Tag Archives: Arrested Development

The Good Place Returns, Not a Minute Too Soon


As of this week, the first two seasons of The Good Place are streaming on Netflix. This is one show that must be seen from the start. You have time. The third series premiere is on Thursday, 27 September, so you can easily binge the backlog by then.

The Good Place, the funniest, smartest, most original American sitcom since the first three seasons of Arrested Development, will be back with new episodes later this month. Kristen Bell plays Eleanor Shellstrop, who discovers, post mortem, that she’s wound up in The Good Place, even though she clearly doesn’t belong there. Ted Danson gives what might be the best performance of his v long career as Michael, the architect of The Good Place.

In the first episode, he tells Eleanor that most religions only got things about 5 percent right in describing the afterlife. But then there was Doug Forcett.

And here, Michael explains how people make it into The Good Place:

Even Better

The supporting cast—D’Arcy Carden, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, and William Jackson Harper—are all just about perfect.

I mean, what the fork are you waiting for?


The Magnificent Jessica Walter

Jessica Walter as “Lucille Bluth” in Arrested Development

The word “fan”, of course, comes from “fanatic”. I’ve been a fanatical follower of Arrested Development since its first episode, in 2003. I thought—I still think—that the original three seasons of the show were the among the funniest, most brilliantly written comedies I’ve ever seen on American television.

That’s part of the reason I was so appalled and disgusted by the patronizing and dismissive treatment of Jessica Walter during the recent New York Times interview with members of the show’s cast.

In 45 minutes, they managed to trash 15 years of goodwill.

Love, Simon — New Trailer

“Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive
But to be young was very heaven.”
—William Wordsworth

Yet another reminder, as if I needed one, that I was born decades too early. There was a time when I could really have used a movie like this.

Love, Simon stars Nick Robinson, probably best known to most people for his role in Jurassic World, but most familiar to me from his part in a long and incredibly irritating series of commercials for Cox TV. (He was fine, it was the characterization of his TV father that was bothersome.) Robinson was Spielberg’s first choice to play Parzival in Ready Player One, a part that eventually went to Tye Sheridan.*

Anyhow, this looks like fun. Simon’s parents are played by Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel. I don’t know what role Tony Hale has in the plot, but it’s always good to see Buster from Arrested Development.

Here’s the original trailer:

The US release date is 16 March 2018.

*Tye Sheridan was a member of the cast of The Stanford Prison Experiment, a movie that I’ve never been able to watch all the way through, but probably should. Other Stanford Prison cast members included Miles Heizer, of 13 Reasons Why, Logan Miller, and Nicholas Braun, all of whom are also in Love, Simon, as well as Johnny Simmons and the great Ezra Miller, from The Perks of Being a Wallflower (which also featured the aforementioned Nicholas Braun).

♪ It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world… ♪

Stanford Prison is shaping up to be a 21st century equivalent to 1983’s ensemble film The Outsiders, which was a key step in the early careers of Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, and Patrick Swayze, among others.

This footnote should really be a standalone posting. Maybe in a year or so, I’ll do a whole Six Degrees item about it.

The Origins of Mad Men

Mad Men

The Hollywood Reporter has a fascinating, must-read article called “The Uncensored, Epic, Never-Told Story Behind ‘Mad Men’.”   It lives up to its title.

You can read it here.

The final season of Mad Men begins on 5 April 2015.  Breaking Bad and Arrested Development are gone, and now Mad Men is about to join them.  Unless I’m overlooking something, that leaves Game of Thrones as the last of the Golden Age giants still on the air.

Can’t wait to see what comes next.

Mad Men 2

Men, Women & Children — First Trailer

I’ve never been a fan of Chad Kultgen, the writer of the book on which this is based, and I’ve never been impressed with the film’s director, Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You for Smoking).

But I found the video intriguing, maybe because of the great cover of Donna Summer’s 1977 hit, “I Feel Love”.  And the casting is…interesting.

Adam Sandler and Emma Thompson, in the same movie?   Judy Greer (the deranged “Kitty Sanchez” from Arrested Development) and Dean Norris (the obsessive “Hank Schrader” from Breaking Bad)?   The inescapable Ansel Elgort is in this one, too, but you assumed that, didn’t you?

It goes into limited release on 3 October 2014, and wide release on 17 October 2014.

This Might Be the Most Appalling Thing You’ve Ever Seen

This was recently linked by Lori Dorn on the Laughing Squid site.  From the trippy psychedelic opening, to the ghastly mutilation of Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ In The Years”, through the “ice dancers” who make The Producers’ “Springtime for Hitler” number seem tasteful and restrained, and on to the “comic” interlude, this literally made my jaw drop in disbelief.   I kept thinking that it couldn’t possibly get worse, until it did.   And then I imagined Walter Becker and Donald Fagen watching this at home, and contemplating suicide.

And all the while, the “audience” goes wild.

This was the opening number on the TV variety show Donny & Marie on 13 January 1978.  Donny & Marie was popular enough to ran for 78 episodes.   (To put it in perspective–which I admit is absolutely unfair, but I don’t care–that’s 16 more than Breaking Bad, 25 more than the original Arrested Development, and  42 more than Deadwood).

To clear the palate, here’s a Steely Dan performance, sans ice dancers, from a few years ago.