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Subject: "you know, i like Arrested Development - a lot even - but..." This topic is locked.
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AFKAP_of_Darkness
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Mon Sep-26-05 08:08 PM

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"you know, i like Arrested Development - a lot even - but..."


  

          

i'm starting to think that this show isn't actually that good

tries a bit too hard to be quirky, doesn't it?

and REDeye made a good point about the cast of wacky characters that forces you to identify with one straight man... it doesn't work

there's no real point, no objective to most of the goings-on on the show... they're merely decorative, narrative, and maybe even a little condescending to the audience

maybe i've just been reading too much David Mamet lately

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
RE: you know, i like Arrested Development - a lot even - but...
Sep 26th 2005
1
even then i knew you had a point.
Sep 26th 2005
3
And the choir says Amen
Sep 26th 2005
22
Might I remind all: "Arrested Development- time to shit on a sacred cow"
Sep 26th 2005
24
      Still a fucking great show.
Sep 26th 2005
27
           Let's just let it be here, and go rejoin in the Crash post.
Sep 26th 2005
28
maybe it's because
Sep 26th 2005
2
i was thinking this last season
Sep 26th 2005
4
I LOVE this show...
Sep 26th 2005
5
ohh, it was on tonight??
Sep 26th 2005
6
?
Sep 26th 2005
7
Yeah, it's been moved to Mondays. n/m
Sep 26th 2005
13
the british stuff was a little forced
Sep 26th 2005
9
      awful brit bit
Sep 26th 2005
29
           not all of the brit stuff was bad
Sep 27th 2005
31
                RE: not all of the brit stuff was bad
Sep 27th 2005
32
                     he hasn't been really funny in ages
Sep 27th 2005
37
                          True
Sep 27th 2005
40
It's a DVD show...
Sep 26th 2005
8
cosign
Sep 26th 2005
10
probably
Sep 26th 2005
11
      The problem is Bateman's character...
Sep 26th 2005
12
           I'm not getting how his character doesn't work
Sep 26th 2005
14
           Tim is definitely the character most people identify with
Sep 26th 2005
15
           I don't see the flaw with the one straight man
Sep 26th 2005
16
                because while Michael seems to have an objective each episode
Sep 26th 2005
17
                     okay I see your point
Sep 26th 2005
19
                     and oddly enough, Tobias is my favorite character (kinda)
Sep 26th 2005
21
                     Yep
Sep 26th 2005
20
           What does his character add?
Sep 26th 2005
18
                It doesn't have to FOLLOW him, but the show needs a straight man
Sep 26th 2005
25
                     It shouldn't be a separate character who seems unattached
Sep 27th 2005
38
           I find this statement to be ridiculous
Sep 27th 2005
67
                You've got a knack for putting things into capsule.
Sep 27th 2005
68
                Way to miss the entire point
Sep 27th 2005
83
                     w/ all due respect, I think it might be you who has missed the point
Sep 27th 2005
88
                          Wow. That was great.
Sep 27th 2005
89
                          and pick up your old OKP pals ideas
Sep 28th 2005
92
                          You are explaining everything that I consider to be the problem
Sep 28th 2005
97
                               hunh. Well I dunno what to tell you then
Sep 28th 2005
98
                                    Now I see the issue
Sep 28th 2005
101
i felt "something" like this after tonight's episode
Sep 26th 2005
23
how do you ever enjoy tv if you think like this?
Sep 26th 2005
26
RE: how do you ever enjoy tv if you think like this?
Sep 27th 2005
54
RE: how do you ever enjoy tv if you think like this?
Sep 27th 2005
80
Tonights episode really underwhelmed me....
Sep 27th 2005
30
I thought it was good
Sep 27th 2005
33
watch what you say. seriously!!!
Sep 27th 2005
34
Dump that Goddamn avy
Sep 27th 2005
36
i almost did last night, but now that i know it bothers you....um...
Sep 27th 2005
73
      How about this?
Sep 27th 2005
76
           LMAO!
Sep 28th 2005
93
I completely disagree
Sep 27th 2005
39
      i retract my statement. you are absolutely right
Sep 27th 2005
74
      eh
Sep 27th 2005
81
           I would say Curb
Sep 27th 2005
86
           ICE!!!
Sep 28th 2005
95
The show is still great. Y'all are just being contrary
Sep 27th 2005
35
RE: The show is still great. Y'all are just being contrary
Sep 27th 2005
41
      Hmmmmm.... Nah, y'all are just wrong
Sep 27th 2005
44
           RE: Hmmmmm.... Nah, y'all are just wrong
Sep 27th 2005
57
                Oooooooooooh... burn!
Sep 27th 2005
72
                     RE: Oooooooooooh... burn!
Sep 29th 2005
102
GETouttaHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEa!!!!!!!!!!
Sep 27th 2005
42
thats what im saying ahmir, thats what im saying
Sep 27th 2005
75
While I have enjoyed both episodes, one thing has been buggin me...
Sep 27th 2005
43
he looks sickly to me...must have dropped 50 lbs.
Sep 27th 2005
52
To have an ensemble cast this varied you have to sacrifice sentiment
Sep 27th 2005
45
that's part of the problem... i don't like 'actor's vehicles'
Sep 27th 2005
46
      I don't think anyone is 'showoffry' on the show though
Sep 27th 2005
49
You needed to read mamet to re-evalute this show?
Sep 27th 2005
47
i didn't read Mamet to re-evaluate the show
Sep 27th 2005
48
      Got it...
Sep 27th 2005
51
           empty?
Sep 27th 2005
82
the only area that I feel AD falls short in
Sep 27th 2005
50
I agree with all of this.
Sep 27th 2005
53
Um, who were you emotionally vested in on "Seinfeld"?
Sep 27th 2005
55
besides a small crush on Elaine? Nobody I guess
Sep 27th 2005
58
      Yup, yup.
Sep 27th 2005
59
      I love a woman who dances worse than I do
Sep 27th 2005
61
           Damn.
Sep 27th 2005
69
                maybe it's maybeline.
Sep 27th 2005
70
                     Oh! Right, right...
Sep 27th 2005
79
      I only had you comapre the two because knock against AD was silly
Sep 27th 2005
62
      I wasn't knocking
Sep 27th 2005
63
      for the most part, you have the answer right here.
Sep 27th 2005
71
           what sitcoms do you identify with?
Sep 27th 2005
84
                RE: what sitcoms do you identify with?
Sep 27th 2005
87
                perhaps it's your understanding of the phrase "identify with"
Sep 28th 2005
90
For me, it's a sitcom. The only thing I require is for it to be funny
Sep 27th 2005
56
      I don't 'require' sentiment, either.
Sep 27th 2005
60
           RE: I don't 'require' sentiment, either.
Sep 27th 2005
64
What I love is...
Sep 27th 2005
65
How about it's an intelligent sitcom that makes me laugh?
Sep 27th 2005
77
      That's fine.
Sep 27th 2005
78
           RE: That's fine.
Sep 27th 2005
85
This show is SOAP Redux
Sep 27th 2005
66
I think you're onto something here, Mr. Coolidge.
Sep 28th 2005
91
      Aww, fuck, I meant Mr. Johnson. My bad. n/m
Sep 28th 2005
94
I don't see how no one here who's seen all the episodes
Sep 28th 2005
96
Someone send help
Sep 28th 2005
99
Sitcom Syndrome
Sep 28th 2005
100
RE:
Sep 29th 2005
103

bignick
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Mon Sep-26-05 08:10 PM

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1. "RE: you know, i like Arrested Development - a lot even - but..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

i said this a year ago and people in here lost their fucking minds.

  

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AFKAP_of_Darkness
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Mon Sep-26-05 08:15 PM

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3. "even then i knew you had a point."
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

but i enjoyed the show... i knew something was off about it, but i couldn't put my finger on it

Mamet's "On Directing Film" kinda helped me figure out what the problem is

_____________________

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The man who thinks at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life - Muhammed Ali

  

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ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
43582 posts
Mon Sep-26-05 10:35 PM

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22. "And the choir says Amen"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

Are the wheels of the "quirky" bandwagon starting to fall off?
___________________________________________________________________________________________
<---- (in honor of a legend)

Brother's gonna work it out
Brother's gonna work it all out

  

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
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Mon Sep-26-05 11:29 PM

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24. "Might I remind all: "Arrested Development- time to shit on a sacred cow""
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

Who made that post about six months back?

Me, baby. ME! (c) Tenacious D

Cosign.

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

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Yogaflame
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Mon Sep-26-05 11:34 PM

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27. "Still a fucking great show."
In response to Reply # 24


  

          

  

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
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Mon Sep-26-05 11:38 PM

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28. "Let's just let it be here, and go rejoin in the Crash post."
In response to Reply # 27


  

          

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

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ooodjrueooo
Member since Oct 24th 2004
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Mon Sep-26-05 08:11 PM

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2. "maybe it's because"
In response to Reply # 0


          

I haven't watched two full seasons of the show yet, but I don't think so.

I mean, who else gets down like they do?
(really, let me know)
piece,
R.


"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
-Albert Einstein

  

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natural
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Mon Sep-26-05 08:15 PM

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4. "i was thinking this last season"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

i only saw the first 2 or 3 eps. of season two, and have been not too eagerly awaiting the dvd release. i didn't see it the other night either.

  

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Yogaflame
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Mon Sep-26-05 08:16 PM

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5. "I LOVE this show..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

...but tonight's ep was half-baked at best. Sure the maid screaming 'Ed Gein! Ed Gein!' at the sight of Tobias' hair plugs, the Brad Garrett reference and the Harry Hamlin cameo were priceless, but something was off in a major way tonight. I also felt shades of this last week. Going on the strength of all players involved and the past two seasons that I've come to revere as classic television, I'm a bit unimpressed with what I've seen this season.

  

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natural
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Mon Sep-26-05 08:19 PM

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6. "ohh, it was on tonight??"
In response to Reply # 5


  

          

lol

  

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Yogaflame
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Mon Sep-26-05 08:24 PM

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7. "?"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

  

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kurlyswirl
Member since Jul 13th 2002
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Mon Sep-26-05 09:08 PM

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13. "Yeah, it's been moved to Mondays. n/m"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
<-------------- You need to be watching this show.

kurly's Super-Duper Awesome™ DVD Collection:
http://www.dvdaficionado.com/dvds.html?cat=1&id=kurlyswirl

I be Scrobblin': http://www.last.fm/user/TasteeTreat

  

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DrNO
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Mon Sep-26-05 08:26 PM

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9. "the british stuff was a little forced"
In response to Reply # 5


  

          

otherwise I still loved it.

_
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4TztqYaemt0
http://preptimeposse.blogspot.com/

  

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grandmasterfletch
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Mon Sep-26-05 11:55 PM

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29. "awful brit bit"
In response to Reply # 9


  

          

yeah the brit bit/and theron's accent were brutally bad, and seemed overdone and too hokey. hamlin was a nice touch

bad episode overall(outside of tobias'plugs and GOB's chicken magic trick) they going cameo crazy this season.


the original fuck face

http://www.myspace.com/2162769

  

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DrNO
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31. "not all of the brit stuff was bad"
In response to Reply # 29


  

          

I mean it was too much, but bits worked. Michael's akward pick-up lines were really good.

_
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4TztqYaemt0
http://preptimeposse.blogspot.com/

  

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Yogaflame
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32. "RE: not all of the brit stuff was bad"
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

Yeah, but Dave Thomas (no Wendy's-o) wasn't even funny. When you can't even get an SCTV alum to deliver, there's a problem.

I still love this show and I'll support it until it dies. But I have not been bowled over by anything this season.

  

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DrNO
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37. "he hasn't been really funny in ages"
In response to Reply # 32


  

          

he just phoned this in with his Michael Caine impression.

_
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4TztqYaemt0
http://preptimeposse.blogspot.com/

  

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Yogaflame
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40. "True"
In response to Reply # 37


  

          

  

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SoulHonky
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Mon Sep-26-05 08:25 PM

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8. "It's a DVD show..."
In response to Reply # 0


          

I liked watching it on DVD a lot more than just catching one episode at a time. It's definitely the kind of show that I have to be in the mood for.

I still think it is one of the best shows on television, but it is definitely flawed.

  

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natural
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10. "cosign"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

nm

  

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AFKAP_of_Darkness
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Mon Sep-26-05 08:32 PM

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11. "probably"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

i first "got" the show when FX did that marathon at the end of the first season... i guess you do have to watch them all at once. but it doesn't change the fact that there's still no point to a lot of the characters.

_____________________

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The man who thinks at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life - Muhammed Ali

  

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SoulHonky
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Mon Sep-26-05 08:47 PM

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12. "The problem is Bateman's character..."
In response to Reply # 11


          

If they had gotten rid of Bateman and made Portia's character the main person, then it would have worked better. She would have had to juggle everything (including her kid and husband) but she wouldn't have been the "good guy" as she still would have been a flawed character. I like Jason Bateman on the show but his character isn't really necessary.

As it is, it's like if The Office centered around a straight arrow office manager rather than Ricky Gervais.

  

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DrNO
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14. "I'm not getting how his character doesn't work"
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

and I'd say Tim is probably the central character in The Office.

_
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4TztqYaemt0
http://preptimeposse.blogspot.com/

  

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AFKAP_of_Darkness
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15. "Tim is definitely the character most people identify with"
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

and probably the closest thing to a straight man, but the central character is unquestionably Brent

and i think it's quite different from Arrested Development where you have a bunch of wacky characters and oen straight guy... in The Office you've got one really wacky guy (Brent/Michael Scott) and everybody else is more or less straight, apart from Gareth/Dwight

_____________________

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The man who thinks at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life - Muhammed Ali

  

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DrNO
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Mon Sep-26-05 09:40 PM

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16. "I don't see the flaw with the one straight man"
In response to Reply # 15
Mon Sep-26-05 09:42 PM by DrNO

  

          

though. Can't say I see how the other characters don't have a point either.
And I think a case can be made that Tim is the central character on the basis that his relationship with Dawn was the central plot of the series.

_
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4TztqYaemt0
http://preptimeposse.blogspot.com/

  

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AFKAP_of_Darkness
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Mon Sep-26-05 09:43 PM

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17. "because while Michael seems to have an objective each episode"
In response to Reply # 16


  

          

the other characters just wander into the scene (way too many of them at a time, too) just to be quirky and distract him... and that's their only real purpose. you can't identify with any of them, or spare even the smallest emotional investment in them. hell, even in the case of Michael and George Michael, there's just *something* that keeps them at a distance from audience identification.

_____________________

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The man who thinks at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life - Muhammed Ali

  

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DrNO
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Mon Sep-26-05 09:49 PM

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19. "okay I see your point"
In response to Reply # 17


  

          

but that doesn't bother me in the slightest really.
And once in a while they give the characters a nice genuine moment, except for Tobias.

_
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4TztqYaemt0
http://preptimeposse.blogspot.com/

  

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AFKAP_of_Darkness
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Mon Sep-26-05 09:57 PM

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21. "and oddly enough, Tobias is my favorite character (kinda)"
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

it was the damn never-nude stuff that hooked me on the show in the first place, and lines like "there are dozens of us! DOZENS!!" still make me LOL when i think about them

_____________________

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SoulHonky
Member since Jan 21st 2003
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Mon Sep-26-05 09:54 PM

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20. "Yep"
In response to Reply # 17


          

That's why I think if Portia's character was the center, it would work better since she shares their greed. All of her objectives would be tied in with the other characters at least on that level. Michael is almost a completely separate person, who keeps coming back into the fold because of their familial bond.

It would be a much different show but I think it would work a little better.

  

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SoulHonky
Member since Jan 21st 2003
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Mon Sep-26-05 09:46 PM

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18. "What does his character add?"
In response to Reply # 14


          

His character never really brings anything. He's just always getting upset at people. He's a reactionary character; rarely does he ever do anything on his own, it's all in reaction to the other characters. Also, his bind with the characters is weak (storywise). Everyone else is so crazy that the whole "But we're family" excuse for keeping everyone around doesn't really work.

The show is funny but it's base is pretty flimsy. If the majority of The Office followed Tim (or if most of Curb followed the wife) the show's wouldn't work as well.

  

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
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Mon Sep-26-05 11:31 PM

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25. "It doesn't have to FOLLOW him, but the show needs a straight man"
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

Someone who is at least AWARE of the madness.

Tim is that person in The Office. And Bateman plays that character on AD.

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

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SoulHonky
Member since Jan 21st 2003
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Tue Sep-27-05 02:05 AM

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38. "It shouldn't be a separate character who seems unattached"
In response to Reply # 25


          

Tim is the office wise-ass so he has two roles. Michael seems to have little connection to most of the cast besides being around to notice how wacky they are being. Look at Cheers, the straight man in that show would change with every episode. Some times it was Sam, other times it was Diane, it could be Carla or Norm. In AD everyone is completely out there except Michael who puts up with it because they are family, even though "helping out family" is part of what got his dad in trouble.

Portia's character could play the straight man (ironic?) at times, her daughter could handle that role as well. They could, also, just get rid of Portia's character and give her attributes to Bateman's (making him more believable). Basically, they created to characters where they needed one just for plot devices. (Portia staying with David Cross is equally head-scratching) What they could have done is have Cross' character be the only person making money so Portia has to stay with him (and he could make his money via lame brain schemes that undermine Portia's lessons to her family/running the business)

  

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buckshot defunct
Member since May 02nd 2003
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67. "I find this statement to be ridiculous"
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

Michael is the anchor of the family AND the show. Without him, AD would just go flying off into the stratosphere and become Stella or something.

Plus, you could argue that Michael is the most effed up of them all. The fact that he hasn't disowned these people yet (along with his obsessive, misguided quest for father/son bonding) is proof enough of his insanity. He represents the cynical charm of AD. It's a family sitcom where the family *is* the central conflict.

  

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Yogaflame
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68. "You've got a knack for putting things into capsule."
In response to Reply # 67


  

          

I agree completely. Nice work in this post.

  

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SoulHonky
Member since Jan 21st 2003
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Tue Sep-27-05 07:14 PM

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83. "Way to miss the entire point"
In response to Reply # 67


          

"Michael is the anchor of the family AND the show. Without him, AD would just go flying off into the stratosphere and become Stella or something."

My suggestion was the you eliminate Michael and give some of his attributes (business sense, sense of what is right) to Lindsay. She becomes the anchor of the show, but she has to battle her own greed and laziness with the good of the business. There has to be a better reason for someone to stick around other than, "Oh that's his fatal flaw. He can't say no to them." That's weak. It's the same with Lindsay and Tobias. Lindsay needs a reason to stay with him.

I like Arrested Development, think it's one of the best shows on TV, but I'm not stunned that it isn't doing that well. I think there are definite flaws with the central relationships in the show. Michael's relationships with them are all over the place. He's buddies with Lindsay one moment, and then she goes back to being a bitch two scenes later.

  

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buckshot defunct
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88. "w/ all due respect, I think it might be you who has missed the point"
In response to Reply # 83
Tue Sep-27-05 11:31 PM by buckshot defunct

  

          

Now, I've seen a lot of crackpot 'let's save Arrested Development' ideas around these parts, but this one strikes me as one of the most drastic yet (not to mention arbitrary and baseless). You want to essentially "morph" Michael and Lindsay into one character? Why? Do you think the Bluth family is too crowded? The show needs pruning? Streamlining?

My main problems with your fix are:
1. I don't see how it relates to any 'problem areas' the show might have
2. It's such a fundamental change, you might as well be pitching an entirely different sitcom (And said sitcom might not necessarily be a bad one, but it sure as shit wouldn't be AD)

You want to cannibalize the most essential character of the show. You say he needs a 'reason'. Well, with a show like AD I'm not so sure this is even true, but let's assume you're right. I think Michael's 'reason' works just as well as any of the other characters', if not ten times better. He probably needs them more than they need him, because of his obsession to turn things around for the Bluth family and atone for the sins of his father. Everybody else is nuts, but they're more or less content with that being the status quo. Michael has taken it upon himself to change all that. Which I think makes him a pretty unique protagonist. Usually, the heroes are defending the status quo, and it's all the wacky secondary characters shaking things up. Yes, Michael's wacky family may mess up his plans at every turn, but those plans are antagonistic in nature. He wants to incite change, and they won't let him. So it's a bit of a role reversal there.

At his core, Michael Bluth is a man trying to fix something that is beyond repair, and that never worked all that well to begin with.

That's his flaw. That's his greed. It's like some Greek tragedy where the protagonist takes all these measures to avoid his fate, and ends up walking right into his own prophecy. Take the cabin gag from last week. Michael was hell bent on spending some quality father/son time at the family cabin, but the whole thing kept getting screwed up. At least when *his* father screwed things up, he had a good excuse. He was banging chicks half his age. Another quasi-Oedipal overtone you have is the George/Michael clash. These two patriachal figures having some bizarre tug of war over the fate of the family business. I think you'd lose a lot of that by casting a female lead.

Michael is no more the straight-man than the mental ward patient who walks around in a labcoat thinking he's the doctor is a sane man. Sure, he may not be running around thinking he's Peter Pan or Napoleon, but at least those guys are having a good time. Michael burdens himself with some sort of moral code that nobody else lives by, and an illusion of control that he obviously doesn't have. He's the biggest nutcase of them all.

That's why his "relationships with them are all over the place" as you put it. They're dysfunctional. That's kind of *the joke*.


(So much for my knack for putting things into capsule.)

  

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Yogaflame
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89. "Wow. That was great."
In response to Reply # 88


  

          

You should work in development at a network.

  

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DrNO
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92. "and pick up your old OKP pals ideas"
In response to Reply # 89
Wed Sep-28-05 02:12 AM by DrNO

  

          

for development.
The again he is defending what is really a failure.
Maybe he can introduce me to Jerry Bruckheimer.

_
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4TztqYaemt0
http://preptimeposse.blogspot.com/

  

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SoulHonky
Member since Jan 21st 2003
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Wed Sep-28-05 03:26 PM

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97. "You are explaining everything that I consider to be the problem"
In response to Reply # 88


          

"You want to cannibalize the most essential character of the show. You say he needs a 'reason'. Well, with a show like AD I'm not so sure this is even true, but let's assume you're right. I think Michael's 'reason' works just as well as any of the other characters', if not ten times better."

This right here is the crux of our disagreement. If you buy into his "I'm doing it for my family" then you won't see that there's a problem. If you don't think he needs a reason and that the inter-familial relationships are strong enough on their own, then you won't see any need for a change. I think both of those issues are problematic and I believe a large number of people who aren't interested in the show also find this to be a shortcoming. Arrested Development is very funny but the name IMO is dead on: none of the characters or relationships are at all developed. Michael often seems like the only person affected by the others' actions. If Gob screws up, Lindsay and the mother rarely care or get upset. Buster's antics are almost always separate issues. As was said earlier, losing Michael would make this show Stella or a sketch show. I agree and that's a major problem, especially when IMO the anchor of the show is barely connected to the others to begin with. The gags in this show are funny but the storylines are not tight at all IMO and that is the achilles heel of the show.

"Yes, Michael's wacky family may mess up his plans at every turn, but those plans are antagonistic in nature. He wants to incite change, and they won't let him. So it's a bit of a role reversal there. At his core, Michael Bluth is a man trying to fix something that is beyond repair, and that never worked all that well to begin with.
"

NewRadio is an example of this premise done better. Dave had to work with everyone to make things work. There was a reason that everyone was involved. He was trying to change the station and make it better but everyone thwarted his ideas. In AD, the business and the family life are fairly separate and consequences are, many times, nil. The importance of the yacht in the family's plans wasn't really made to seem all that important so when Gob sank it, it didn't make much difference. Kitty had access to files but she was never really treated like a big threat.

"Another quasi-Oedipal overtone you have is the George/Michael clash. These two patriachal figures having some bizarre tug of war over the fate of the family business. I think you'd lose a lot of that by casting a female lead."

I think you could easily make Lindsay have similar problems with George and her own daughter.

"Michael is no more the straight-man than the mental ward patient who walks around in a labcoat thinking he's the doctor is a sane man. Sure, he may not be running around thinking he's Peter Pan or Napoleon, but at least those guys are having a good time. Michael burdens himself with some sort of moral code that nobody else lives by, and an illusion of control that he obviously doesn't have. He's the biggest nutcase of them all."

They made this argument on the DVD commentary as well but I think, again, it's part of the problem. Basically you are explaining exactly the issue that I'm trying to fix. Michael is supposed to be the person that you identify with however he is possibly the hardest preson to get a grasp on. There is absolutely no character that anchors the show in reality. Michael is definitely the straight man (most of the jokes are played off of him) but he is not an anchor. If you went with my other suggestion, leaving Michael but making Lindsay the center of the show (and toning her down a bit, making her struggle with her vanity versus her wanting to set things right).


  

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buckshot defunct
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98. "hunh. Well I dunno what to tell you then"
In response to Reply # 97


  

          

I guess an "I disagree" would suffice.

>This right here is the crux of our disagreement. If you buy
>into his "I'm doing it for my family" then you won't see that
>there's a problem.

See, I don't see it as an "I'm doing it for my family" thing. I think it's an "I'm doing it for ME" thing. He's the one who wants to be "normal". The rest of them don't give a shit.

> Arrested Development is very funny
>but the name IMO is dead on: none of the characters or
>relationships are at all developed.

I take the name as an allusion to the fact that these people are completely stifled, and will never grow or progress. Again, this illustrates Michael's flaw. He doesn't get it. The joke is on him.

>Michael often seems like
>the only person affected by the others' actions. If Gob
>screws up, Lindsay and the mother rarely care or get upset.
>Buster's antics are almost always separate issues.

Yeah, this is true. But that's mainly because he's bringing it upon himself. And I can *sorta* see where this could turn people off. But I should be clear on something that maybe didn't get across before:

I don't want to 'save' AD. I want to sit back, let the writers go nuts, and enjoy the madness while it lasts. Nitpicking on a message board won't change things, and even if it did, I'm not sure it would be worth it. It'd be like gnawing off your own leg to escape a bear trap. Sure, you'd survive. But things would never quite be the same again.

>The gags in this show are funny but the
>storylines are not tight at all IMO and that is the achilles
>heel of the show.

So what's the problem with AD again? Is it Michael's character or the storylines?

>In AD, the business and the family life are fairly separate
>and consequences are, many times, nil.

Here's another instance where I can see how it would turn people off, but I still wouldn't change it. The lack of consequence thing. It goes back to that 'mental ward' thing I mentioned earlier. It's a world gone mad, devoid of consequence. And yet Michael insists on living by some code- and expecting others to do the same.

>"Another quasi-Oedipal overtone you have is the George/Michael
>clash. These two patriachal figures having some bizarre tug of
>war over the fate of the family business. I think you'd lose a
>lot of that by casting a female lead."
>
>I think you could easily make Lindsay have similar problems
>with George and her own daughter.

I disagree. The father/son elements are far too pivotal to this show. It's not a sexism thing, it's an archetypal thing. A female lead would leave far too many holes in the show. And I don't know what you would fill them with and still be able to maintain the show's integrity.

>They made this argument on the DVD commentary as well but I
>think, again, it's part of the problem. Basically you are
>explaining exactly the issue that I'm trying to fix. Michael
>is supposed to be the person that you identify with however he
>is possibly the hardest preson to get a grasp on.

Evidently you've been blessed with a lifetime of healthy, functional relationships. I'm happy for you. Unfortunately, I can relate to Michael a great deal. Who hasn't played the Michael role in a relationship before? You just keep trying to fix things that are not in your power to fix. You feel like the last sane mind on earth. You *know* that things will get better if you *just work hard enough*! These are not weak motivations to me. These are incredibly real and relatable. I've had "Michael Bluth moments" before. I've yet to experience a "Tobias moment" (For which I am quite greatful)


Anyways...I think our viewpoints are so fundamentally different that there's really no point in furthering this discussion. I feel I have a pretty good grasp on your opinion now, but I still completely disagree with it. It's been fun though.





  

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SoulHonky
Member since Jan 21st 2003
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Wed Sep-28-05 04:55 PM

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101. "Now I see the issue"
In response to Reply # 98
Wed Sep-28-05 04:56 PM by SoulHonky

          

"Here's another instance where I can see how it would turn people off, but I still wouldn't change it."

I like AD and probably wouldn't go in and change it. I was more pinpointing the problems. I was more looking at it to find where it failed for the next time a show like this came about. The show is what it is. A lot of critically acclaimed show that fail face similar problems, like Freaks and Geeks, NewsRadio, etc.

  

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dro
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23. "i felt "something" like this after tonight's episode"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

this is my favorite comedy from recent years (yes, more than curb, entourage (if you want to call it that), family guy, and bbc's office) but at this point, yes its 2 episodes into the season so i'll reserve total judgement, but there just seems to be a tiredness to the formula. you can't say they've exhausted their possibilities as a show, as its not like they had possibilities in the first place, but tonight the storyline just seemed so rediculous and quirky that it felt like too much. I mean, the characters stepping into the scene are sometimes the best part anyways (gob and tobias stole, if not saved, the show tonight), but the central story didn't seem natural, even for this show. maybe we should just take it as it is and just laugh at the rediculousness of the characters rather than focusing on its level of quirkiness.

however, a post like this this early on in the season? it doesn't bode well for the rest. i'm calling it now.

peace
mike

http://theonlyblogthatmatters.wordpress.com
http://www.last.fm/user/mdrohan/

  

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okaycomputer
Member since Dec 02nd 2002
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Mon Sep-26-05 11:31 PM

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26. "how do you ever enjoy tv if you think like this?"
In response to Reply # 0


          

its a sitcom.

Micheal drives the plot, everyone else does stupid stuff to make us laugh...this is a problem? I don't need any emotional investment, the show is one of maybe five truely funny shows in prime time and thats more than enough for me.

  

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Ishwip
Member since Jun 10th 2005
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Tue Sep-27-05 01:05 PM

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54. "RE: how do you ever enjoy tv if you think like this?"
In response to Reply # 26


          

>its a sitcom.
>
>Micheal drives the plot, everyone else does stupid stuff to
>make us laugh...this is a problem? I don't need any emotional
>investment, the show is one of maybe five truely funny shows
>in prime time and thats more than enough for me.

I agree.

As far as sitcoms go, all I want to do is laugh. For example, The Simpsons seems to catch it bad here (or maybe I just come in when PTP is in a bad mood), but the show is still making me chuckle. If I'm laughing, plot development or emotional investment don't matter.


______________________________
--I'M not a chicken...YOU'RE A TURKEY!!-

"My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable and I'm just ferocious!"

Nas>Rakim

  

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i_c_u_p_ G
Member since Jan 28th 2004
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Tue Sep-27-05 06:37 PM

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80. "RE: how do you ever enjoy tv if you think like this?"
In response to Reply # 26


          

>its a sitcom.
>
>Micheal drives the plot, everyone else does stupid stuff to
>make us laugh...this is a problem? I don't need any emotional
>investment, the show is one of maybe five truely funny shows
>in prime time and thats more than enough for me.

I also concur.

I thought last night show was really funny, I laughed out loud a few times. Of course the plot is going to be out there sometimes, its a sitcom. And Michael is the main character, so of course the other's would seem secondary or sometimes pointless.

_________________
"Do these hide my thunder?"
-Tobias Funke

  

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LA2Philly
Member since Oct 18th 2004
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Tue Sep-27-05 12:03 AM

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30. "Tonights episode really underwhelmed me...."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

other than some of Job's stuff (who wasnt nearly as funny as usual, the Ive had an erection before line was killer and the Chicken @ the end was good too, other than that, nothing really stands out.) Tobias was funny as usual, the chicken dancing had me dying, Michael usually slays me with his reaction lines but tonight his stuff just wasnt working....maybe it was because of the forced british stuff, that didnt work tonight, it can only get better though. I really loved last weeks episode (shit I watched it like 6 times)....iono if Ill even watch this more than twice.

---------------------------------
<--The drought is over

"have fun reveling in your pettiness tho" (C) Dula summing up 98% of OKS

"I didnt finish a damn thing...matter of fact I jerked off after she left."
-Kobe speaking to investigators

L D E A

  

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cantball
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Tue Sep-27-05 12:35 AM

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33. "I thought it was good"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

it was better than Curb's season premiere.

Does anyone know how many episodes the Office will be this year?
____________________
www.myspace.com/chamilton

Michael: George Michael, I’m sure that Egg is a very nice person. I just don’t want you spending all your money...

George Michael: Ann.

Michael: ... getting her all glittered up for Easter, you know?

  

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dgonsh
Member since Aug 14th 2002
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Tue Sep-27-05 12:49 AM

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34. "watch what you say. seriously!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

look, we can all decide why tonight wasnt the series jem, but gimme a break. this is arguably the best comedy on network tv. id argue it is. its so out there from the robot clone sitcoms weve grown to loathe. do we really want to be nitpicking about something as fresh and hilarious as arrested development? fact lies. this is fox. not hbo. they've pushed so many boundaries on this show that 99.9 percent of other major network sitcoms dont have the cajones to pull out.

PLEASE!! let this post be done with. and just enjoy it while its still on tv. cause soon, it will only be on dvd. this show cannot last much past this season, if that, with rating the way they are. just learn to love it. i beg/

********************************************************************




"I *always* quote myself. I'm the only reliable source on *most* subjects" - OKP's First Lady of Knowledge, Janey

  

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Yogaflame
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Tue Sep-27-05 12:56 AM

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36. "Dump that Goddamn avy"
In response to Reply # 34
Tue Sep-27-05 12:57 AM by Yogaflame

  

          

Seriously. It bothers me.

  

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dgonsh
Member since Aug 14th 2002
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Tue Sep-27-05 04:56 PM

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73. "i almost did last night, but now that i know it bothers you....um..."
In response to Reply # 36


  

          

naw, ill change it. im actually sick of it also. if you recommend a new one, ill change it. but only you

********************************************************************




"I *always* quote myself. I'm the only reliable source on *most* subjects" - OKP's First Lady of Knowledge, Janey

  

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Yogaflame
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76. "How about this?"
In response to Reply # 73


  

          

http://www.newhomes.org/NewHomes/uploadedImages/foresthill0403.jpg

  

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dgonsh
Member since Aug 14th 2002
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93. "LMAO!"
In response to Reply # 76


  

          

wow, thats a good memory you have. based on originality, ill give it a whirl

********************************************************************




"I *always* quote myself. I'm the only reliable source on *most* subjects" - OKP's First Lady of Knowledge, Janey

  

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SoulHonky
Member since Jan 21st 2003
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Tue Sep-27-05 02:08 AM

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39. "I completely disagree"
In response to Reply # 34


          

"do we really want to be nitpicking about something as fresh and hilarious as arrested development?"

Nitpicking is definitely needed because the only way a show like this will ever survive is if it is almost perfect. Rather than sit around and whine that America is too stupid for AD, I think it would be better to find out where AD went wrong and try to fix it or address that issue next time an unconventional sit-com comes along.

  

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dgonsh
Member since Aug 14th 2002
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74. "i retract my statement. you are absolutely right"
In response to Reply # 39


  

          

after revisiting my reply, i see that i am being quite ignorant. its out of love though. but, in fact, you are 100% correct.

********************************************************************




"I *always* quote myself. I'm the only reliable source on *most* subjects" - OKP's First Lady of Knowledge, Janey

  

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Shaun_G
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Tue Sep-27-05 07:01 PM

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81. "eh"
In response to Reply # 39


          

AD isn't really like any other sitcom I've ever seen on television so all this "it would be better if..." is just conjecture anyway.

Can one of the people that say Jason Batemen's character doesn't work because he's the only normal one, give examples of other sitcoms with the same style?

For me all that matters is that I laugh out load when I watch it. The only other consideration I have with a sitcom is if it's a "Black" sitcom and the comedy is too coonish (your defnition of coon may vary).
Since AD has no Black characters that consideration is null and void.

Shaun G.

  

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SoulHonky
Member since Jan 21st 2003
25919 posts
Tue Sep-27-05 07:43 PM

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86. "I would say Curb"
In response to Reply # 81


          

"Can one of the people that say Jason Batemen's character doesn't work because he's the only normal one, give examples of other sitcoms with the same style?"

The style doesn't matter. The issue is substance and all shows are similar at their core. If the relationships don't work, then the audience won't buy into it.

I would say AD is (with fewer storylines) Curb if Cheryl was the main character, was only dating Larry, and the shit he pulled was 100% worse (like blowing up a yacht). After a while you'd be like, Why the hell does she stay with him? In Seinfeld, if Jerry was normal and always talking about ditching his friends, you'd be like "Do it already!" But he was as crazy as them and they had a connection that they couldn't really make with others.

In AD, nobody really likes one another. They have a thin bond of family which supposedly keeps them together. The issue I have is that is the ONLY time that supposed bond comes into effect. The entire show is about the family screwing one another over but inexplicably at the end, Michael adheres to his sense of family and stays. IMO that's a cop out. Imagine being in a pitch meeting, "Why does the main character stay after his family shit on him?" "Um, he's spineless and has a screwed up sense of family." That doesn't really seem to work. If they aren't going to act like a family, you really can't use family bond as a reason why they stay together.

While many people might overlook this and say it doesn't matter, I would say that it matters for most viewers, and it is one of the reasons why the show doesn't register with many viewers.




  

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dgonsh
Member since Aug 14th 2002
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Wed Sep-28-05 02:18 AM

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95. "ICE!!!"
In response to Reply # 81


  

          


>Since AD has no Black characters that consideration is null
>and void.
>
>Shaun G.

********************************************************************




"I *always* quote myself. I'm the only reliable source on *most* subjects" - OKP's First Lady of Knowledge, Janey

  

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mrhood75
Member since Dec 06th 2004
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Tue Sep-27-05 12:56 AM

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35. "The show is still great. Y'all are just being contrary"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

And you probably have been reading too much David Mamet.

-----------------

www.albumism.com

Checkin' Our Style, Return To Zero:

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bignick
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Tue Sep-27-05 02:17 AM

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41. "RE: The show is still great. Y'all are just being contrary"
In response to Reply # 35


  

          

or, we're adults with a different opinion than yours?
nah. that COULDN'T be it.

  

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mrhood75
Member since Dec 06th 2004
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Tue Sep-27-05 08:24 AM

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44. "Hmmmmm.... Nah, y'all are just wrong"
In response to Reply # 41


  

          

It's okay to be wrong sometimes though.

-----------------

www.albumism.com

Checkin' Our Style, Return To Zero:

https://www.mixcloud.com/returntozero/

  

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bignick
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Tue Sep-27-05 01:34 PM

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57. "RE: Hmmmmm.... Nah, y'all are just wrong"
In response to Reply # 44


  

          

>It's okay to be wrong sometimes though.


you should know.

  

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mrhood75
Member since Dec 06th 2004
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Tue Sep-27-05 04:43 PM

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72. "Oooooooooooh... burn!"
In response to Reply # 57


  

          

This post is only a few steps up from a "I'm gully because I don't like nerd rap" thread in The Lesson. Many of these arguments against AD here are the usual hipster counter-counter-culture fare. It's the equivalent of saying "I don't like The Wire because it doesn't have any characters I can relate to" or "America's Best Top Model is the best show on TV because it porrays real life drama."

-----------------

www.albumism.com

Checkin' Our Style, Return To Zero:

https://www.mixcloud.com/returntozero/

  

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bignick
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Thu Sep-29-05 12:40 PM

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102. "RE: Oooooooooooh... burn!"
In response to Reply # 72


  

          

all of what you just said is bullshit. i never said ANY of that.
the only thing that i have ever criticized that show for is the fact that i don't think its THAT funny.

  

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15
Member since Mar 01st 2005
9915 posts
Tue Sep-27-05 07:42 AM

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42. "GETouttaHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEa!!!!!!!!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

(c) odb

NO! LIST
Tom Petty
M J
Zeppelin
Springsteen
Neil Young
Eagles
Ray Charles
Madonna
Chuck Berry
South Park TV Songs
Justin Timberlake
"Food Glorious Food"
"Twilight Zone" theme
"A Boy Named Sue"
"Night Moves"
"The Situation"
"Superbowl Shuffle"

  

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dgonsh
Member since Aug 14th 2002
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Tue Sep-27-05 05:01 PM

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75. "thats what im saying ahmir, thats what im saying"
In response to Reply # 42
Tue Sep-27-05 05:01 PM by dgonsh

  

          

i hate that people are shitting on this show, even if its outta love. but, well, put it this way. fox has now made some changes from what it looks like. my often times favourite segment in the show is the "next time on AD", because it was fake, and was usually hilarious and random. but from what it seems, this is not the case as of last night. its now actually scenes from next week. who knows, maybe its a good idea. maybe viewers were to confused by it. i dont know. i still love this show leap years beyond any other show on non-cable television

********************************************************************




"I *always* quote myself. I'm the only reliable source on *most* subjects" - OKP's First Lady of Knowledge, Janey

  

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Melanism
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Tue Sep-27-05 07:56 AM

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43. "While I have enjoyed both episodes, one thing has been buggin me..."
In response to Reply # 0


          

...Why has Buster been virtually cut out of the first two episodes?

He's been on screen a total of 5 minutes.
---------------
http://melanism.com

"Love isn't something you feel, it's something you do. And if the person you're with doesn't want it, you know. Do yourself a favor and save it for someone that does."
--Nate Fisher, "Six Feet Under"

  

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okaycomputer
Member since Dec 02nd 2002
8090 posts
Tue Sep-27-05 10:59 AM

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52. "he looks sickly to me...must have dropped 50 lbs."
In response to Reply # 43


          

  

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B9
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Tue Sep-27-05 08:25 AM

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45. "To have an ensemble cast this varied you have to sacrifice sentiment"
In response to Reply # 0


          

I think to some degree the writers know this, which is why they ham it up anytime someone other than Michael or George Michael says something sincere (even with stock tear-jerker music at times).
I'm not going to write some master thesis about why the show gets away with basically offering little content, because I think it's clear that alot of people dislike it for the bulk that it leans heavily on and it would be both attacked and framed as an us vs them from the get go. But I will say that what makes this show entertaining, and which is really hard to pick up on with commercial breaks, is that for all the self-aware writting that goes into it, it's an actors show. None of it would work if you had any less of a cast in any set role. Not saying that Portia de Rossi is a great actress or Will Arnett is the most underappreciated actor of our times, but the casting is spot on and the actors make the writters job easy since the characters various archs are so detatched from one another. You gotta at least give it that.

  

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AFKAP_of_Darkness
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Tue Sep-27-05 08:30 AM

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46. "that's part of the problem... i don't like 'actor's vehicles'"
In response to Reply # 45


  

          

i think the craft of the actor should manifest itself in service of a story, rather than the supposed story serving as a flimsy excuse for hysterical gyrations and show-offery on the part of the actor.

_____________________

http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/287/6/c/the_wire_lineup__huge_download_by_dennisculver-d30s7vl.jpg
The man who thinks at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life - Muhammed Ali

  

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B9
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Tue Sep-27-05 09:15 AM

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49. "I don't think anyone is 'showoffry' on the show though"
In response to Reply # 46


          

>i think the craft of the actor should manifest itself in
>service of a story, rather than the supposed story serving as
>a flimsy excuse for hysterical gyrations and show-offery on
>the part of the actor.

I mean, basically all of GOBs character is based on slapstick (because he's stupid), yet I don't think it stretches beyond what the writers need out of the character; he's not taking a pratfall in every scene.
Buster has to have this "young man making old man expressions" face because of the back-story of a sheltered youngest child as the only companion to a control-freak mother that weaned him on 30s era musicals.
Tobias, prior to the third episode, was a fringe character that was sort of a victim of his own flailing in attempts to keep up with his wife; when he became the self-aware actor of the show, and the punching bag for the writers and producers, he game this over the top characterization of a shitty actor which is really very accurate.

Everyone else is just sort of straight characters meant to react to the three physical elements of the show, except for George Sr who for all intents is playing in a one man show. Will Arnett is stock hammy actor, but traditionally that's not what you think of David Cross as so he's not just "being David Cross", which would be grinning-in-your-face-as-I-insult-you. He gets to piss all over pretentious actors, and I'm glad for it.

  

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gmltheone
Member since Jun 11th 2003
8564 posts
Tue Sep-27-05 08:43 AM

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47. "You needed to read mamet to re-evalute this show?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>i'm starting to think that this show isn't actually that
>good
>
>tries a bit too hard to be quirky, doesn't it?
>
>and REDeye made a good point about the cast of wacky
>characters that forces you to identify with one straight
>man... it doesn't work
>
>there's no real point, no objective to most of the goings-on
>on the show... they're merely decorative, narrative, and maybe
>even a little condescending to the audience
>
>maybe i've just been reading too much David Mamet lately

It's a glib TV show. One that doesn't require reading mamet. I like mamet a lot, but some of his stuff can be pretentious and self-indulgent. *cough*Spartan*cough*


-------------
Favorite song of the moment...Where Would I Be (The Question) - Kindred The Family Soul

  

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AFKAP_of_Darkness
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Tue Sep-27-05 08:52 AM

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48. "i didn't read Mamet to re-evaluate the show"
In response to Reply # 47


  

          

but while i happened to be reading Mamet, some of what he was saying helped me put a finger on the vague feeling of dissatisfaction i always feel at the end of every episode.

i think even most of the show's most ardent fans know that feeling i'm talking about. it feels... incomplete, somehow. so we tell ourselves "well, maybe if it were an hour long" or "maybe if it were on HBO"

but i don't think an additional 30 minutes or the permission to say "cocksucker" is necessarily gonna fix the show's inherent flaws.

_____________________

http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/287/6/c/the_wire_lineup__huge_download_by_dennisculver-d30s7vl.jpg
The man who thinks at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life - Muhammed Ali

  

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gmltheone
Member since Jun 11th 2003
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Tue Sep-27-05 09:34 AM

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51. "Got it..."
In response to Reply # 48


  

          

>but while i happened to be reading Mamet, some of what he was
>saying helped me put a finger on the vague feeling of
>dissatisfaction i always feel at the end of every episode.
>
>i think even most of the show's most ardent fans know that
>feeling i'm talking about. it feels... incomplete, somehow. so
>we tell ourselves "well, maybe if it were an hour long" or
>"maybe if it were on HBO"
>
>but i don't think an additional 30 minutes or the permission
>to say "cocksucker" is necessarily gonna fix the show's
>inherent flaws.

None of those things will make it better. It's an empty show that's quirky and sometimes funny. I take it for what it is and never expect it to be much more than that. It doesn't take away from my enjoyment. For 30 minutes a week it's my theater of the absurd.

-------------
Favorite song of the moment...Where Would I Be (The Question) - Kindred The Family Soul

  

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Shaun_G
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Tue Sep-27-05 07:07 PM

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82. "empty?"
In response to Reply # 51


          

Please give some examples of "deep" sitcoms. Yes, AD is high on the silliness scale, but although some sitcoms may be more cerebral and less dependent on physical comedy, what sitcoms are deep anyway?

If you don't like it you don't like it but saying a network sitcom is "empty" makes little sense to me.

Shaun G.

  

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buckshot defunct
Member since May 02nd 2003
26345 posts
Tue Sep-27-05 09:33 AM

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50. "the only area that I feel AD falls short in"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Is that I can't really get emotionally invested in the characters. It's a funny, wacky show, and it makes me laugh a lot. But rarely do I *feel* anything. Now I don't know if I should even be holding that against AD, since I don't think it gives a crap whether or not I *feel* anything to begin with. And that's not really what I'm watching it for, either. But I question how long a show like this can last when it relies solely on the quirks. Say what you will about Everybody Loves Raymond, but it did have some genuine heartfelt moments. Hell, even Scrubs can tug at the heartstrings every now and then, and it deviates a bit from the traditional sitcom formula.

  

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kurlyswirl
Member since Jul 13th 2002
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Tue Sep-27-05 01:01 PM

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53. "I agree with all of this."
In response to Reply # 50


  

          

Although, as much as I'm amused by it, I rarely laugh out loud at it. I surprised myself last night when I LOL at Gob coming out all late for the chicken dance.

>Is that I can't really get emotionally invested in the
>characters. It's a funny, wacky show, and it makes me laugh a
>lot. But rarely do I *feel* anything. Now I don't know if I
>should even be holding that against AD, since I don't think it
>gives a crap whether or not I *feel* anything to begin with.
>And that's not really what I'm watching it for, either. But I
>question how long a show like this can last when it relies
>solely on the quirks.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
<-------------- You need to be watching this show.

kurly's Super-Duper Awesome™ DVD Collection:
http://www.dvdaficionado.com/dvds.html?cat=1&id=kurlyswirl

I be Scrobblin': http://www.last.fm/user/TasteeTreat

  

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Melanism
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Tue Sep-27-05 01:19 PM

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55. "Um, who were you emotionally vested in on "Seinfeld"?"
In response to Reply # 50


          

A show where a character's fiancee died and he shrugged like he lost his keys.
---------------
http://melanism.com

"Love isn't something you feel, it's something you do. And if the person you're with doesn't want it, you know. Do yourself a favor and save it for someone that does."
--Nate Fisher, "Six Feet Under"

  

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buckshot defunct
Member since May 02nd 2003
26345 posts
Tue Sep-27-05 01:38 PM

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58. "besides a small crush on Elaine? Nobody I guess"
In response to Reply # 55


  

          

Seinfeld pretty much broke all the rules and made it work. The characters are complete bastards. Cold, calloused, self-absorbed... but loveable. I can't write down a formula for why Seinfeld worked. I see your point though.

Maybe it has something to do with the nature of its humor. It was small in a sense. Absurd, but relatable. Very observational. "The Show About Nothing" All the little things in life we all experience, blown up into a grand and hilarious scope. You could relate. There is nobody on earth quite like George Costanza (except Larry David perhaps), but everybody's had a 'George moment'. In a weird way I still kinda cared what happened to the characters.

AD is more like a soap opera. There's all kinds of shit happening, and you really can't relate to any of it. It's still hilarious though.

I dunno... why do you have me comparing AD to Seinfeld in the first place?! I never once mentioned Seinfeld!

  

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kurlyswirl
Member since Jul 13th 2002
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Tue Sep-27-05 01:44 PM

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59. "Yup, yup."
In response to Reply # 58
Tue Sep-27-05 01:45 PM by kurlyswirl

  

          

Well, except for the crush on Elaine part. lol

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
<-------------- You need to be watching this show.

kurly's Super-Duper Awesome™ DVD Collection:
http://www.dvdaficionado.com/dvds.html?cat=1&id=kurlyswirl

I be Scrobblin': http://www.last.fm/user/TasteeTreat

  

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buckshot defunct
Member since May 02nd 2003
26345 posts
Tue Sep-27-05 01:52 PM

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61. "I love a woman who dances worse than I do"
In response to Reply # 59


  

          

The crush didn't really come about until the later seasons though. Once she started doing Cover Girl commercials and stuff. She's a classy lady!

  

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kurlyswirl
Member since Jul 13th 2002
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Tue Sep-27-05 04:15 PM

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69. "Damn."
In response to Reply # 61


  

          

I don't remember the CG commercials at all!

What I liked about Elaine was she wasn't a girly-girl, but she was still feminine. She didn't wear tight or revealing clothes (except in that one episode with Russell Dalyrimple), yet she was still sexy because of her personality. And yeah, I liked her look better in the later seasons when she de-poofed and darkened her hair and wore more stylish outfits.

>The crush didn't really come about until the later seasons
>though. Once she started doing Cover Girl commercials and
>stuff. She's a classy lady!


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
<-------------- You need to be watching this show.

kurly's Super-Duper Awesome™ DVD Collection:
http://www.dvdaficionado.com/dvds.html?cat=1&id=kurlyswirl

I be Scrobblin': http://www.last.fm/user/TasteeTreat

  

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buckshot defunct
Member since May 02nd 2003
26345 posts
Tue Sep-27-05 04:28 PM

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70. "maybe it's maybeline."
In response to Reply # 69


  

          

I'm fuzzy on the details. It could have even been for Pantene Pro V or something (keep in mind, this is well after Elaine's caucasiofro years) But it was something along those lines.

  

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kurlyswirl
Member since Jul 13th 2002
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Tue Sep-27-05 05:55 PM

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79. "Oh! Right, right..."
In response to Reply # 70


  

          

She did commercials for hair color...L'Oreal, I think.

>I'm fuzzy on the details. It could have even been for Pantene
>Pro V or something (keep in mind, this is well after Elaine's
>caucasiofro years) But it was something along those lines.
>
>


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
<-------------- You need to be watching this show.

kurly's Super-Duper Awesome™ DVD Collection:
http://www.dvdaficionado.com/dvds.html?cat=1&id=kurlyswirl

I be Scrobblin': http://www.last.fm/user/TasteeTreat

  

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Melanism
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Tue Sep-27-05 02:01 PM

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62. "I only had you comapre the two because knock against AD was silly"
In response to Reply # 58


          


---------------
http://melanism.com

"Love isn't something you feel, it's something you do. And if the person you're with doesn't want it, you know. Do yourself a favor and save it for someone that does."
--Nate Fisher, "Six Feet Under"

  

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buckshot defunct
Member since May 02nd 2003
26345 posts
Tue Sep-27-05 02:07 PM

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63. "I wasn't knocking"
In response to Reply # 62


  

          

And I don't see how it's all that silly

  

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REDeye
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Tue Sep-27-05 04:31 PM

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71. "for the most part, you have the answer right here."
In response to Reply # 58


          

>All the little things
>in life we all experience, blown up into a grand and hilarious
>scope. You could relate. There is nobody on earth quite like
>George Costanza (except Larry David perhaps), but everybody's
>had a 'George moment'. In a weird way I still kinda cared what
>happened to the characters.

(BTW, I think it's a valid comparison, since both have characters who on the surface seem like people no one would willingly identify with. But Seinfeld pulls it off, where AD doesn't.)

It was these George moments (and Jerry moments too) that people identified with. People saw themselves in the characters' mishaps, even though they were blown out of proportion comic effect on the show.

That's all you really need in order to have people identify with the characters. Have moments -- lots of them, preferably -- where the viewer can say "I've been in that situation" or "I've done that" or "I've wanted to do that."

I don't get that out of Arrested Development.

Curiously, Larry David was on NPR last week. The interviewer made a comment about how he sees Larry in some situations that seem so painful that he just wants to turn off the TV. Larry said he hadn't thought about until recently when someone else told him the same thing. I think that is the main reason why I don't watch CYE. For me, it's like watching a guy get kick in the nuts for a half hour. Yeah, watching someone get *hit* in the nuts can be funny, but getting *kicked* in the nuts again and again and again... Just a little too painful.


RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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Shaun_G
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Tue Sep-27-05 07:18 PM

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84. "what sitcoms do you identify with?"
In response to Reply # 71


          

I guess I just look at sitcoms differently than you do, but I can't really think of any sitcoms I really liked where I truly identified with the characters.

I guess identifying with the characters somehow makes the sitcom funnier to you?

All of my favorite sitcoms have one thing in common...I laugh out loud while watching them. The only sitcom off the top of my head that I can say I identified with was "A Different World". It was funny but I don't think it would make my top ten.

It's silly but the reasons people are giving for not liking AD annoy me more than the actual dislike itself.

Shaun G.

  

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SoulHonky
Member since Jan 21st 2003
25919 posts
Tue Sep-27-05 08:11 PM

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87. "RE: what sitcoms do you identify with?"
In response to Reply # 84


          

For most sit-coms, you can identify with the situation, if not the characters. Not everyone can identify with Kramer but everyone's been unable to find their car in a garage. With AD, both the situations and the characters are hard to connect with. That's a hard sell.

  

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REDeye
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Wed Sep-28-05 12:19 AM

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90. "perhaps it's your understanding of the phrase "identify with""
In response to Reply # 84


          

Well, to answer your question, here are a few sitcoms I have identified with, off the top of my head.

Seinfeld, Cosby Show, Cheers, Sanford and Son, Get Smart, Frasier.

Really, a bunch of shows that don't have a lot of similarities on the surface. I guess if you knew me, it might make more sense. The only show I can think of that I laugh at even though I can't think of how it relates to me: Will and Grace. But I'm sure if I spent some time thinking about it, I'd find the connection.

>I guess I just look at sitcoms differently than you do, but I
>can't really think of any sitcoms I really liked where I truly
>identified with the characters.

It's not about looking at them differently. It's about looking at them even slightly beneath the surface.

So, this is the part where you say, "They're just sitcoms! I don't want to think about them, I just want to laugh." Which is cool. But don't it silly because I can explain why I find something funny.


>It's silly but the reasons people are giving for not liking AD
>annoy me more than the actual dislike itself.

I don't like AD because it doesn't make me laugh. Simple enough. The fact that I can explain why it doesn't make me laugh doesn't change that.

People's attempts to dismiss this concept of identifying with the characters are sillier than anything else in this post. If you don't want to analyze (or overanalyze, really, I'll admit it) what works and and doesn't work about this show, that's fine. But don't dismiss it. Just because you don't want to think about why something works doesn't mean it can't be explained.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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mrhood75
Member since Dec 06th 2004
43838 posts
Tue Sep-27-05 01:21 PM

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56. "For me, it's a sitcom. The only thing I require is for it to be funny"
In response to Reply # 50


  

          


I have no idea where this obsession with "sentiment" and being "emotionally involved" with the characters is coming from. (I'm not singling you out, most of the show's detractors seem to be harping on this). The show is goofy, the character's do and say weird shit, it makes me laugh, I'm happy.

Sentiment and obvious efforts to pull at your heart-strings always seem tacked on in sitcoms. It's why I didn't watch Home Improvement or Everybody Loves Raymond or Will and Grace. Most of the time it's just phony and designed to win points with Emmy voters or something. That's why I like the Simpsons: Homer never gets any smarter, Bart's always a wise-ass and Burns is alway evil. I don't want life lessons or emotional development from sitcoms, I want comedy. And AD provides that in spades.

But maybe that's just my opinion.

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buckshot defunct
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60. "I don't 'require' sentiment, either."
In response to Reply # 56


  

          

But everybody is having a field day pointing out what is 'missing' from AD, and for me that's the only component that lacks. I love the show. I don't really care to see a 'very special' episode of Arrested Development. But the fact still remains that I don't care one iota for what ultimately happens with these characters. And I do think that some form of emotional investment is necessary for a long-running sitcom. The show itself doesn't have to be sentimental, but I think you'd have to care *a little bit* about these characters if you're going to let them into your living room every week for an extended period of time.


>I have no idea where this obsession with "sentiment" and being
>"emotionally involved" with the characters is coming from.
>(I'm not singling you out, most of the show's detractors seem
>to be harping on this).

Thanks for not singling me out... But using words like 'obsession', 'detractors' and 'harping', this still comes off as a loaded statement. Don't file me into the Haters column. I love this TV show.

>Sentiment and obvious efforts to pull at your heart-strings
>always seem tacked on in sitcoms. It's why I didn't watch Home
>Improvement or Everybody Loves Raymond or Will and Grace.

Yikes, you're kind of stacking the deck there, aren't you? I've only seen a handful of ELR, but there appears to have been some decent 'moments' on the show. But I'm calling foul on the Home Improvement mention. That's no fair.

I'm not talking about a Last-5-Minutes-of-Full-House brand of sitcom sentimentality here. I'm talking about characters that feel like real people that you can care about. I haven't gotten there with AD yet. That show is a hilarious acquaintance, but not necessarily a friend yet, you know?

> That's why I like the Simpsons:
>Homer never gets any smarter, Bart's always a wise-ass and
>Burns is alway evil. I don't want life lessons or emotional
>development from sitcoms, I want comedy. And AD provides that
>in spades.

Well what you are talking about there is a never-changing status quo. Which pretty much exists in all sitcoms. I don't see what this has to do with anything else you've mentioned though. But it's funny you should bring up The Simpsons, because I think that show has had some really sentimental moments over the years! And you can't tell me you don't care about the characters. Come on man. You know everytime Homer is in the doghouse you can't wait for him and Marge to make amends. Admit it.

And what about Futurama?! Some of those episodes were downright Kleenex-worthy.


  

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mrhood75
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64. "RE: I don't 'require' sentiment, either."
In response to Reply # 60


  

          


>But everybody is having a field day pointing out what is
>'missing' from AD, and for me that's the only component that
>lacks. I love the show. I don't really care to see a 'very
>special' episode of Arrested Development. But the fact still
>remains that I don't care one iota for what ultimately happens
>with these characters. And I do think that some form of
>emotional investment is necessary for a long-running sitcom.
>The show itself doesn't have to be sentimental, but I think
>you'd have to care *a little bit* about these characters if
>you're going to let them into your living room every week for
>an extended period of time.

First of all, from the lloks of the ratings, this isn't going to be a long-running sitcom, but that's neither here nor there. Second, I've always found the idea of "emotional investment" in characters extremely overrrated. I've never bought into, the argument that in order to enjoy a movie, film, book, whatever that there must be a character that you can identify that or feel sympathy toward.

>Thanks for not singling me out... But using words like
>'obsession', 'detractors' and 'harping', this still comes off
>as a loaded statement. Don't file me into the Haters column. I
>love this TV show.

Well, I shouldn't have replied directly to your response. My feelings were more of a reaction to the general expressions of this thread, not to yours in particular. However, I do have a prior history of arguing with you over stupid shit, so I felt I should honor that.

>Yikes, you're kind of stacking the deck there, aren't you?
>I've only seen a handful of ELR, but there appears to have
>been some decent 'moments' on the show. But I'm calling foul
>on the Home Improvement mention. That's no fair.

Okay, Home Improvment was a low blow; I apologize. I never did get how ELR lasted for so long. The humor never really struck a chord with me. It was the basic wacky family sitcom. Maybe it's because I hate Patricia Heaton.

>I'm not talking about a Last-5-Minutes-of-Full-House brand of
>sitcom sentimentality here. I'm talking about characters that
>feel like real people that you can care about. I haven't
>gotten there with AD yet. That show is a hilarious
>acquaintance, but not necessarily a friend yet, you know?

I think there are moments of genuine feeling in AD that people are either forgetting or ignoring: A lot of the stuff between Michael and George Michael, and the scene at the end of season #2 where George gives his speech about sacrifice for the family and heading to jail (of course it was all bullshit, but effective at the time). And I'd also like to reiterate the Seinfeld example, which had no sympathetic characters, yet is generally loved by all but the contrarians around here.

>Well what you are talking about there is a never-changing
>status quo. Which pretty much exists in all sitcoms. I don't
>see what this has to do with anything else you've mentioned
>though. But it's funny you should bring up The Simpsons,
>because I think that show has had some really sentimental
>moments over the years! And you can't tell me you don't care
>about the characters. Come on man. You know everytime Homer is
>in the doghouse you can't wait for him and Marge to make
>amends. Admit it.

I guess I was trying to make the point that the Simpsons is mostly just concerned with being funny. It's not working as much as it used to, but that's whatever. And I've never liked the sentimenal episodes of the Simpsons (I like to call them the Lisa Episodes), they only time they ever work is when they're finely tempered with good doeses of humor (e.g. the Homer soul-mate episode).

>And what about Futurama?! Some of those episodes were
>downright Kleenex-worthy.

Yeah, I got seriously broken up with the Fry's pet dog episode. And Fry rearanging the stars to get Leela to love him was pretty touching. But I never was never emotionally invested in Fry. He was always a doofus.

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REDeye
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65. "What I love is..."
In response to Reply # 0


          

What I love is how in the other post, people were saying that the reason people don't watch the show is that it's too intelligent for the masses of people who would rather watch stuff like King of Queens.

Then, in here we have all the "it's just a sitcom" and "all it has to do is make me laugh" type of comments.

The two different camps should get together and figure out their party's platform.

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mrhood75
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77. "How about it's an intelligent sitcom that makes me laugh?"
In response to Reply # 65


  

          

That works for me. The humor stays intelligent and continues to make me laugh. I can't ask for anything more.

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REDeye
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78. "That's fine."
In response to Reply # 77


          

>That works for me. The humor stays intelligent and continues
>to make me laugh. I can't ask for anything more.

Now, how about those cats who say if you don't laugh it, it's because the show is over your head.


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Shaun_G
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85. "RE: That's fine."
In response to Reply # 78


          

>>That works for me. The humor stays intelligent and
>continues
>>to make me laugh. I can't ask for anything more.
>
>Now, how about those cats who say if you don't laugh it, it's
>because the show is over your head.

See usually I hate when people use this excuse but in this case there might be a ring of truth to it, even though I think it's more a case of being observant than being intelligent. So many of the jokes on AD are built on previous jokes or situations on earlier shows. Personally, I think that's why the show is going to ultimately get cancelled.

After every show I go to a website that discusses the ep and after reading the posts I realize that I've missed 10% of the jokes and I don't miss a second of it.

Shaun G.

  

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jefleejohnson
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66. "This show is SOAP Redux"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue Sep-27-05 03:25 PM by jefleejohnson

  

          

The writers and creators obviously were big fans of SOAP and it's influenced in every frame of dialogue/narration and character development and gags.

I've never heard anyone pick up on that either. It's like most people forgot about SOAP. Even the Music is going in a vaudeville Soap direction. It's SOAP for the 21st century.

http://www.tv.com/soap/show/605/summary.html













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ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
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Wed Sep-28-05 01:23 AM

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91. "I think you're onto something here, Mr. Coolidge."
In response to Reply # 66
Wed Sep-28-05 01:25 AM by ZooTown74

  

          

And I say that not because Soap is in my top 5 all time sitcoms. A forgotten gem. The narration was often an ironic commentary on the action at the beginning and end of the episode, the characters all had quirks (in part because the show was parodying a soap opera), and there was little to no genuine heart, just an emphasis on jokes and story. I must find the season 4 DVD post haste.

BTW, I read somewhere that this show (and creator Susan Harris) was directly responsible for the introduction of the sitcom season-finale "cliffhanger." Does anyone know if this is true? Certainly seems that way, as I can't think of any other sitcoms before '77 that did it... and before anyone says Good Times did it with the death of James, they should remember that that occurred at the *beginning* of season 4.
___________________________________________________________________________________________
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ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
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94. "Aww, fuck, I meant Mr. Johnson. My bad. n/m"
In response to Reply # 91


  

          

___________________________________________________________________________________________
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Brother's gonna work it out
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Premiere
Member since Sep 02nd 2005
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Wed Sep-28-05 01:50 PM

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96. "I don't see how no one here who's seen all the episodes"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

(which I seriously doubt all of you have, and I'm sure many of you feel shouldn't be a requirement with a sitcom) has never had feling for these characters. The first season had plenty of moments that were about how much these characters have to care about each other to stay around this long. Even Michael, with all of his problems trying to fix a family that will never be fixed, is given the opurtunity to look like there is a definite reason for sticking around: he loves these people. He loves these people like nobody should, and as much as they screw each oher over, they all pretty much feel the same way. The characters are very much exaggerated (only George Michael and Buster seem real, and are usually the most likable characters) I probably have too much emotional investment in this show (which I've noticed I'm pretty much completely alone in in PTP) to talk about it in an unbiased manner, but I'll be damned if I haven't had more than a few Futurama moments with this show. Here's a little list of moments that people who've seen a helluva lot of the show should know:

Michael and GM burning down the banana stand in episode 2
Tobias and Lindsay realizing they have some kind of connection in the season 1 finale
Michael's apology to the family on that same episode
Michael and his dad at the end of Sad Sack
Michael and Buster talking about family at the end of Queen for a Day
And I cried on the season 2 finale, in much the same manner I cried at Futurama's episode about Fry and his brother and the clover.

  

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cantball
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99. "Someone send help"
In response to Reply # 96


  

          


____________________
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Michael: George Michael, I’m sure that Egg is a very nice person. I just don’t want you spending all your money...

George Michael: Ann.

Michael: ... getting her all glittered up for Easter, you know?

  

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Buddy_Gilapagos
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Wed Sep-28-05 04:52 PM

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100. "Sitcom Syndrome"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Happens to the best of shows. With time the characters become caricatures of themselves. I feel this season is a little off, but I can't help but feeling its because there is so much pressure for the show to be funny. I thought they would have done more inside jokes about the status of the show.

BTW - who ever said Jason Bateman should be off the show is retarded.
**********

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queenisisdivine
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Thu Sep-29-05 01:54 PM

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103. "RE:"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>there's no real point, no objective to most of the goings-on
>on the show... they're merely decorative, narrative, and maybe
>even a little condescending to the audience


Funny I thought all those things are what made the show "work".




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