Arrested Development Review: FakeBlock

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It seems "It Gets Better" could well be the theme of Arrested Development season 4 as each episode has gotten better than the one preceding it (mostly, with a couple of outliers) and filled in the gaps between the close of Arrested Development season 3 and now. With talks already happening about Arrested Development season 5, seeing the same story from the perspective of each character makes more and more sense and works in a way that felt sort of odd in the beginning of this season.

Carrying on the trend of focusing on the story of one character at a time and pulling together all of the pieces of this puzzle, this is George Michael’s arrested development. And it's so, so accurate.

George Maharis Photo

George Michael is the even more awkward Mark Zuckerberg of fake internet start-ups, playing in bounce houses and being aw-shucks about everyone fawning over him. He’s also dating Rebel Alley now, although she says “We need to talk,” so you know it’s not going well.

A few months earlier George Michael is making a demo tape to apply to Julliard. If you didn’t know he was musical, it’s because he’s not - he plays woodblock.

Man, couldn’t it have at least been cowbell? 

Apparently George Michael is a human metronome, thanks to BABYTOCK!, the failed reinvention of the Cornballer by George Sr. "It’s a poor carpenter that blames his shoddy tools for the... Ow! Piece of bleep Cornballer!."

I don’t even care that it makes no sense. The Cornballer is one of my favorite AD references. 

In the recap of George Michael’s college experience so far, we learn he’s awkward, more awkward, even more awkward and a terrible kisser. Thanks to a year abroad in Spain - Dear God, the mustache!! - he learns important lessons, like how to speak Spanish, make love and wear his shirts unbuttoned too far. But then his dad moves into the dorm room and whomp-whomp, sexy George Michael is put on hold. 

Then we finally get the real explanation for George Michael’s “privacy software." It’s as ridiculous as his mustache.

FakeBlock is actually a woodblock app for your smartphone. Three of these already exist in Arrested Development world.

Tip: Go search for FakeBlock in the iTunes store. The reviews are priceless.

To make money for this brilliant start-up George Michael starts tutoring high school kids, which loops back to Maeby’s story. The highlight of the episode is when George Michael says “Yeah, well, you know. I wouldn’t put all my Annes in that basket.” Egg? Her?

Seriously, someone watching this season who hadn’t seen the first three several times would understand practically nothing. I wonder if that person exists?

Anyways, the seduction of his cousin doesn’t work. His dad interrupts. He lies about FakeBlock being privacy software. And then his life spirals out of control.

A great piece of the back story puzzle is that it was George Michael’s idea to do the roommate vote to get his dad out of the room. The "like father, like son" parallel is clever and funny. 

Poor George Michael is too dumb to notice Rebel is hitting on him at the Opie Awards. Marky Bark’s blue explosion is somehow tied to George Michael as a brilliant act of cyber sabotage to promote FakeBlock. While he’s trying to smooth things out with Michael, he gets a second chance with Rebel, who I’m pretty sure is imagining herself as Mrs. FakeBlock right now. I mean, she’s clearly not after him for his looks, you know?

As much as I like the interconnecting story lines, I feel like each episode gets shorter and shorter now that we’ve already seen so much of it from other angles. I’m just a tiny bit glad this season is almost over. 

On the next Arrested Development: George Michael gets sued by P-Hound over the ownership of FakeBlock (which...is still just a woodblock app?) and Barry is a terrible lawyer. Take to the sea!

What did you think of "It Gets Better"? Have you enjoyed the format of seeing parts of the same story multiple times but from different perspectives?

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: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (17 Votes)
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Arrested Development Season 4 Episode 13 Quotes

George Michael: It's 99 cents.
P-Hound: Yeah, times three.

Hot Woman in bed: Overpower me! Make me cry!
George Michael: You're a terrible mother.

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