Has anyone in this family ever even seen a chicken? June 16, 2011 12:02 PM   Subscribe

As a person, like many of you, whose friends, lovers, coworkers, parents, grocery clerks, insurance agents and all other myriad individuals we come across are fucking sick to death of hearing Arrested Development quotes, I'd like to publicly thank Rory Marinich for letting us shake out the sillies.

Actually, you've only made it worse.
posted by griphus to MetaFilter-Related at 12:02 PM (150 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

friends, lovers, coworkers, parents, grocery clerks, insurance agents and all other myriad individuals we come across are fucking sick to death of hearing Arrested Development quotes

Evolution at its finest. Loving AD is a evolutionary successful trait.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:07 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't know an Arrested Development quote if I read it.
posted by Ardiril at 12:07 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Look at banner, Michael!
posted by shakespeherian at 12:09 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Is this something I'd need to have the help watch for me to understand?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:09 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


WHAT IS THIS TELEVISION OF WHICH YOU SPEAK

(Thanks for the tip on the AV Club! I saw they were rerunning Six Feet Under reviews, but I've only made it halfway through AD and this will be a great chance to follow through.)
posted by Madamina at 12:09 PM on June 16, 2011


I have never knowingly heard an Arrested Development quote.
posted by DU at 12:10 PM on June 16, 2011


I have never knowingly heard an Arrested Development quote.

COME ON!
posted by hal_c_on at 12:13 PM on June 16, 2011 [25 favorites]


I wouldn't know an Arrested Development quote if I read it.

I have never knowingly heard an Arrested Development quote.


It's like a mind puzzle! An awesome mind puzzle!
posted by Elsa at 12:13 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


DU: "I have never knowingly heard an Arrested Development quote."

It's not a `quote`, DU, it's a reference.
posted by boo_radley at 12:18 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a person, like many of you, whose friends, lovers, coworkers, parents, grocery clerks...

Wait, so I can grocery-clerk people in my profile? Meatbomb, I'm going to grocery-clerk you!
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:20 PM on June 16, 2011


That thread is amazing.

Also, it's tired in here.

And I thought I saw a juice box out there.

Also I will work in the copy room.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:30 PM on June 16, 2011


Lutoslawski: "Also, it's tired in here."

we're just blowing through nap time.
posted by namewithoutwords at 12:31 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't even own a TV or have friends, lovers, coworkers, parents, grocery clerks, insurance agents or all other myriad individuals.
posted by naju at 12:31 PM on June 16, 2011


Is this something I'd need to own a banana stand to understand?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:39 PM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


There's always money in the banana stand.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:43 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Grilled bananas are good, too. Priceless.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:48 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm going to link to this on my Law Blog.
posted by Mister_A at 12:56 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Actually, you've only made it worse.

I believe you meant to say “You’ve made a huge mistake.
posted by Shepherd at 12:58 PM on June 16, 2011


Wait. Just wait. People are fucking sick to death of Arrested Development?
posted by jerseygirl at 12:59 PM on June 16, 2011


I've never admitted to making a mistake.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:00 PM on June 16, 2011


The patroness of television is Clare of Assisi.
posted by clavdivs at 1:14 PM on June 16, 2011


I want to cry so bad, but I don't think I can spare the moisture.
posted by Madamina at 1:24 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


tastes just like sad!
posted by dubold at 1:26 PM on June 16, 2011


Wait. Just wait. People are fucking sick to death of Arrested Development?

Not in the literal sense, unfortunately.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:31 PM on June 16, 2011


Not in the literal sense, unfortunately.
No, thats what this thread is about. Evolutionary fitness.

You either arrest or die.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:38 PM on June 16, 2011


Come On, like a guy wearing a $6000 dollar suit is going to read that thread.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:39 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Come On, like a guy wearing a $6000 dollar suit is going to read that thread.

Its a SIXTY-THREE HUNDRED dollar suit. COME ON!
posted by hal_c_on at 1:43 PM on June 16, 2011


It was devalued due to all the candy.
posted by griphus at 1:44 PM on June 16, 2011


Thank you, griphus. I had to overcome a lot of obstacles* to make that post, and it's rewarding to see my efforts paid off.

* for instance, that TRUE FACT i have never seen an episode of arrested development
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:45 PM on June 16, 2011


*saunters through and leaves blue handprints on everything*
posted by mudpuppie at 1:45 PM on June 16, 2011


*growl*
posted by Mister_A at 1:46 PM on June 16, 2011


I heard Rory Marinich doesn't even own a teevee, or frankly have the intelligence to find one.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:46 PM on June 16, 2011


I accept thank yous in the form of Army medals, body chocolates, or detached arms
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:47 PM on June 16, 2011


Army medals

The seal is for marksmanship.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:49 PM on June 16, 2011


...or frankly have the intelligence to find one.

"Do you sell color TVs?"
"Why yes, we do!"
"I'll take a green one."

/notfromAD
posted by griphus at 1:58 PM on June 16, 2011


I accept thank yous in the form of Army medals, body chocolates, or detached arms

What I really like about the thread (re-reading it again...its the only way, of course), is that people love saying "Rory".

As in "DAMN YOU RORY MARINICH" for ensuring that our Thursday/Fridays are going to be spent bird-dogging that thread hoping someone gets that *tiny* joke we put inside another joke referencing that tiny joke in AD.

Damn you, rory marinich. Damn you to heaven!

Also...every so often...regardless of the subject matter of the thread, I'm going to bust in going "DAMN YOU RORY MARINICH". Because it just slips out like a banger in the mouth. Oh sorry...in the states you call it a sausage in the mouth.

Damn you, rory marinich!(Stay awesome)
posted by hal_c_on at 2:03 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is this something I would have to have a Rory Marinich to understand
posted by scrump at 2:06 PM on June 16, 2011


I swear by my pretty floral bonnet ... I will end you.

Goddamn it! This isn't the Firefly thread!
posted by Ad hominem at 2:08 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


wut?
posted by edgeways at 2:10 PM on June 16, 2011


wut?

♫ ♩ ♫ Douche Chill ♫ ♪ ♫
posted by hal_c_on at 2:12 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is not a relatable situation.
posted by The Whelk at 2:36 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


You stay on top of that thread, hal_c_on. Do not be afraid to ride it. Hard.
posted by Zozo at 2:37 PM on June 16, 2011


Way to plant, Ann.
posted by penduluum at 2:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


What I really like about the thread (re-reading it again...its the only way, of course), is that people love saying "Rory".

I know, right? It's starting to look like a Gilmore Girls thread.

That would have much wordier quotes, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:30 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


. . . Maybe tonight?
posted by Think_Long at 3:35 PM on June 16, 2011


I WILL BE MY FATHER'S CORPSE
posted by neuromodulator at 3:50 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


No! I'm embarrassed to be seen with you!
posted by neuromodulator at 3:55 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm just shocked no one bothered to do a comprehensive Arrested Development post already. It's not like it's some underground show.
posted by smackfu at 4:18 PM on June 16, 2011


Is this the only instance in which a user has been called out twice in meta for being awesome?
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:28 PM on June 16, 2011


If that's a veiled criticism about me, I won't hear it and I won't respond to it.
posted by Lorin at 4:29 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm probably one of the few people here who hates that show.
posted by jonmc at 4:46 PM on June 16, 2011


Oh, so you have seen it then, jonmc?
posted by Ardiril at 4:50 PM on June 16, 2011


Once. I got about 15 minutes in and couldn't take it anymore.
posted by jonmc at 5:10 PM on June 16, 2011


I figured out a way to make money while I'm working.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:18 PM on June 16, 2011


Are you following poeple to their cars again?
posted by griphus at 5:25 PM on June 16, 2011


I haven't really seen it, but I'm pretty sure both the AV Club and MeFi could quote Arrested Development, Big Lebowski, and Aliens entirely from memory. the whole hting
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:27 PM on June 16, 2011


I can do that with Simpsons episodes. Any episode Seasons 3-7, if given a prompt.. The whole thing.

I am not even kidding a little. I once scared some people at a publishing party with an on-key spontaneous rendition of See My Vest.
posted by The Whelk at 5:31 PM on June 16, 2011


What I really like about the thread (re-reading it again...its the only way, of course), is that people love saying "Rory".

I know, right? It's starting to look like a Doctor Who thread.


Fixed that for you
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:33 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Isn't "shake out the sillies" a classic quote from Newsradio (when Matthew finishes Bill's sentence?) and not AD? Or was that just accidental?
posted by julen at 5:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


To those of you who haven't seen it, it has the plot of Mrs. Doubtfire.
posted by neuromodulator at 5:56 PM on June 16, 2011


I live in a world where I only found out today, from this post, that "Arrested Development" is an American TV show as well as a briefly fashionable 90's hip-hop band.

Wouldn't you like to live in that world? I know you wouldn't, but really, you might be surprised by how pleasant it is.
posted by Decani at 5:59 PM on June 16, 2011


they are legally required to point out the distinction.
posted by The Whelk at 6:00 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I ask you lord why you enlightened me/ Without the enlightenment of all my folks
posted by box at 6:25 PM on June 16, 2011



I live in a world where I only found out today, from this post, that "Arrested Development" is an American TV show as well as a briefly fashionable 90's hip-hop band.


I got an e-mail about the band reuniting. I think we ran it on our site as 'Arrested Development reunion'. Kinda hope it got people confused.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:26 PM on June 16, 2011


"Tennessee" actually came up on my iPod on the subway ride home tonight.
posted by jonmc at 6:36 PM on June 16, 2011


AD Alignment Chart
posted by The Whelk at 6:48 PM on June 16, 2011


Or was that just accidental?

I was hoping someone would catch that.
posted by griphus at 7:54 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are some folks who really, truly don't have a TV, or don't have a TV hooked up to an antenna (that is, who just use the TV for watching DVDs), and whose friends, lovers, parents, coworkers and grocery clerks have never, not even once, seen "Arrested Development", and who live in Japan or some other country in this wide world where not every single (or perhaps not any) American TV shows are broadcast.

Now, when those people say they've never seen "Arrested Development", or heard anything from it or about it, and wouldn't recognize that it was being referenced or quoted from in some way, do those people get a pass from the public pillorying that always crops up in threads about American TV shows? Do they avoid assignation to that category of elitists and snobs and disingenuous types who are really just kinda pretending that they don't know what "Arrested Development" or some other TV show is? Or are American TV shows now just understood to be something we all, all of us everywhere, know about through, um, some kind of extra-dimensional particles, carried (perhaps) on global air or sea currents to all distant lands and cultures and embedded like microscopic particles into the consciousness of everyone?

Just wondering.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:17 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


It depends. Do they pop in to brag about it?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:27 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


That weren't no braggin' son. Just fact.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:31 PM on June 16, 2011


I have never knowingly heard an Arrested Development quote.

Everyone's laughing and riding and cornholing except DU.
posted by hermitosis at 8:35 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


That weren't no braggin' son. Just fact.

Oh. Well, if we're just stating facts, I've got a big dick.

To answer your question:

Or are American TV shows now just understood to be something we all, all of us everywhere, know about through, um, some kind of extra-dimensional particles, carried (perhaps) on global air or sea currents to all distant lands and cultures and embedded like microscopic particles into the consciousness of everyone?

Yes, pretty much. It's called the internet. You should try it.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:45 PM on June 16, 2011


Oh. Well, if we're just stating facts, I've got a big dick.

I see, then. So, according to Sys Rq, even those of us who fall into all the categories I delineated above are still lying when they say they don't know anything about Arrested Development. Thanks for answering the question!

Yes, pretty much. It's called the internet. You should try it.

Yeah, I do drop in from time to time. Shame there are some really unpleasant people one encounters there from time to time, though. Why don't you run along, now, then, and watch yourself some TV on the internet? OK? Bye!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:58 PM on June 16, 2011


It's like Jesus, flapjax. If you have heard of it and haven't seen the light, you're sinning. That's why missionaries and people who incessantly quote Arrested Development are the worst kind of people.
posted by griphus at 9:00 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't actually understand your point, flapjax. You seem to be saying "I've never heard of the show" but you seem to be throwing something else in there that I don't get. There's tons of threads about stuff I don't know about; what is significant about this?
posted by neuromodulator at 9:00 PM on June 16, 2011


... do those people get a pass from the public pillorying that always crops up in threads about American TV shows? Do they avoid assignation to that category of elitists and snobs and disingenuous types ...

They avoid all assignations.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:04 PM on June 16, 2011


All's I'm saying is, uh, it's in the post you just read. There are links you can click. You could try making an effort before being all I AM IGNORANT OF THIS SUBJECT MATTER AND UNWILLING TO ENGAGE MYSELF IN IT THOROUGHLY ENOUGH TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS THREAD, YET, FOR SOME REASON, HERE I AM BLATHERING ABOUT MY EASILY-CURED IGNORANCE.

Yeah, I do drop in from time to time. Shame there are some really unpleasant people one encounters there from time to time, though. Why don't you run along, now, then, and watch yourself some TV on the internet? OK? Bye!

Indeed. And stop talking to yourself while you're at it.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:05 PM on June 16, 2011


I don't actually understand your point, flapjax. You seem to be saying "I've never heard of the show" but you seem to be throwing something else in there that I don't get. There's tons of threads about stuff I don't know about; what is significant about this?

neuromodulator, what I'm addressing is the disbelief expressed, by many here at Mefi in threads about TV shows, toward those who indicate in any way that they haven't seen said show, or heard about it, or wouldn't recognize quotes or references from it. It's often inferred, in replies to those kinds of comments, that the person who doesn't know about the show is being disingenuous, or striving for some kind of hipster elitism or something. They are often scorned or derided, in one way or another. And I find it to be a, well, somewhat tiresome feature of Metafilter. That's all.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:08 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


STEVE HOLT! \0/
posted by crossoverman at 9:10 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Indeed. And stop talking to yourself while you're at it.

Ooh, witty retort! Let me follow that one up with... I KNOW YOU ARE, BUT WHAT AM I?

OK, really, I gotta leave the playground, now. You try to be a good boy today.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:11 PM on June 16, 2011


The only reason I was even remotely interested in Arrested Development was because of metafilter. I watched a single episode on youtube or hulu and it was horrible, but I wanted to be fair. So I watched another one, and it was horrible, too! So just to be sure I watched a third one and then I went out and bought all three seasons off the internet.

I don't know what this means. I think it must mean I'm supposed to be an actor. I'm going to give Carl Weathers some money and some leftovers to teach me stage-fighting.
posted by winna at 9:12 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Never seen it but I do really quite like Archer, which has a few AD actors on it that are apparently similar to their AD characters so I'll get around to watching it but I suspect I'll never get sick of a reference or quote since I don't think I've ever felt that way about any reference or quote. I also like Mad Men and will feel free to reference. My apologies to those who find this unbearable.
posted by juiceCake at 9:16 PM on June 16, 2011


OK, really, I gotta leave the playground, now. You try to be a good boy today.

Hey, that's my ball!

And, dude, the 'condescending adult' shtick is tantamount to trolling. As was your first post.

You should know better.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:16 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, here's your ball back.

Now let's make up. I hate fighting, really. Let's trade some baseball cards or something.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:26 PM on June 16, 2011


So: You see a thread in which people are discussing something they obviously like. You decide to post about how you haven't seen it, and how in your experience on metafilter people are hostile to people expressing that, and you want to know if this will be the same?

I mean, I get how the tendency you're describing could be annoying, but:

a) You seem to be deliberately provoking what supposedly annoys you.

b) And regardless of a), let's take Decani's post from this thread, on never having heard of the show:

Wouldn't you like to live in that world? I know you wouldn't, but really, you might be surprised by how pleasant it is.

I can't come up with a reading of that where he isn't being smug and condescending. So while the trait you're describing (of mefites being accusatory towards peoples' motives when claiming not to have seen something) does sound annoying (agreed), the examples in this thread (yours and his) do read as something other than innocent "I haven't seen this, is it good?" kind of things.

I'm open to other interpretations of your statement/questions and his.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:43 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, neuromodulator, it cuts both ways. I wouldn't defend Decani's comment, for example. I mean the tone of it.

But I don't think it's fair to say I am "deliberately provoking what supposedly annoys" me. I'm just discussing an aspect of the Metafilter culture, from my viewpoint, which, after all, is what MeTa is for, no?

But, yeah, now I'm regretting making the comment in the first place. And it really wasn't as much about this particular thread as about many past threads. So, anyway... apologies all around if I've upset anyone.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:01 PM on June 16, 2011


Or confused anyone as to my intent.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:02 PM on June 16, 2011


Okay, got you. You thought this was perhaps a good place to introduce a tangental discussion. I was confused by the lack of context. No harm done.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:03 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm still at a loss as to why a person would noise up a thread with a declaration of their own ignorance (a flat, shrugging fact--not a "New to me! Thanks!" or "What's the best place to start?" or anything, but "I don't know what this is, because I live in a self-imposed cultural blackout"), and expect the superfans in the thread to greet this pointless contribution of obnoxious indifference with anything but disdain.

What do they expect? High fives?

I mean, if someone went into a thread on say, Bulgarian folk tunes, and said, flat out, "I don't live in Europe and I don't listen to music," what would come of that? Cake and ice cream? I think not.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:31 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


flapjax, I:
  • agree with you that it's obnoxious to assume everybody's seen something
  • really do suggest that you watch all of Arrested Development, because it's magic
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:36 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


bleh. hear about show, sounds quite good, always after fun new TV to watch, add to lovefilm queue. just in case google "arrested development transphobia". sigh. remove from queue.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:58 PM on June 16, 2011


Arrested Development is like Dr. Who or Lovecraft -- shit you cannot insult on MeFi because some geeksquad motherfuckers are going to go all /b/ on your ass.

I'm with Flapjax. I've never seen Arrested Development and wouldn't know a reference to it if it was spelled out for me. And I am an American who owns a TV and watches it fairly often. I've also never read Lovecraft or seen Dr. Who. My favorite indy band doesn't suck because I don't have one, and I don't know what "indy" means anyway. I've never had sex dressed as a big furry animal. I don't know who won last year's big Sci Fi award.

I'm not bothered by references to these things on MeFi. When I see them I just think of all those poor dorky kids who got picked on in junior high school and feel happy they have found a place to hang out and gang up on other people for being uncool too. Everybody needs to feel superior about something.

Metafilter: revenge of the nerds.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:43 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, really, I gotta leave the playground, now. You try to be a good boy today.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:11 PM on June 16 [+] [!]


♫ ♩ ♫ Douche Chill ♫ ♪ ♫
posted by hal_c_on at 2:58 AM on June 17, 2011


You, uh... followin' me around, hal_c_on?

But yeah, dude, pile on, if you need to. You are that kind of guy, as we know, and you need to do what feels good to you.

And Sys Rq, wow, man, I tried to make nice with you. But you wanna keep on the criticism line? keep putting me down? Fine. Knock yourself out. You're really a rather small-minded person, aren't you?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:33 AM on June 17, 2011


I'm just shocked no one bothered to do a comprehensive Arrested Development post already. It's not like it's some underground show.

It is on this side of the Atlantic and that makes me sad. Mainly because when my colleague Anna was accidentally called Anne in a work e-mail, and people said 'Who's Ann?' I couldn't do the right and proper thing: offering out mayoneggs.
posted by mippy at 4:25 AM on June 17, 2011


I'm just shocked no one bothered to do a comprehensive Arrested Development post already.

You know, I'm kinda bumming cause I missed a chance, last month, to not only meet but to perform with Speech from Arrested Development. I had a tour already booked with my band, 5 nights out of Tokyo, when a relatively last-minute offer for a gig sponsored by the American Club here in Tokyo came in. Couldn't do it, as I was already committed to the tour.

From some friends that were on the show, I heard Speech was a really nice guy.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:35 AM on June 17, 2011


I watched the first two episodes awhile ago, and didn't care much for it. But I felt left out with everybody tossing the jokes around in the other thread, and it's on Netflix, so I thought, "What the heck, I'll try it again." It really does grow on you; I'm about 6 episodes in and liking it pretty well. I loved how willing Steve Holt was to just go along with whatever was thrown at him in the play.
posted by not that girl at 5:21 AM on June 17, 2011


\o/
Beatrice!
posted by shakespeherian at 5:38 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


really do suggest that you watch all of Arrested Development, because it's magic

Ha, this is the kind of over-the-top praise that really annoys some people.
posted by smackfu at 5:58 AM on June 17, 2011


Pistols at dawn, FCM. I dislike both Lovecraft and Doctor Who and disagree with your suggestion that Arrested Development is like either.

Doctor Who is big because it's a cultural thing. It's been around for an incredibly long time, and fans have got 32 seasons/series to dig through (according to Wikipedia), and so there's a whole lot of Doctor Who to be a fan of. Lovecraft is similar, in a way; he invented a particular kind of horror story, which appeals to a whole bunch of people for whatever reason (again, I'm not a fan). The reason each one has such a bunch of defenders is that for the people who do like them, they're more than just a piece of entertainment, they're also things that people bond over. When you criticize them, there's a good chance you sound like you're criticizing the people who like them too.

(Yeah yeah yeah, it's not right for people to get emotionally attached to the media they consume. What-the-fuck ever. It's common human behavior, it has been since before I was born, and if you shit on things without acknowledging that that's going to shape people's responses and politely phrasing what you've got to say, then you're intentionally being an asshole. Quit it.*)

Arrested Development is certainly a cultural thing — it's too insanely quotable not to be; almost every line is gold — but it's a thing specifically because it's brilliant. I scramble for words that accurately describe it and "Shakespearean" is the first thing that comes to mind. Mitch Hurwitz, the show's creator, set out to take the single-camera format and comedic style of Ricky Gervais's original The Office but make it as fast-paced as old multi-camera sitcoms. In the process of working around the "documentary" style, he created a format that was utterly unique and took television to a place that I've never seen it reach in any other comedy.

Its closest dramatic equivalent is something like The Wire, in that individual episodes, yeah, they're great, but the brilliance is how every episode builds up to something bigger. From the first to the last episode, Arrested Development was very carefully thought-out. It rewards intensive watching with this tremendous joke-telling subtlety that awes me. Hurwitz talks in interviews about his idea that instead of placing call-backs in his scripts, he decided to try and place call-forwards: he'd put jokes about events that hadn't even happened in early episodes, which nobody would get until rewatching the show. Reddit had an AMA with Mitch's personal assistant on the show, who said that everything — recurring gags, callbacks, foreshadowing, series of jokes based on characters' names who hadn't been introduced yet — was planned out in advance. This shows in the series, which for all its three seasons is incredibly tight. They had plans for more things to do in its prospective fourth season, which never got made.

This was not an ordinary sitcom. It couldn't be, because the only way to make a sitcom documentary move as fast as a regular sitcom is to stuff it so full of plot that you never once pause for breath. In the first episode alone, the main character Michael anticipates getting control of his father's company, then his father passes him over, then his father is arrested by the SEC, then his brother gets put in charge, then his brother gets removed from power and Michael is made CEO. That's a lot of stuff happening, and that's actually one of the slower episodes. This approach led to one of the most unique, lovable things about the series: Ron Howard plays a narrator whose job is to basically guide us through all the twists and turns without us getting whiplash.

Everything about the show has got this unique feel to it. Its soundtrack, which alternated between really mellow cheerful ukulele bits and fast-paced jazz and a series of brilliant musical parodies. Its cast of characters, the majority of whom are all part of the convoluted, sadistic Bluth family, and whose relationships with one another are each fucked up on a whole bunch of levels. (Incest. Everywhere.) A friend of mine from the part of California it took place in says that it does a better job than anything of capturing the mood and feel of that Cali environment. It's got an undertone of political satire (the patriach of the family's name is George Bluth; the show's about the politics of a rich, privileged family; a good part of the show either revolves around or takes place in Iraq). It surfs along on a veritable ocean of pop culture references, some of which are incredibly obscure (and most of which are jokes made in the middle of other jokes, so if you don't notice them, you don't even notice that you're not getting them).

It has a lot to say about a lot of different things and it says them all so quickly that you don't notice a fifth of the things you could be laughing at the first time you see the show. Which is why it's so common for people to rewatch the show obsessively, and for so many people to have the show's lines memorized. The second viewing of the show, you catch an entirely different set of jokes than you caught the first time, not to mention you've probably forgotten two-thirds of the jokes from your first viewing because there were so many. I've seen this show at least half a dozen times straight through and I still blank out on individual episodes. When every episode of a show has four separate bizarre, absurdist plots going on, it's hard to keep them all in mind. Too much of a good thing.

On top of that, the show either launched or boosted the careers of a lot of its cast. Michael Cera, Will Arnett, David Cross, Jessica Davis, Jeffrey Tambor, Tony Hale, and especially Jason Bateman each turned in brilliant-bar-none performances. Like the writing of the show, their performances were so diverse and layered-on-themselves that I can't keep in mind all the things I love about them. The slapstick/physical gags especially are always happening on top of its stellar writing, so I miss loads of the funny things happening on-screen because I'm too caught up in the delivery of the lines.

It's one of the most magnificent achievements in television history. It took a bunch of great writers, directors, and actors, and united them beneath one of the hardest-working and most dastardly clever showrunners in comedy. The reason critics are obsessed with it is that critically speaking it's possibly the best-made sitcom of all time. The reason people are obsessed with it is that it's incredibly funny, and incredibly quotable, and we keep telling our friends to give it a watch so they can quote it too. We get annoying about it. I know that I do. But we get annoying because we know we've seen something special and we're not good at putting it into words.

I think it's a shame if AD isn't well-known overseas. I've watched a lot of television comedy, enough to be a snob about it when I want to be, and I don't think anything matches Arrested Development in complexity or ambition or polish. But it was never around long enough to become a real cultural touchstone, unlike Lovecraft or Who. It's still only starting to become a cultural thing, as it spreads word-of-mouth from friend to friend. I suspect that the people who right now are in grade school are going to know Arrested Development much better than the people my age who're in college, and I suspect that people my age know Arrested Development better than people in their thirties. Even though it's been off the air for 6 years, it's a very young show in terms of its popular acclaim, and it's still blooming now.


* Decani, love, this goes for you too. And you, flapjax. You're allowed not to know things, but there's something just as annoying about being proud of not knowing them/getting sarcastic in defense of your ignorance as there is about being offended when somebody doesn't know anything. And FCM, your stupid line about "poor dorky kids", do I even need to say why that pisses me off?
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:09 AM on June 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


Eh, it's ok.
posted by smackfu at 6:12 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ha, this is the kind of over-the-top praise that really annoys some people.

I'm sorry, am I not allowed to be enthusiastic about things that I think are incredible?

I mean, Arrested Development isn't the only thing I get effusive about. I also like Joanna Newsom, Facebook, Wieden+Kennedy, The Office, Tim and Eric, Apple, Stephen Fry, Merlin Mann, Devo, Mike Patton, Philip Glass, Roger Ebert, Peter Serafinowicz, Lady Gaga, Charles-Valentin Alkan, Sufjan Stevens, the game company Ice Pick Lodge, Cardiacs, Reddit, terrible fanfiction, webcomics, Wikileaks, Community, Ze Frank, Brad Neely, Mulholland Drive, Tamora Pierce, and Norm MacDonald. And these are only the ones who I've made FPPs about on MetaFilter.

Is enthusiasm annoying? Because if so, I think that every fucking thing I've done on this fucking web site has been annoying to you, and you should tell me, and I'll disable my account right now and spare you the fact that I fucking like things. Maybe I should do what you do and spend my time only talking about things that other people like but I think are overrated, because clearly you are the guy whose example I should be fucking following.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:16 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another thing I like is using the word "fucking" and getting hissy about things. Please don't interpret my hissiness as genuine pissed-off-ness. I just think it's fun.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:18 AM on June 17, 2011


No worries. I think it's the attitude of "if I just explain this MORE, you will like it. Because no one could actually dislike these things if they understand why they are good." And it's funny because your long explanation is right after a quick dismissal of Doctor Who, and I am sure there are people around here who would answer you back with a 10 paragraph explanation of why that is so good especially in it's current Matt Smith version that it is impossible for anyone to dislike. Like you are ok when you dislike things, because you have "reasons", but do not like it when other people dislike the things you like because their reasons can't be valid.
posted by smackfu at 6:26 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


(And I actually like Arrested Development! I just don't worship it. Same deal as The Wire.)
posted by smackfu at 6:28 AM on June 17, 2011


Wait is The Wire a teevee show of some kind?
posted by shakespeherian at 6:37 AM on June 17, 2011


AD Alignment Chart

The Whelk demonstrates that everything is better with D&D (1st ed. anyway) in it. I think this should be rule 48.

By the way, is that MeFi's own mightygodking?
posted by Mister_A at 6:53 AM on June 17, 2011


Rory, you like the Cardiacs? You are now my second-favourite Rory. You are well awesome and I want you to be my little brother.
posted by mippy at 6:57 AM on June 17, 2011


I think it's the attitude of "if I just explain this MORE, you will like it. Because no one could actually dislike these things if they understand why they are good."

In my experience (from both sides of it), that response is sometimes less "You will like it!" and more "This thing which you [that's the theoretical "you," and not, y'know... you] disparage ---- and which you disparage me for enjoying --- is of finer quality, better crafted, and more intelligently handled than you [again, the theoretical "you"] insinuate, and here's why."

I completely agree with Rory about the intricacy of AD's narrative arcs and repeated, recursive, interweaving punchlines and throw-away jokes. It's like nothing I've ever seen in modern comedy: it's silly, yet so deeply intentional, so carefully and attentively wrought, with plot elements and even individual jokes clearly planned out episodes or full seasons in advance. It's deeply layered.

"Arrested Development" is one of the great examples of a show that rewards re-watching over and over: we didn't even bother renting the DVDs but bought them immediately, since there are so many elements that only become clear after repeated viewings, and many more that get funnier the more they're replayed.

Anyone is, of course, free to disagree that this quality is desirable or to disagree that the show is funny.... though it seems churlish for people unfamiliar with the show to make a point of doing so in-thread. If someone doesn't enjoy the show or feels it's a waste of time, why pop their head into the thread at all? By the same token, I stay the heck out of, say, football threads unless A) I am familiar with the subject at hand, or B) I'm genuinely interested in learning more, or C) I have something constructive to contribute.

It's perfectly reasonable to react to condescending insults about one's enthusiasm for a silly ol' show (especially when they're coming from people who have never seen the show and therefore aren't familiar with its unusual storytelling methods) by describing ways in which this particular show is both silly (in content) and very, very serious (in construction).
posted by Elsa at 7:52 AM on June 17, 2011


Joanna Newsom, Facebook, Wieden+Kennedy, The Office, Tim and Eric, Apple, Stephen Fry, Merlin Mann, Devo, Mike Patton, Philip Glass, Roger Ebert, Peter Serafinowicz, Lady Gaga, Charles-Valentin Alkan, Sufjan Stevens, the game company Ice Pick Lodge, Cardiacs, Reddit, terrible fanfiction, webcomics, Wikileaks, Community, Ze Frank, Brad Neely, Mulholland Drive, Tamora Pierce, and Norm MacDonald.

You're wrong, you're wrong, you're right (but not for the reasons you think), you're right, you're right, push, you're right, right, right, right, right, right, right, wrong, weakly right, right, probably right, push, wrong, ironically you're right, too broad to determine, right, even broader (but probably right), right, EXTRA right, right, dunno, and you're right.

HTH!
posted by penduluum at 7:56 AM on June 17, 2011


I'm not bothered by references to these things on MeFi. When I see them I just think of all those poor dorky kids who got picked on in junior high school and feel happy they have found a place to hang out and gang up on other people for being uncool too. Everybody needs to feel superior about something.

Well gee whizz four cheez, here I was thinking I was just having a good time sharing some references and good memories but turns out I was actually bullying people and pandering to my deeper insecurities. Any other sand castles you want to go trample over with your uncommonly big feet or are you happy to take a simple joke-y ritual (that yes, can be irritating to those who don't get the references) and turn into some kind of social category indicator?

Yeah yeah like the guy who knows all 9000 arrested development episodes is going to talk to the guy who's never even owned a TV.

COME ON
posted by litleozy at 8:00 AM on June 17, 2011


(totally just messing around. I just get effusive about lists.)
posted by penduluum at 8:01 AM on June 17, 2011


DU: "I have never knowingly heard an Arrested Development quote."

ALLUSIONS, DU! ALLUSIONS!

Quotes are what a whore does for money.
posted by schmod at 9:37 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have to tell my Mike Patton story to you, Rory, because it felt like possibly the coolest I'll ever be in my life.

I talked my way into the Album of the Year show backstage, before the show started. (Basically, I convinced Mike Bordin that I was studying to be a sound engineer - which was true - and that I wanted to come watch their soundcheck - which was essentially bullshit). And it worked, and he brought me into the venue, and I got to sell my ticket, and I got my underage girlfriend on the guest list (I was just out of highschool, she was just finishing). It was all very thrilling.

And so Puff talks to me for a bit and then goes somewhere else and I'm left just hanging out at a table wondering how the fuck all this worked. And I look over and there's Mike Patton walking over to talk to...Gord! Gord was someone from my audio engineering school, and it was totally weird to have stepped into this alien environment and then see this guy you kind of know from having classes with or whatever. The familiar made it more unreal, somehow.

And Gord and Mike Patton shake hands and sit down and begin an interview, tape recorder on the table. And I'm pretty starstruck. Like, okay, I've really grown out of all celebrity worship kind of tendencies, but we were motherfucking obsessed with Mike Patton at that age. I mean, we were obsessive like only teenagers can be obsessive. "Mike Patton is a god among men" and other embarrassing sentiments were expressed. I blush to recall them.

Anyway so I'm like, "Holy shit I have a reason to approach Mike Patton right now. I can walk up there under the pretext of knowing Gord. This is crazy, what am I going to do?" And I realized that there was nothing, really, I could say to Mike Patton (given what I knew of his personality) that he would care about in the least, and more likely, my voice would crack and I'd emit like a string of solid vowels or something. And I saw their interview was ending, because they stood up and went into parting-dialogue mode.

So I lept up and walked over their table...and talked to Gord. "Gord! What are you doing here?!" I ignored Mike fucking Patton. I could see him in my peripheral vision, as he looked at me, and looked at Gord, and walked away. And I was actually proud of myself (still am, go teenage me) for not just being like, "GARGLEBLURP LOVE" all over him, even though I find that sentiment kind of embarrassing now.

Oh, and they played As the Worm Turns on my request that night. Best.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:51 AM on June 17, 2011


I think we can all agree that Motherboy's second album isn't as good as their first.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:32 AM on June 17, 2011


If any of you not Arrested Development knowing folks are fans of Ricky Gervais, he named it the best TV comedy of the decade, so there's that.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:37 AM on June 17, 2011


bleh. hear about show, sounds quite good, always after fun new TV to watch, add to lovefilm queue. just in case google "arrested development transphobia". sigh. remove from queue.

There are two episodes that could apply to: "Sad Sack" and, to a lesser extent, "Family Ties." The laughs in both come from the main characters' obliviousness to their own situation, rather than straight-up LOLTRANS kind of stuff. Trans panic does not feature.

So, you could just skip those episodes, or watch them first and decide if they're bad enough to warrant a full boycott of the series. (Or you could just not, obviously.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:39 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've never seen Arrested Development and wouldn't know a reference to it if it was spelled out for me. And I am an American who owns a TV and watches it fairly often. I've also never read Lovecraft or seen Dr. Who. My favorite indy band doesn't suck because I don't have one, and I don't know what "indy" means anyway. I've never had sex dressed as a big furry animal. I don't know who won last year's big Sci Fi award.

. . . one of these things is not like the other.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:48 AM on June 17, 2011


And, yeah, if anyone wants me to write a nine paragraph defense of the current run of Doctor Who in terms of intertextuality and planning I could.

Not that I will, but I could.

(I really enjoy AD, but I don't think that either intertextuality or planning are sufficient to make a show "good" and I can think of plenty of examples of franchises that did both that ultimately left me cold. I think when it comes down to it, a show's gotta hit you in the heart the right way. Some things will and some things won't, and what will and what won't is highly subjective. I do think people tend to overreward cleverness, but then, I don't like Joyce all that much for exactly the same reason, so, yeah.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:52 AM on June 17, 2011


Yeah who the hell keeps track of the Nebulas geez.
posted by griphus at 10:53 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


And, yeah, if anyone wants me to write a nine paragraph defense of the current run of Doctor Who in terms of intertextuality and planning I could.

No? Even if I asked pretty-please? I would genuinely love to read that.

"Doctor Who" is a good comparison, at least for me personally: I have tried and tried and tried, but I just cannot get into "Doctor Who." It's a bit puzzling, really: it seems like something I'd love for a dozen reasons, and I want to love it! But, sadly for me, every single time I actually sit down and watch, it just fails to tickle anything in me.

But! In "Doctor Who" threads where people are excitedly reminiscing, chatting, and throwing around references, I don't pop in to explain that The Doctor leaves me cold. And if I did, I wouldn't be remotely surprised if someone told me I was missing the heart of the show, or missing the point of the thread, or missing some basic social skills. I wouldn't even be surprised if they did it by posting a nine paragraph defense of the current run of Doctor Who in terms of intertextuality and planning. Pretty please?
posted by Elsa at 11:10 AM on June 17, 2011


Okay, well, it might not be nine paragraphs, but I'm going to go take a bath and come back and try to explain it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:11 AM on June 17, 2011


I like to think that the bath is a necessary part of your prep.
posted by neuromodulator at 11:12 AM on June 17, 2011


The Doctor Who Body Wash is timeless.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:33 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hey, no one likes a smelly dork rambling at length about television.

*typity type type*
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:37 AM on June 17, 2011


Except, of course, me.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:38 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, well, it might not be nine paragraphs, but I'm going to go take a bath and come back and try to explain it.

Yippee! I will take a bath in solidarity! And because I'm all sweaty. You understand, I'm not all sweaty in anticipation of the DW paragraphs, but unrelatedly: because I've been doing grubby chores. Just to clear that up.
posted by Elsa at 11:49 AM on June 17, 2011


Okay, so the first episode of Doctor Who I ever watched was Gridlock. And I couldn't stand it. The special effects were bad, the atmosphere weird and depressing, the writing uneven. I didn't fully understand what was going on--where was this taking place, and when? And why was the Doctor there? Had he been somehow summoned? Was he supposed to help someone, a la Quantum Leap or had he just stumbled there, like on Sliders? I had no context for this sort of show, and I didn't feel grounded at all.

For me, the last straw was what I felt was a show of terrifically bad science. A cat-like alien and a human woman are in a relationship, and they show the Doctor their babies, and it's a basket of kittens.

"Ugh!" I said, "This sucks!"

My husband was hooked on it, though, and so I was exposed to a few more episodes. Those did little to alleviate my concerns about quality. The special effects and ideas remained fairly cheesy--there was the one about the adipose, for example, which are walking alien balls of fat.

I did start to understand a little more about the Doctor, though. As my husband explained it, he's an adventurer who visits different places in time and space for the fun of it. He's stolen his time machine from the other Time Lords, a race of aliens of whom the Doctor is a member, who then all died out in the Time Wars. He loves humans, and takes them along with him on adventures, but because he lives such a very long time, and because they often love him romantically, and he seems incapable of that, they're always leaving him.

I liked the Doctor from the very beginning. David Tennant is a cutie, and it's a concept with a tremendous potential for conflict--the old trickster God beloved by a young worshipper. There was a sadness to his character, what with his people being dead and all, but also a danger--I saw episodes where he murdered entire races as acts of vengence--and a tremendous love of wonder and play. The Doctor was awesome, right from the beginning. I saw that, and couldn't really deny it.

But I couldn't get over the bad special effects and hammy writing. Not until I saw "Silence in the Library."

"Silence in the Library" was the first episode to feature River Song, a sort of female spin on Indiana Jones (she's a bad-ass archaeologist) who apparently shares a past with the Doctor. When they meet, in a planet-sized library filled with shadows that eat people, she has a diary filled with stories of their meetings. She knows his true name, a secret that can only be revealed in tragic circumstances, but there's a problem . . .

The Doctor hadn't met her yet.

Despite the Doctor being a time traveler, in early episodes of the reboot, there are surprisingly few plots that explore the narrative potential of time travel in an interesting way. In fact, the vast majority of episodes that do--"The Girl in the Fireplace", "Blink", and "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead"--were written by Steven Moffat, the guy who currently helms the show. Most plot lines were fairly predictable, featuring the Doctor visiting a new place and time and getting wrapped up in some sort of danger there.

Moffat, however, has no qualms with playing with narrative structure, utilizing time travel to its full potential.

Take "Blink." It's often referred to as a Doctor-lite story. In fact, he's only featured in a small handful of scenes. In it, the Doctor is stuck in the nineteen sixties, and has to convince Sally Sparrow, a modern girl, to save his spaceship from a race of evil statues so that he can be reunited with it. And so he seeds clues in her life--writing messages to her on walls that have since been papered over, embedding his end of conversations with her in Easter Eggs of DVDs. But how does he know what happens on her end of the conversation?

Well, before any of this happens, at the end of her story, Sally Sparrow hands him a file that tells him exactly what to do. It's classical bootstrapping, though the Doctor (in Moffat stories) is never particularly concerned about such paradoxes breaking the universe (other than what seems to be a fairly immutable rule never to "cross your own timestream" and touch yourself). In fact, in this episode the Doctor explains what seems to be Steven Moffat's Rule of Time Travel, which is this:
People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
Viewpoint is incredibly important to understanding time travel-heavy Moffat stories. In "The Girl in the Fireplace," the Doctor visits a historical figure, the Madame du Pompadour at several points throughout her life. Over time, she falls in love with him. The only problem is that the Doctor, inconsistent trickster God that he is, never shows up when he's supposed to. He's often late, not out of malice, but because his own life gets in the way. Sadly, though, that means that Jeanne Antoinette grows up without him, mostly missing him. As she says, "There is a vessel in your world where the days of my life are pressed together like the chapters of a book so that he may step from one to the other without increase of age, while I, weary traveller, must always take the slower path."

This is an incredibly poignant story--something akin to Audrey Niffenegger's The Timetraveler's Wife--but with awesome clockwork robots and spaceships and aliens. And with half the overwrought angst.

But back to "Silence in the Library."

What Moffat does there is begin an incredibly ambitious story--he's playing with the subjective nature of time travel yet again--one that spans several seasons. We, like the Doctor, are viewing the story from one end, while River Song moving through time in the other direction. We've just met her, but she knows us (and him) all-too-well. But she's a mystery. She might be his wife. She might have murdered him. She, maddeningly, refuses to reveal the truth--she doesn't want to reveal spoilers, she says; his rule.

And then she dies.

(Well, sort of. She's actually downloaded into a computer. But point is, she's unknown to the Doctor after this point, from her perspective.)

The fascinating thing is that Moffat reveals almost nothing about the nature of Song's relationship with the Doctor in these two episodes. Instead, it's clear that he has a grand story all planned out--one that has, so far, reached over three seasons. With each passing two parter, the Doctor (and the viewer) knows her a little better. The many possibilities that we were given about River Song--was she a criminal? A murderer? a romantic foil?--are beginning to become refined, to narrow down. But meanwhile, we're marching toward the beginning of her relationship with the Doctor--from her perspective. Eventually, we'll reach a point where we know everything there is to know about her, and she'll know nothing about him.

It's a masterful bit of storytelling, because it necessitated, at the beginning and for the sake of mystery, that every possibility seem equally plausible. And, really, River's story could have gone a million ways. But the one we've been given so far (we're probably about halfway through) was entirely appropriate, foreshadowed, well-justified from the very beginning.

In this, Steven Moffat has created a show that doesn't just reward multiple watchings (great for the DVD generation). He's actually created a show that rewards being watched in an entirely different order than the usual, straightforward one. At the end of it--indeed, in the middle of it; I've already jumped the gun and watched most of River's episodes backwards and it was awesome--we'll be able to create a whole new "River continuity", an arc of episodes that tells a really tragic story about someone getting to know the Doctor, a man who already knows her, and about him gradually forgetting her, piece by piece by piece.

Moffat's not a perfect writer in every way, and Doctor Who still isn't a perfect show. Over time, I've realized what was wrong about my initial approach to it. It's science fantasy, not science fiction, and should be treated as such. But I've grown to love the Doctor, in all of his regenerations, because he remains the same enigmatic, capricious, trickster god; the same alien mad scientist; the same madcap adventurer. I've grown to love his companions, for how they represent us, and how (in his universe) he might, at any moment, drop out of the sky and make our lives better. I've grown to appreciate his history, his depth.

But mostly I can't wait to see the resolution of truly epic storytelling, something that's conceptually just as daring and well-plotted as the best of what we have to offer on this side of the pond; a story that gets the subjective nature of time travel right and plays with our expectations, teasing them out for years so that some day, we can watch it in either direction and still be satisfied. I can't wait to see how River's song ends. Or rather, begins.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:04 PM on June 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


Yeah. I didn't watch Doctor Who in order. When I was living in the UK (at the peak of David Tennant's stint as the doctor), I started watching the Christopher Eccleston episodes (he was the Doctor before Tennant), and hated it. After that, I watched a few one-off Tennant episodes and didn't like those either.

Fast forward a few years, I'm back in the US, and I find myself inexplicably hooked on Torchwood (a DW spinoff series). After finishing that, I go back, and start watching Doctor Who from Series 4, and am instantly hooked. I eventually went back and caught up on Seasons 1-3. It is now literally my favorite show on television, and even the old episodes that I didn't like hold up remarkably well.

For one thing, Doctor Who is one of the only shows I know of that practices actual character development, which certainly has a cumulative effect on its appeal as you go through it. Not only that, but they're entire character arcs -- when you're on the air for 32 years without a major break in continuity, you have to start writing characters out of the plot. Each character's development has a distinct beginning, middle, and end. This even includes the Doctor, who has "died" 10 times now, and has come back as a slightly different character each time.

Oh, and Torchwood; the series that got me hooked on Doctor Who does not hold up nearly as well on a second watching, for whatever reason. ('Children of Earth' notwithstanding. The third season of Torchwood is good enough to warrant sitting through the first two, even if you hate them. I literally cannot say enough good things about it.)


tl;dr: What were we talking about again?
posted by schmod at 2:25 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq: "There are two episodes that could apply to: "Sad Sack" and, to a lesser extent, "Family Ties." The laughs in both come from the main characters' obliviousness to their own situation, rather than straight-up LOLTRANS kind of stuff. Trans panic does not feature."

Thanks for that. I'm not in full-on FUCK YOU boycott mode or anything, and I'm aware that the internet as a monolithic entity tends to exaggerate, but I'm happy enough for the presence of any trans jokes to drop something off my radar these days. I'm tired of it from cis mouths.

But. When AD does pop up on my radar again as I'm sure it will, and I decide to give it a shot as I'm sure I will -- some time when there are fewer amazing video games out, for example -- I now know which episodes to skip. You've helped future me avoid slight irritation at best, and triggering at worst.

So, genuinely, thanks :)

uses favourite as a bookmark for once
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:50 PM on June 17, 2011


I forgot: There's also a story arc that spoofs Mrs. Doubtfire, but it's mostly making fun of that movie's preposterous premise. Still, there could be triggers there.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:20 PM on June 17, 2011




I mean, Arrested Development isn't the only thing I get effusive about. I also like Joanna Newsom, Facebook, Wieden+Kennedy, The Office, Tim and Eric, Apple, Stephen Fry, Merlin Mann, Devo, Mike Patton, Philip Glass, Roger Ebert, Peter Serafinowicz, Lady Gaga, Charles-Valentin Alkan, Sufjan Stevens, the game company Ice Pick Lodge, Cardiacs, Reddit, terrible fanfiction, webcomics, Wikileaks, Community, Ze Frank, Brad Neely, Mulholland Drive, Tamora Pierce, and Norm MacDonald

I hate all of those things.
posted by jonmc at 4:56 PM on June 17, 2011


That's an awful lot of hatred. Maybe you should take a vacation.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:18 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


You have no idea. That's not even a fraction of Jon's personal hate list. That's just how he feels about Rory's list. Jon's list would break the Internet. My list would swallow Jon's list without even a drink to wash it down.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:23 PM on June 17, 2011


And yes - we both could use a vacation.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:24 PM on June 17, 2011


If I hate both of you, does that make my list bigger?
posted by shakespeherian at 5:27 PM on June 17, 2011


People! Put your hands together and show your HATE for jonmc and It's Raining Florence Henderson!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:29 PM on June 17, 2011


But you don't hate me, really, do you?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:31 PM on June 17, 2011


do you?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:35 PM on June 17, 2011


Florence (may I call you Florence?), my love for you knows no bounds. No leaps, either.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:40 PM on June 17, 2011


And, truth be told, I happen to think you are one of the most consistently humorous and entertaining commenters on the site. I'm probably not alone in that opinion.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:23 PM on June 17, 2011


You are not alone in that respect.
posted by jonmc at 6:32 PM on June 17, 2011


Wow, I was fishing for insults and I caught a compliment! Can I keep it, Dad, can I keep it?... Cool! Dad says if I promise to clean it myself, I can keep it! Wait, what? I have to kill it, first? Can I use a chain saw?

thanks flapjax! I think you're the bees very knees.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:32 PM on June 17, 2011


Truth be told, a drink with Jon would be the top thing to do on a list of reasons to visit NY again. Although, such a meeting might open a vortex to something.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:36 PM on June 17, 2011


i wanna go to NY and have a drink (several, actually) with you and Jon. PinkSuperhero, too, if she's in town.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:45 PM on June 17, 2011


flapjax at midnight: what I'm addressing is the disbelief expressed, by many here at Mefi in threads about TV shows, toward those who indicate in any way that they haven't seen said show, or heard about it, or wouldn't recognize quotes or references from it. It's often inferred, in replies to those kinds of comments, that the person who doesn't know about the show is being disingenuous, or striving for some kind of hipster elitism or something. They are often scorned or derided, in one way or another. And I find it to be a, well, somewhat tiresome feature of Metafilter. That's all.

Gotcha. I find it super, infernally irritating when I casually mention, "I haven't seen that," and someone actually sees fit to follow with "YOU haven't SEEN Apocalypse Now? It's the cornerstone of excellent film/the univerZ bricka bricka under a rock blag blagh flehhhhh1111111!." It's a silly, silly senseless way to treat someone, and a conversation, and I agree that it should stop forever, both in person and online.

That said, I'm an A.D. FREAK. I will re-watch it until the asteroids knock out the utilities.
posted by herbplarfegan at 6:52 PM on June 17, 2011


on preview, I realize that you're talking about a different situation, but still: I agree with you, and it was great to vent that too.

(*turns to leave, stops abruptly, turns back, adds: )

Metafilter: a vortex to something.
posted by herbplarfegan at 6:55 PM on June 17, 2011


Florence, that's the first time I've taglined you!

(*blows kisses, leaves finally)
posted by herbplarfegan at 6:56 PM on June 17, 2011


I started watching this year due to the universal praise and constant references in a lot of sites I visit. A few minutes into the first episode I knew I was on to a winner.
Gob: Are those police boats? No seriously I think those are police boats.

George Sr.: That's the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Buster: They have boats?
In Rory Marinich's A. V. Club link, I believe they missed one of the "obvious" jokes in the clip. When they're giving speeches at the wake George Sr is listening attentively from his hiding spot, even whispering encouragement.

After Michael starts his heartfelt speech it cuts back to George Sr and he's lying on his back with his eyes closed as if he's trying to get some shut eye. It's only when Michael mentions smoothies that he perks up.

posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:19 AM on June 19, 2011


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