Arrested Development Review: The Method Actor

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Nothing says "Happy Friday," quite like hemorrhoid costumes... right, Arrested Development Fanatics?

The various storylines on Arrested Development are starting to come together as we follow Tobias to India just like he followed Lindsay. And there's the hemorrhroid and his appearance on To Catch A Local Predator. Hosted by John Beard, of course.

"A New Start" is Tobias’s arrested development. I hope you’re ready for the return of the analrapist.

Tobias License Plate

After unintentionally reading Eat, Pray, Love right after Lindsay, packing an identical suitcase, cutting off her cab on the way to the airport and sitting behind her on the plane, Tobias takes the same passage to India as his estranged wife. 

Of course he spends his two weeks in India in the City of Hopelessness Hospital after being hit by the bus Lindsay was riding. Then we’re back to filling in gaps in Lindsay’s episode. The puzzle pieces fit together nicely, but I’m confused why they weren’t adjacent. The episodes feel out of order and would have flowed better had they aired back to back.

Tobias has redoubled his efforts to be an actor which is how he ended up at the “Method One” clinic. He thinks he's going to learn how to be a method actor, but no. While his wife is running off with Marky Bark, Tobias is falling into methadone-induced co-dependent Z-list character actor love with DeBrie Bardeux.

Tobias agrees to run away with Debrie after she compares him to Billy Crystal(Meth) but they have a little trouble cashing in on her former Fantastic Four fame. Tobias is in a terrible off-brand The Thing costume. That explains why I thought he was dressed as a hemorrhoid. But hemorrhoids, anus tarts, it's a running gag that is funny if somewhat disgusting to think about.

Because they’ve run out of money, Tobias goes back to the Bluth apartment at Balboa Towers, only to discover it’s trashed and Lucille 2 is being attacked by an ostrich. More ostriches. Another running joke of the season.

He saves Lucille 2, leading to a great Liza Minnelli joke about her terrible make-up, and she offers him a job at Austerity, her rehab clinic. I have to wonder if Liza realizes that’s also a joke. Tobias turns it down because he is an actor and also a moron. It's too bad the Amanda Bynes breakdown came now because spoofing that and sending Tobias to rehab could've made for good jokes. I suppose there was always Lindsay Lohan to use as a model, or Britney.

DeBrie (that name is really growing on me, although I’m terrified someone might actually use it on their child) calls him an idiot and leaves him, ending up high as a kite and being passed around in some limo. Weird. I’m guessing that’s a joke we’ll get later.

And now we’re back at the To Catch a Local Predator house where Tobias needs someone to help him get his rocks off. I suspect the entire DeBrie/Sue Storm/Fantastic Four story line up to this point has been based off of that one-liner joke.

As much as I really do love anus tart jokes, there were not enough Bluths in this episode, and the individual stories are, once again, messing with the continuity and flow of the season. After five episodes in Arrested Development season 4, this is feeling less like the story of the Bluths and more like, well, individual stories. If the first half of the season was intended to be the script for an Arrested Development movie, I'm struggling to see how this would have worked as a full-length film. And if this is what we've been left with after the movie script was edited, perhaps we should've gotten a movie instead.

Don't get me wrong - I'm happy to have Arrested Development back with all of its inside jokes and running gags, but the Netflix (semi) original series feels like something is missing.

What did you think of "A New Start"? Did you think it should have followed Lindsay's arrested development?

Suzanne Davis is a guest contributor for TV Fanatic. When she's not commanding her ginger army at Bebehblog, you can find her on Twitter.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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