Arrested Development made a name for itself not only for its smart humor, but also its ability to work in callbacks both blatant and with a bit more subtlety.
GOB’s Arrested Development, "Colony Collapse," was an exercise in both, as well as a healthy dose of running gags. We run it down below in our continuing 15 Days of Arrested Development Season 4 on TV Fanatic...
As with almost every other show, especially comedies, to truly appreciate certain aspects one must be familiar with the people behind the camera. Right off the bat with this episode we meet the baby-faced popstar Mark Cherry who would be a little shoutout to Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry who has worked together with Mitch Hurwitz on various projects through the years. That reference, and the mention of Modern Family, alludes to Hurwitz once saying that he feels Modern Family is a broad reaching, more commercially successful version of Arrested Development.
Now that we've discussed what happens behind the camera, let's talk about what happened on screen.
I daresay there isn’t running gag funnier than everyone not noticing Ann Veal. That and constantly calling her something else. Everything from egg to hair and even mouth.
One of the main storylines for GOB was Ann Veal and the marriage that GOB inadvertently fell into thanks to Maebe’s “marry me” line. Of course he would find a way to turn a normal evangelical wedding at a church called HER? into a spectacle because that is what George Oscar Bluth II specializes in.
I happen to be a huge fan of anything sacrilegious and GOB rolling into the church on a cross is second only to Becky Ann Leeman in Drop Dead Gorgeous when it comes to people rolling onto a stage on a cross. And who couldn’t be excited when the strains of "The Final Countdown" filled the air? Made me all a’tingle with anticipation.
What would GOB do? More importantly, how would GOB screw it up? Because we all know, he will screw it up.
Speaking of screwing things up, how does one screw up being a part of a pop star’s entourage? About the same way you don’t even notice when said pop star writes a song about how much he wants you to leave. And the same way you talk to your son for an hour and a half before realizing it is your son. All with a soundtrack of "The Sound of Silence."
"Colony Collapse" marked a turn-around in the season for me. The first few episodes were all about adjusting to a new storytelling engine, followed by a few hit and miss episodes. By the time we get to GOB losing everything, events start to fall in place.
Now we know how Mark Cherry ended up in rehab and how things were set into motion at the Opie Awards. This is more like the Arrested Development we know and love. It’s a pretty good sign that things are just weird enough when any Clint Howard character seems completely normal.