Thursday, January 05, 2006

how to go down in flames with style (or how to recap the best finale ever)

i just watched the series finale of "arrested development", and there just could not have been a more brilliant and clever ending for such a brilliant and clever show, filled with self-referential jokes about their situation.

for example, after admitting that "the bluths are desperate. the press had them all but finished" - about as apropro as you can get - they show a headline from the paper about their lawyer: "Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb".

and then, to set the template for the rest of the show and their futures, michael says, "if we want any chance of keeping this family going for a couple of weeks, we're gonna have to pull out all the stops" which allowed them, from that moment on, to take all the criticisms given to them by fox network executives on how to fix their show, and then respond to them one by one.

like, after promising a death (a noted sitcom cliche), they show an old lady and admit "OK, we'll just come out and say it -- she's the one who dies."

like when they used another sitcom cliche (3-D glasses) by pointing them out and then making fun of them by using them ridiculously - like GOB throwing a tomato for no reason and andy richter (a guest star - yet another sitcom cliche/"cheap stunt") attacking the camera.

or like when, during their party, they do yet another "cheap stunt" by planting "stars that have no connection to the family" like ben stiller, john larroquette, judge reinhold and richard belzer.

like after, to help try to make their show seem even more obvious and sitcommy, they set up their final bit with VO that said "this was a complex situation that was not easily resolved...the dinner party was a clear cut situation with a promise of comedy. tell your friends" - you know, conventional sitcom humor.

then they littered the show with their hidden pleas and agendas, like when michael noted that the home builders organization stated that the bluths won't be picked up, "well, i guess HBO won't take us, so I guess it's showtime."

and when michael was given a chance to say what he really felt - about his father and his family but really, about the show - he said that "what has happened to us has been an injustice, and that we were never really given a fair chance", but then admitted that "maybe we aren't worth saving. maybe the bluths just aren't likeable, too self-centered".

or after promoting the website saveourbluths.com throughout, they end the whole thing by celebrating - live (another sitcom cliche) - that they kept their dignity during the whole process by proclaiming "it doesn't pay to sound desperate".

and then, when you throw in tobias' very gay misquotes, lindsay making poached salmonella, buster proclaiming that "sister is my new mother" and the complementary insanely racist line spoken by the old woman who died - "you can charm the black off a telegram boy" - jesus christ, how can this show be cancelled? seriously? how idiotic can fox be?

don't answer that.

2 comments:

Da Katz & Reni said...

Belzer was on??? Oh drats... I missed that. I like your writing. You are tongue in cheek funny (or cheeky as my husband's daughter's say).

I have an essay about why I'm fond of RB...c'est la vie. It's funny & melancholic at the same time... because as an humorist, I wrote it as a way out of depression.

I have a story to tell about my husband and a call for balance in the legal industry. He's a Brit charged in America with a crime he didn't commit. My husband passed out while being interrogated and no help given... three defense lawyer (one a former DA) believed us... I nearly committed suicide... my stepfather died as an indirect result... my disabled mother has little hope for help with her medicines... and my husband is about to lose his social security pension over all this because he left America to save his life...come check out my tale.

Might be a story for you in there somewhere...

Yes, I'm accepting interviews.

Kind Regards,
Katie.

Da Katz & Reni said...

It's late---sorry for the typos...I'm and editor and should know better. ^..^