We're four episodes in to the Netflix (semi) original season of Arrested Development. So far, each episode has focused primarily on one character instead of pulling the entire family together in classic Arrested Development style.
Is it working? Maybe. Today's review in our 15 Days of Arrested Development series focuses on Michael's foray into filmmaking. With a more-than-just-guest appearance from one Ron Howard. And there's also Isla Fisher and who doesn't love her?
"The B. Team," is another part of Michael’s arrested development.
Michael tried to walk away from real estate by getting a high tech job, but since he’s Michael his job ends up being driving the Google car. I’m not sure if Google actually objected to Arrested Development using their name, but the running “Something it” joke is pretty good. And speaking of jokes, I will forgive the pointless, out of place scene featuring Bob Loblaw, just for the Bob Loblaw Law Bomb joke.
Suddenly, with the Netflix reboot, Ron Howard is in the shows. Not just as the narrator, or a cameo, or like the time he broke the fourth wall back when the show was originally in danger of cancellation and he begged people to please, please watch. No. Now he's a supporting character important to the plot line.
Kitty is there too, having stolen Maeby’s job as a movie executive at Imagine Entertainment and put the movie based on the Bluth family on the back burner. Literally. She moved the script from a file marked “Active Development” to “Not Going Forward Development”.
This is where the movie/entertainment industry jokes get a little out of hand - WE GET IT, RON HOWARD, you are self aware! - but the signs on top of the Imagine building (“Where dreams drop into make-believe as surely as a drop of water falls into a bigger thing of water in slow motion.”) and the Jerry Bruckheimer building (“Driving action toward love through a storm until lightning hits a tree.”) are read-super-fast-or-you-miss-it hilarious.
Ron Howard wants to make a movie about the Bluth family. In fact, from what I’ve read he actually did want a make a movie about the Bluth family and this season is the first half of what they had written. In order to make his movie he needs Michael to get his family’s signatures on release forms. Michael wants to say no but he can’t because a) cool co-assistant producer business cards and b) a meet-cute with Isla Fisher whom he knows he can cast as his late wife. She had red hair. He tries to ask George Sr. to sign (possibly accidentally asking Oscar instead?) and it doesn’t go well.
“It doesn’t go well” could just be the recap of every episode of Arrested Development.
Michael gets to work in his office with ridiculously low ceilings and assembles a crack team to work on his movie: Carl Weathers, Warden Gentles (James Lipton, messing around with an iPad), and Andy Richter. I have no idea. The rest of the episode is Michael bumbling around with the cameos and not really advancing the plot line.
George Sr. gives him Mexican porn and tries to apologize for being, well, George Sr., but he does sign the release form. Unfortunately for Michael, Ron Howard tells him the father-son relationship he wants to focus on is Michael and George Michael. Oops.
To wrap up that fantastic day, Michael hooks up with the red-headed actress in a photo booth, only to discover she’s Ron Howard’s “girl.”
On the next Arrested Development: Blah blah blah can it please just be Gob’s week already? The interconnected plot lines are starting to make more sense but focusing on one character at a time means we lose some of the family group dynamic magic from the original three seasons. I’m sure a lot of it is because of the legal and logistical complications of getting all these actors in the same place at the same time six or seven years after their last season so I’m willing to forgive some of it. But only some. I’m just hoping they get back to the group shots soon because at this rate, things are starting to feel disconnected.
What did you think of "The B. Team?" Do you like that each episode so far has focused on a different family member?