mirrored the first one while still keeping the "it doesn't need to always be real as long as it is funny" approach. It is criminal that it didn't get the viewers but at least with it ending now you have a total package to point people at so they can catch up. I have been putting my DVD's of The Wire in the hands of anyone who will give them a go (6 people, 5 converts so far) and Arrested Development is so good that I will be doing the same with my DVD's of this. Shame it is gone but it is hard to be depressed about something that makes me laugh as hard as this does.
- bob the moo
- Sep 30, 2008