Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm Sorry Arrested Development...We Still Miss You

Reading Lotz's section on Arrested Development was tough for me. While I wasn't a fan of the show when it was on (I actually didn't even know it existed at that point), I began watching it with a friend the year I started college. It's one of those shows that you can't stop quoting once you've seen it and I have to hold myself back in class every time someone mentions something even remotely reminiscent of the events on that show. I can't even describe how badly I want to say that "I blue myself" right now. Well, I just did...

But anyway, back on track. It was interesting to read her formulaic account of the events leading up to its too-soon death, and I'm glad that it seems like she'd been a fan herself while writing it. I could almost discern a bitterness to her tone at some points.

I agree with many of her accounts of why the show was canceled, though I'm not sure about one. She writes of the show's differences in camera angles with regards to other shows, but I really don't see something like that playing a factor in the average viewer's desire to watch a show. If he's anything like me he has no idea what something like that means (I'm woefully ignorant on anything to do with film studies) and the way a cameraman shoots a scene shouldn't play a very large role in the viewer's mind. Of course, AD did have a very distinct style to it, but I always pegged that to be the choices of the actors and director, but I suppose the camera played a factor as well.

Something that really surprised me about her summary of the events that transpired (and she even commented that it was strange to her as well) was the level of involvement Fox had with trying to keep it on the air. It's my experience with networks that, when something isn't working the way they'd like it to, no matter how many Emmys it gets nominated for, the show gets canned. The fact that they kept picking them up for three seasons made it seem like even the network executives liked the show too much to want to see it go. I only wish they'd done that for Pushing Daisies (I'm still bitter about that one).

To end on something of a high note, I do thing that Arrested Development helped pave the way for comedies to follow. Shows like The Office, 30 Rock, and a new one that reminds me a lot of AD called Modern Family, probably wouldn't be nearly as popular today if it hadn't been for AD's influence. Or at least people are in the mood for shows that make different choices now, unlike when George Michael Bluth was getting terrorized by criminals climbing to freedom with the use of his stair car.

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