Considering that this past holiday weekend is, by all accounts, the kick off of the summer season, and a great time to barbecue with friends and just all around get into The Spirit Of It All, there were almost too many opportunities to sit in a darkened room and melt your brain out through your ears. In actual theaters you had Fast and Furious 6, which is a home run by the way, and Hangover III, which, no comment. (There were other movies, too, those are just the big ones. But people like Frances Ha, for example, and there’s still Star Trek and stuff out there. Plenty of movies if you hate being out in the world with your loved ones honoring the memory of those who served.) But this past holiday weekend you did not even need to leave the house there was so much junk to watch. For example: a great new episode of Mad Men. That show is so great this season. But much more importantly: new episodes of Arrested Development on Netflix! And Behind the Candelabra on HBO! Which one do you want to talk about FIRST? Personally, I have only watched the first two episodes of Arrested Development, and all I am willing to say at this point is that I’m very glad they released new episodes of Arrested Development if only to shut people up who would not stop talking about how they were going to release new episodes of Arrested Development. At a certain point, enough is enough David Karp. On the other hand, Behind the Candelabra! I wish I could have seen that movie without knowing the story behind it, but that’s the thing about the story behind it, it’s such an amazing story you have to know it. Also, no amount of knowing the story behind it can prepare you for ROB LOWE. Good Lord. He is going to sweep Best Nightmare Face at next year’s VMA’s. You know who else was good in that movie? Dan Aykroyd. Weirdly. No offense to any of the Aykroyd heads out there who only watched the movie for Aykroyd.

All in all, how glad are you that you canceled all of your plans and just stayed inside for four days? America #1.

Comments (106)
  1. I saw the 1st 2 episodes of Arrest Development and think they are nice. IFC had a marathon so it helped me to remember all the running jokes. I love the maritime law stuff.

  2. I was pleasantly surprised by Season 4 of Arrested Development. I was afraid it would just be a parade of call-backs, the way Community has felt to me recently, but it was very much its own thing. And the references they did rely on were few enough and and subtle enough (for the most part) that they felt earned, or at least OK.

    The structure was bizarre and not quite as friendly as a normal sitcom, replacing narrative with a big puzzle to solve. (“OK, so this scene must be at the same time Lindsay is living in the penthouse? But then when does Lucille 2 come in?”) But that was fun, too, in its own way.

    The last scene was very :-( but I kind of loved that.

    All that said, some of the episodes were sort of bad. Oh well!

    B+! When’s Season Five????

    • I’m only partway in, but the logistics definitely made it a different show. The speed of the original has been replaced by a more conventional pacing. And there’s definitely some stilted moments.

      I’ll have to wait for the end, but so far I think it’s good. Honestly, though, I would have been OK if it just stayed done. Not everything has to come back.

      • For sure. If it hadn’t come back, that would have been fine. But even if it had come back and been truly awful? That would’ve been fine too! Who cares? There will always be the first three seasons!

      • the speed was actually one of the things i actually liked. i loved how everything was so well tied together and when i re-watched a second time it was fun to look for the other cast members storylines throughout the rest of the show. everything else was kind of…ugh.

  3. I spent a big part of my weekend watching Season 4 of AD and I loved it. Then today I got up for work and remembered that I’m working from home and I was like “[Gob.gif].”

  4. Frances Ha was surprisingly great. On paper, it’s a feature-length Girls episode — young white creatives in NYC, struggling to find their place in the world.

    But the thing Gerwig doesn’t get credit for (particularly in her unscripted contributions to movies like Baghead) is just how mean her insights can be. Combined with Noah Baumbach, she produced a story that’s pretty lacerating in its small moments, picking at people’s little absurdities and failings. It wasn’t as cruel as Margot at the Wedding, but it had its moments.

    A lot of people said the movie was twee, but what it really is is earnest. But it’s not just earnest in its lust for life, but also in its casual cruelty. Feelings certainly aren’t spared. People speak to one another with childlike casualness, whether dispensing affection or harsh judgement.

    I think the most refreshing part was that Frances’ big resolution wasn’t the attainment of a relationship, but instead her own small place in the world.

    Also: Modern Love will never leave my head again.

  5. I’ve gotten through nine episodes of the new Arrested Development season. Some of the episodes are pretty weak; some are pretty funny. It seems to directly tie to the character the episode is centered on. Unfortunately, most of the episodes so far have centered around the less-funny characters (Lindsay, Michael, George Sr).

    The two Tobias episodes I’ve seen so far (episodes 5 and 9) have been the best. The other really great episode was the one Gob episode I’ve seen. Still hoping for a Lucille and/or Buster episode.

    • There is a Buster episode toward the end and it’s one of my favorites. It looks like Tony Hale may have had some of the biggest scheduling issues, as he doesn’t factor into other episodes nearly enough, and his individual episode is a little more divorced from the rest. But it’s worth it, with several of the best moments of the season.

    • Wait wait wait…George Sr. is a less funny character?

  6. After like 5 drafts of my thoughts on the new season of AD, I’m scrapping them all to just say that I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

  7. I watched the first two episodes of Arrested Development. My basic reaction is – meh?

    I had low expectations and avoided trailers and articles about season 4, but I’m still sort of disappointed so far. I’ll watch the rest of season 4, and hope it gets better.

    Episode one was much better than episode two in my opinion.

    • Agreed. I got a little sick of the yurts after a while.

    • I think episode 2 is the worst episode if that helps!

    • They get progressively better. The first two eps are the weakest so far.

      • I watched just the first one and it wasn’t good, was it? Lot of kind of, not quite homophobic jokes. And jokes about George Sr being racist that were somehow just kind of on the nose. Bleh, who cares, because the sun is shining outdoors, and when it isn’t we can marathon New Girl or some such thing.

        • Shelby Williams  |   Posted on May 28th, 2013 +4

          those kind of, not quite homophobic jokes will be kind of, actually totally justified later in the season

    • 2 & 3 were the low points of the season.

      Honestly, I’ve gotten almost as much enjoyment since finishing all 15 from reading threads online of people pointing out subtle running jokes, possible clues regarding certain unresolved plots, etc. The 30+ min runtimes do feel bloated in a lot of the episodes, and the editing (timeline gymnastics aside) is much slower than previous seasons—but in review, this was an incredibly dense season in terms of gags, visuals, references in dialogue, etc. You could tell they had 7 years worth of jotted down ideas they wanted to drop in there.

      I also thought they balanced referring to season 1-3 without overdoing it. There may be a couple passing “I’ve made a huge mistake” allusions, but on the whole they moved to a new (and funnier) gag when GOB has an epiphany.

    • Definitely stick with it. It really picks up after the GOB episode.

    • This was my reaction too, and this thread is making me feel a lot better. I stayed in and watched TV almost all day yesterday, which is something I almost never do, but instead of watching any more Arrested, I started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race for the first time. Boy were you guys right about that show.

      • When is Drag Race on? You guys make me wanna watch it.

        • I don’t know but seasons 2 and 3 are on Hulu Plus. I’m halfway through season 2 now and it is just amazing.

          • I am jealous because I wish I could watch Drag Race for the first time again. I remember falling in love with Jujubee at first sight like it was only yesterday!

        • It really is the best show and I’m glad you’re catching up, Steph. The show airs during regular season times on Monday nights at like 10 or something? But it’s on Logo so like nobody gets to see it. They do put all the episodes on rupaulsdragrace.com the day after, though! So that was usually my Tuesday after work routine.

  8. I very much enjoyed the new season. Some of the episodes were not my favorite, but once I got to the Gob episode I was completely hooked and loved the rest.

    I’m one of those people who’s been waiting seven years for more, and I was very excited when they announced it was for real happening, but I like to think I wasn’t that annoying about it. I’m just glad my favorite show had a chance for ANUSTART.

  9. I went to an Arrested Development viewing party on Sunday but we only got through like five of them, and there were people there who didn’t understand the concept of actually watching the thing everybody has gathered together to watch and talked over a lot of it so I feel like I need to now rewatch some of the episodes. But I guess it’s funny-ish so far? I couldn’t really follow the stuff with the business, but that might just be my own dumb-ness.

    I very much want to watch Behind the Candelabra. I don’t know a lot about it except that all of the drag queens I follow on Twitter were raving about it, and it seems like it could kind of be a Blingee in movie form? So probably the best.

    • In midtown they’re showcasing Liberace’s clothes, car, and piano. All look like they’ve been attacked by a bedazzler possessed.

    • My friends father, passing through the room over heard “anti-social network” and spent the next 5 episodes telling the whole party about how much he loved that line.

    • Ugh I am so glad I didn’t go to a watch party at a bar like I’d considered doing because the idea of people talking over the episodes the whole time sounds HO-RR-I-BLE.

  10. “Sometimes, dead is better.” -My thoughts on Season 4 of Arrested Development so far.

  11. They start off slow, specially the George Sr episodes, but overall I love, love, love the new season of Arrested Development.

      • i honestly did love the addition of terry crews. i love him. love the reality show he has/had? with his family on the bet. i just think herbert love was a good kind of classic arrested character.

    • Ugh the George Sr. episode. I did NOT like the silent girl, and I straight-up hated Roger Sterling’s broken English girlfriend. What’s the joke with her? That she is Asian and speaks loudly with an accent?

      • didn’t like either of those characters either, kept waiting for the silent girl to pay off and it never did

        and i think roger sterling’s girlfriend was asian so she could connect GOB with the chinese or something but that didn’t seem entirely necessary and I only vaguely remember all that went on with the wall scheme

        I did like how George Sr kept thinking that the wall was going to be built vertically not horizontally

  12. I think Behind the Candelabra is Steven Soderbergh’s masterpiece. Amazing.

  13. I’m out of the country and have not seen any of those things. Instead, I wish to talk about an amazing pair of pants I found. The front was made of jeans, and the back was made of sweatpants. They were business in the front, pajama party in the back, and they were spectacular.

  14. Mad men has been going for broke since the sort of boring season opener. Peggy stabbing her boyfriend seemed a little too “crazy-TV-show-plot-point-this-isn’t-real-life” to me. That can also be said of that time the lawnmower ran over someone’s foot, but that was so amazing it didn’t bother me as much. bloodspatter.gif.

    • SPOILER ALERT! For reals, though, I’m almost ready for my vacation to end so I can get back to catch up on Mad Men. Also Breaking Bad, which I am totes hooked on. I’m like halfway through season 3. Have you guys heard of that show? It’s not bad!

  15. seriously though, i have been needing to vent this. we have no idea what is going on with half of the story lines and then the other half are stuck in mid-conflict or merely hanging with no resolution. never mind that the whole thing was slightly racist and really fucking rapey, what the fuck was with the end? there was no end! what happened to maeby? what happened to lindsay? their stories were just left hanging. i really enjoyed the transition from episode to episode. it was brilliant how they were able to integrate the stories and make it run seamlessly…but there was no ending. are we getting more episodes? to me it seems like the whole project was just a “who’s who” of hollywood arrested development fans. sure some of the cameos were fun but a lot of them seemed un-necessary and kind of fucking lame. instead of focusing on something cohesive for the sake of the viewer, it was like they were jacking off for the industry. it wasn’t the industry that thirsted for a fourth season, it was the viewers. we wanted some sort of closure. and now it’s just like, nooooope. no closure for you. ugh. there better be another season or a movie or something. this shit is not cool.

    • Mild spoilers ahead:

      It DID feel like it was building to more of a climax at Cinco de Cuatro. Once a character’s major episodes were done, they kind of fell away, which makes sense, but still. Plus with the circumstances of this season being kind of a one off, I probably expected more closure. But seasons 1-3 all ended similarly. And they’re obviously intending to lead into a movie; the whole Michael / Ron Howard plot was a meta setup for that.

      • i understood all that. but there were characters that they completely forgot about after their prospective episodes. i feel like in particular we just lost maeby, and she is one of my favorites. and sasha baren cohens wife is pretty yes, but she is not my favorite actress and she definitely was a pretty boring character. but we focused more on her story line than on the story lines of characters we love, and that was my problem. also, the completely sexist overtones of the george senior story line bugged the hell out of me. a new addition that i did love was debrie. she was another character that i felt carried the classic air of arrested development. i just…i wanted something else. i realize they are going to have to make a movie. i just assumed that there would be something complete that came out of forty minute long episodes. but…i guess i have to wait again.

    • well (if anybody comes back to read this), mitch hurwitz has been saying all over the Internet that this season is intended as act one of an eventual movie. so maybe it’s intentionally that way? if all we’re looking at right now is Act One, it makes sense to have mostly setup and no resolution.

  16. Arrested Development made me finally sign up for Netflix. Welcome me to 2003, you guys.

    I watched eps 1-3. Some great moments. Not sure overall. Will persist in hope.

  17. My basic AR reaction was:

    Okay. My wife has been pregnant for five years with this big, fat comedy-baby. And at this point all of our friends and family won’t shut up about how excited they are for the baby to come. And we’re like, “We get it. We love babies. We loved those babies five years ago before they “went away.” But please stop talking about this baby. You’re ruining everything we love about babies by posting pictures of one clapping like a chicken in your womb on Facebook every 10 minutes.”

    It gets to the point where I’m more excited for the birth itself than the baby. The birth comes along, and we all cry and hug, and it’s the happiest moment of our lives together. But then we realize we’re stuck with this baby—a baby whom, at this point, we’ve grown to resent quite a bit. And like all babies, you should probably keep an eye on them. So I spent the weekend watching the baby. And the baby was cute, and “breathtaking” in that special baby-way, and did plenty of cute, baby-things, but it still didn’t quite feel like my baby. But I guess that’s okay. I just wish I hadn’t spent my whole weekend watching the baby, because now the baby is “gone,” and the cycle will begin anew.

    Overall: 7/10, would conceive again.

  18. I was a little disappointed up to the first GOB episode but looking back i think a lot of the early episodes are getting off on withholding jokes to pay off later. The last few episodes, and all GOB episodes, are really great and i think the early ones will be a lot better on repeat viewings when i know where it’s going. My one big complaint is that there weren’t enough big group scenes but I think that just comes down to how busy some of them are. I’m definitely still hoping for at least a movie to wrap everything up.

  19. I think the biggest problems in the new season all come down to scheduling. Not enough group scenes and long stretches where characters disappear. The first couple of episodes would have been a lot better if GOB and Tobias had made some appearances.

  20. Maybe it’s already been discussed in earlier AD-related posts, but nobody seems to be addressing the most shocking moment of this season (I’m only 5 episodes in so far): what the hell did Portia De Rossi do to her face? It took me half of her episode (episode 3?) to realize that it was even her (ironically enough, at first I thought it was Christine Taylor, who was in the first new episode)

  21. I only saw the first five episodes. I liked it and LOLed quite a bit. They still got it. My only problem is what happened to Portia De Rossi’s face? Plastic surgery duck face. They should have found a way to reference her awful plastic surgery in the plot somehow. It looks like they cast a different actress to play Lindsey Bluth.

    • George, Sr. references it when they’re at the Love fundraiser putting coconut shrimp into plastic bags. Her first episode was really distracting, but then I got used to it. She’s still really pretty, she just looked so different.

    • I also think they had that blonde wig on her really weird, because when she had her short hair her face looked better.

  22. I thought the first few episodes of AR were hard to follow and not that good, but it really takes off around the fourth or fifth episode. I really liked DiBre. Also the mortgage joke “….. and then we have it” cracked me up.

  23. I watched the first 10 episodes so far, and overall I really like how they picked up old jokes and brought in new ones. I’m enjoying it, but it’s so packed with references and Easter eggs that I feel bad for the bloggers who have to write about all that stuff.

    The one thing I don’t really like is the change in Michael’s character. Why is he such a goober now? Also the Hollywood insider jokes are lame, but clearly Ron Howard had a lot to get off his chest. Stuff like Showstealer Pro Trial Version makes it all worth it to me.

    • The Michael being a (complete) goober now thing was kind of distracting in the beginning. I mean, he was always a goober but he was also the person whom the viewer connect with. I think it would’ve made more sense to make him the goober but only in the other characters’ episodes, seeing as how he sees himself as the one infallible member of the Bluth clan.

      Also, i’m glad they’re saving Jesse Eisenberg for the movie, it would have been too much to have him with Cera with the whole FaceBlock storyline.

  24. I watched all the episodes in two days. Some episodes I did fall asleep through and I do prefer the linear story lines of the first seasons.

  25. I had avoided most coverage of AD as well, then was reading an interview with a bunch of the cast members as I was watching, and they all seemed to think that after episode one, you could watch season 4 in any order. I don’t know about that (seems like no?), but I DO wish I would have watched the G.O.B episode sooner. It was the episode that finally hooked me. (I also didn’t realize he was my favorite character until they broke them all apart like that. I would have guessed Buster/Lucille).

  26. I just realized in season 4 that GOB was an acronymn. I always hated them pronouncing the G as a J. Aaaaand now I started another GIF war.

  27. We’re about ten episodes in and I’ve found that because of the way they did it, my enjoyment of any episode depends on how much I like a character/how much they are well-written. Lucille and George were previously my favorites, but while the first part of the George storyline is amazing the second part changes his character and I kind of can’t care about him; similarly with a few exceptions I feel like they mostly lost Lucille’s voice and personality while it was off the air. She’s mostly just moving plot even in her episodes, and they haven’t given her enough wit. I’m hoping Maeby and Buster are going to be great.

  28. I think I made it through ep 12 of AD before I had to go to bed last night. Overall pretty good, but it starts off slow. The GOB and Ben Stiller stuff is amazing, and I also like the George Michael going to college and growing up sequence. Him walking around with that mustache and the “sexy” shirts after he gets back from Spain is pretty amazing. Maria Bamford is totally awesome – her and David Cross together works very well. I like all of the sort of “comedy cameos”, too. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Workaholics dudes show up.

  29. Behind the Candelabra was genius. It was like Boogie Nights + Showgirls + Boys In The Band + Casino + Female Trouble all rolled into one. Best movie of the year so far.

  30. Liked AD a whole lot, especially the George Michael and Maeby episodes, glad to see Gene Parmesan and Steve Holt again, wish they could have worked Franklin Delano Bluth but that’s life. I’d much rather just have another season than a movie though.

    Watched Behind the Candelabra up until Matt Damon got stuff put in his chin and his nose broken but had to stop after that because A) Mad Men was about to come on & B) it freaked me out looking at him after that even though I knew that he didn’t really have the operation done on his face and it was all movie magic the concept of it freaked me out too much

  31. Off-topic, but who’s been watching Orphan Black?

  32. I love the new episodes so far (im on number 7), they haven’t missed a beat. I’ve also been looking forward to having an excuse to use this gif:

    Having not finished the season yet, i really hope they have another family wide chicken impersonation session again.

  33. My favorite scene from the new season of AD was the flashback when Lucille discovers that Lindsey hasn’t fed her lizard. Lindsay says that it’s not her fault no one drives her to the pet store and tells Lucille to stop making her feel like a horrible person. Lucille then feeds the lizard a piece of turkey only to discover that the lizard is dead. GOB walks by and says something like, “I didn’t even know we had a lizard.” Then the camera quickly shows a shot of a dead fish floating in a pond. Classic Bluths.

  34. Also, I used to own the brown AMC Pacer that was featured in at least one episode (I’m only 7 episodes in). Like, that was my actual car. I really miss it, too, but I’m glad it’s famous now.

  35. I watched all the AD episodes all I one marathon and I think I should have paced differently because there is a lot of recapping and going over the same things. The GOB and Buster stuff was my favorite.

    Beyond the Candelabra was also fantastic I wish I had just one of Libarachi’s great rings. Rob Lowes face should win an Oscar. You also get to see matt damons butt a lot and he has great painted on abs at one point.

    Fast 6 was also great.

  36. In GOB’s ‘Entourage’ intro, when Rod Howard says something about how a specific LA location is a “playground at night for the young, wealthy and successful”, the camera pans by a sign that we later learn is Jeremy Piven’s club, ‘And’….”playground at night for the young, wealthy and successful *And Jeremy Piven*”

    That was so damn funny.

  37. Light Treason/Spoilers ahead:
    I really enjoyed the new season but focusing on one character per episode theme was a huge mistake. Several of the characters really lost my interest when they weren’t interacting with the rest of the family, particularly Lindsey and Lucille. The newly effeminate George Sr was also really disappointing since he was previously one of my favorite characters. Also, I’m not a fan of Michael being so much more of a terrible person. Am I just be remembering him too fondly from the first 3 seasons? I guess it could also be the fact that he doesn’t have the rest of his family around to make him look like less of a jerk in comparison. Buster’s episode was great, but the lightest on family interaction, which obviously was a downer. On more positive notes: The GOB and Tobias episodes were A+, as were Maeby’s and George Michael’s.

    TL;DR
    The characters of Arrested Development are MUCH more than the some of their parts. Breaking the episodes up by characters works sometimes (GOB, Tobias, Maeby) but more often falls flat (George Sr, Lindsey, Michael, Lucille)

  38. I think you REALLY need to take 5 minutes and read this interview with Rob Lowe about playing Dr. Startz. http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/05/26/rob-lowe-behind-the-candelabra-dr-startz/

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