Saturday, May 1, 2010

Arrested Development (3 seasons, 53 episodes, 2003-2006)

There aren't too many shows that can truly be described as too good for television, but Arrested Development jumps to the top of the list.  Bounced around from time slot to time slot during its network run and pre-empted for weeks at a time, AD never stood a chance.  I caught about 3/4ths of the episodes on its network run, so several were new to me.  A single camera 30-minute comedy, when it worked, it was wonderful.

If you haven't seen Arrested Development, I highly recommend it.  A few of the episodes in the second and third season went a bit off track, but the first season definitely stands as one of the best runs in television history.  Their use of running gags was amazing, from the mispronunciation of the oldest son's name to the brother-in-law's phobia, which included a joke set up in episode one and sprung about 10 eps later.  And just when you thought the parents couldn't get more insane, they would soon top themselves.

It took me two months to get through the 53 episodes.  I noticed they used a technique that may have made me enjoy the show more.  At the end of every episode, the narrator would say, “On the next Arrested Development,” and they'd show a brief scene, usually based on the episode just aired.  It would be side-splittingly funny and would definitely not be in the next episode.  Beats fading to black.

Arrested Development was produced by Imagine Entertainment.  You'll see their logo on every Ron Howard movie, as well as some other TV shows.  One of those shows was Sports Night, which I will be watching in the near future.  As much as I find fault with Ron Howard's movies, his company really makes great TV.

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