Arrested DevelopmentLatest News and Opinion
Posted Monday 7/16/18 at 8:37PM EDT
Surprise releases are suddenly all the rage on TV
From UnReal's fourth and final season that was released today with no advance warning to Sacha Baron Cohen's Who Is America?, which was officially announced less than a week before its premiere, TV networks and streaming services are finding that surprises releases generate buzz. Netflix did something similar in May when it released Arrested Development and 13 Reasons Why with just a few weeks of advance notice. But don't expect the surprise release trend to continue working. "If everyone starts to take that approach, the wow factor will fade quickly, and the fanfare about each surprise will overshadow the others," says Jen Chaney. "Pop music has already been wrestling with this problem, having been inundated with so many surprise releases over the past few years that it’s hard to process or appreciate one before another comes along. It’s easy to imagine the same issue arising in TV. The most important thing a good series can do these days is stand out and seem fresh, but an unexpected arrival can only help a show do that as long as every other show isn’t doing the same thing."
Posted Tuesday 6/19/18 at 1:32PM EDT
David Cross reflects on the Arrested Development cast's disastrous New York Times: “Hopefully I won’t do that again"
It's been nearly a month since cast's Times interview, and Cross has a fresh perspective now that he's actually read the interview. “I definitely have a different feeling about it now, having read it and remembering it, than I did in the moment,” Cross said on SiriusXM's Jim & Sam Show, according to IndieWire. “In the moment, it didn’t seem so egregious. I definitely get the criticism, I truly do.” He added: "One of the lessons I’ve learned is, nobody gives a sh*t about your context. Nobody. If there’s a crying woman in the room — or whoever, if there’s somebody crying — nobody cares about your ‘well, buts.'”
Posted Wednesday 6/13/18 at 3:30AM EDT
Arrested Development's quiet return shows how much the TV landscape has changed in five years
The controversy over Jeffrey Tambor's behavior may have played a role in the lack of buzz for Season 5 of the Netflix series. But the revival-heavy TV landscape that Arrested Development helped usher in five years ago may have also played a role in its muted return, says Keith Phipps. "Now, Arrested Development has returned to the TV world that its fourth season helped create, but it doesn’t seem to be creating much of a stir in that world," he says. The cast's disastrous New York Times interview, says Phipps, "undoubtedly helped squelch enthusiasm for the show’s return and cooled goodwill toward the cast members who defended him. But even without it, the premiere of new Arrested Development episodes in 2018 isn’t the event it was in 2013, for reasons beyond the show itself. Given the splintering of the TV landscape, the sheer number of familiar properties being adapted or rebooted, and the intense marketing that goes into turning streaming-service fare into appointment viewing, the premiere of virtually any TV show in 2018 can’t be the event it was in 2013. Even the shows that can unite a fractured viewership are either scheduled to end soon (Game of Thrones) or engaged in a seemingly irreversible decline (The Walking Dead). There’s more great TV than ever right now, but the medium is moving at warp speed. There’s more to watch than ever before, and more that’s worth watching, but unless a given show makes a splash on social media or earns a vocal fandom willing to stump for it, it’s hard to see the impact of any new arrival."
Posted Monday 6/11/18 at 8:19AM EDT
The Goldbergs and Modern Family actor Jackson Odell dies at 20
Odell was found unresponsive Friday at his San Fernando Valley home. No cause of death was revealed. Odell was a child star, acting since the age of 12 and appearing on one episode of Arrested Development, two episodes of Modern Family and recurring on The Goldbergs for eight episodes as Dana's older brother in the first two seasons
Posted Friday 6/08/18 at 11:16PM EDT
Arrested Development Season 5 lacks the disability jokes that were so prevalent in the first three seasons
It seems like creator Mitch Hurwitz decided to ditch the disability jokes now that we live in a more sensitive climate, says Inkoo Kang. "If you’ve recently rewatched Arrested Development’s first three seasons, you can’t help but notice that the sitcom is of a pre-woke era," says Kang, adding: "I don’t know if Season 5 might have been funnier with more disability jokes. But I’m glad I didn’t have to spend big chunks of the new episodes wondering whether someone out there was wincing at this one-liner or that sight gag. And that’s why, when you resurrect a show, you learn to read the cultural barometer." ALSO: Season 5 is missing Maeby at her best.
Posted Thursday 6/07/18 at 2:05PM EDT
Alia Shawkat on Arrested Development cast's "intense" New York Times interview: "I felt like I didn’t say enough to defend" Jessica Walter
When Walter started crying during the controversial Times interview, "I realized we were having a public and private conversation at the same time, which is very unnatural," Shawkat said in an interview with Broadly. "All of a sudden, we’re having this intense moment as a group of people who’ve known each other for 15 years—and it’s being recorded. They were almost trying to cover themselves up while simultaneously talking, instead of actually listening to each other—which is the biggest theme that I learned from this whole experience, this 20-minute interview that made so much noise. The minute Jessica started crying, my instinct was just to go up to her and hug her and be like, ‘This interview’s over.’” After the interview, Shawkat said she also cried: "I felt like I didn’t say enough to defend her," said Shawkat. "I felt like I didn’t say enough to explain that the movement is so important—and that Jeffrey (Tambor)'s story is a piece of this movement, and we can’t silence it. Women’s voices need to be heard, and, ironically enough—I wasn’t able to be heard. I was really scared that the interviewer didn’t even hear me.”
Posted Wednesday 6/06/18 at 6:44PM EDT
Transparent creator Jill Soloway reacts to Arrested Development's men defending Jeffrey Tambor
“Men are really comfortable denying (harassment claims), but they’re really willing to admit to that kind of bullying and tantrum (throwing) behavior,” Soloway said at Variety's Path to Parity summit. “The men of the Arrested Development cast were saying, ‘At work, people get to be really awful to each other.’ …That’s the centering of the status quo,” she said.
Posted Wednesday 6/06/18 at 1:56PM EDT
Arrested Development creator: I didn't realize the on-set incident between Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter was "momentous"
"I’m guilty of not realizing how deeply upsetting that was for Jessica,” Mitch Hurwitz admitted in an interview with Deadline. “I heard about it and saw parts of it in the dailies, although the part I saw didn’t seem that—I don’t know—momentous. But fights and outbursts always start with things that are smaller.” Hurwitz adds that the fight started over "something minor like he was doing a speech and Jessica wanted to redo something in her speech. She’s a perfectionist, which I have a horrible case of myself, and he’s sort of loose with it, finds his way back if he gets off course within the speech, for instance… And she was resetting and he got upset and was like, ‘Oh, come on! You always do this!’ He continued for a bit and she apologized. ‘I’m sorry, Jeffrey, I’m sorry.’ But he continued and then walked off—the set apparently, but he walked out of frame.”
Posted Friday 6/01/18 at 11:47PM EDT
Arrested Development fans are baffled by Portia de Rossi's Season 5 appearance
Some are wondering why her insertion, via green screen, looks so sloppy.
Posted Wednesday 5/30/18 at 9:55PM EDT
Arrested Development is back to being funny in Season 5, and gets funnier as the season progresses
"Tangled is a good place for Arrested Development to be," says Kyle Ryan of the Season 5's first episodes. "That may not seem like the case after season four, whose numerous plots were made additionally confusing by the non-chronological episode order, but season five feels more cohesive, like the Bluths are all mixed up with each other, not on their own tangents. And maybe it’s the placebo effect of having the show’s traditional format back, but season five has the rhythm season four lacked. Season four’s structure, such as it was, required a reset at the beginning of nearly every episode. Season five moves from point to point, building on and riffing off what came before, and Arrested Development feels like its old self again."
- To its credit, Season 5 knows about Season 4's problems and corrects exactly what went wrong
- Not everything lands, but enough does to make it worthwhile
- Season 5 really *is* "arrested development" -- it feels like a repeat, like old news
- Some trademark callbacks feel like repetition -- the focal-character structure in Season 4 has been replaced by no structure at all
- How Arrested embraced its Trump parallels in Season 5
- Arrested's Jeffrey Tambor Transparent joke was uncomfortable and unnecessary
- Ranking every episode of Arrested Development
Posted Tuesday 5/29/18 at 12:43PM EDT
Arrested Development's controversial interview resonated because it revealed a boys' club that exists in many workplaces
Jason Bateman and his fellow male co-stars "accidentally achieved the improbable" with their notorious New York Times interview, says Lili Loofbourow. "By downplaying the seriousness of verbal abuse, they revealed it to be a more serious (and more gendered) obstacle to workplace equality than previously acknowledged." Loofbourow adds: "These men thought the mission was How to Help Their Friend Jeffrey Tambor. And that this was so obviously their default assumption says all you need to know about how a boys’ club blinds its members to anything on the outside (women). Their fellow boys are what matters. Their concerns matter more, their humor matters more, their pain matters more, their talent matters more. Tambor’s behavior didn’t damage their workplace and threaten its reputation; the women talking about it did. The Arrested Development men were standing up for a buddy in need. And here’s where that distinction between sexual and verbal abuse starts to get a little shaky—and why a happy work environment for someone within the club can feel hostile to someone outside. It’s not a coincidence that, of all the people Tambor is accused of mistreating (and he himself admits to being mean to), none are men."
Posted Friday 5/25/18 at 7:45PM EDT
Jason Bateman's use of "family" shows how to the word is used to paper over serious problems
"A television set is not a family," Anne Helen Petersen says of The New York Times sitdown with the Arrested Development cast that stirred controversy this week, particularly over Bateman excusing co-star Jessica Walter's experience with verbal abuse from Jeffrey Tambor. “This is a family and families, you know, have love, laughter, arguments — again, not to belittle it, but a lot of stuff happens in 15 years," Bateman said. As Petersen explains, the word "family" may sound innocuous, but it could have a darker meaning. "In cases like these, invoking 'the family' of the workplace becomes a means of blunting anger, of sublimating resistance," she says. "If you push back, it suggests, you’re not harming a company that benefits from your labor. You’re harming your family. The guilt — the natural responsibility we feel toward family members — is generally sufficient to keep workers in line and resigned to their new fate, whether it means the loss of wages or pension, an increase in hours, or the removal of mechanisms like tenure meant to ensure job stability. Speaking up for yourself? Hurting the family. To call a workplace a family is to elevate the loyalty one should feel to the idea of the company and its members and simultaneously excuse, or flatten, any bad behavior or damage inflicted within its confines."
Posted Thursday 5/24/18 at 7:14PM EDT
David Cross apologizes to Jessica Walter, brings up her yelling at somebody on set while also offering details on Jeffrey Tambor's outburst
In a lengthy interview today with Gothamist, Cross recalled how his wife, actress Amber Tamblyn, urged him to avoid Twitter last night following the furor yesterday over The New York Times sitdown with the Arrested Development cast. "I will unequivocally apologize to Jessica," he said of his behavior during the interview. "I'm sorry that we behaved the way we behaved. Whatever the criticisms are, I will own up." But Cross also brought up that Walter had her own outburst on set, one that wasn't as bad as Tambor's outburst. "But to Jessica's credit, she felt bad, she apologized," he said. "Portia (di Rossi) wasn't around, so there was a stand-in for her for months and months and months, and there was this incident, but it didn't have the same kind of feeling that Jeffrey's did. Jeffrey's took a lot of the focus. And again, I don't condone that behavior when anybody does it. And that's with crewmembers as well. There's just no excuse." He also offered some detail of Tambor's outburst: "It was shocking, uncomfortable," he said. "Nobody felt good about it. Nobody was gleeful about it. And it's really unfortunate that it did happen. Outside of the extreme nature of the yelling and dressing down in front of the rest of the cast and crew, I think everyone else as well understood the frustration." Cross added that Tambor "made a big mea culpa to the cast and the crew, but the damage was done. Again, that didn't come out of nowhere, he's not American Psycho or whatever. I think Jason (Bateman) pointed this out, but we didn't know about the Transparent stuff, I hadn't seen that behavior ever from him in 15 years. I have now. And that goes into the pile of what I know about Jeffrey. But up until that point I'd never seen that." Finally, Cross was asked if this controversy will affect how Season 5 is received. "Oh yes, without a doubt. At least initially," he said. ALSO: Netflix cancels Arrested Development cast's British press tour amid Tambor backlash.
Posted Thursday 5/24/18 at 2:03PM EDT
Has Jeffrey Tambor's abusive behavior tainted his work?
In an essay on "The Cultural Vandalism of Jeffrey Tambor," Matt Zoller Seitz writes that now that his abusive behavior on Transparent and Arrested Development have come out, Tambor has "lost the power of illusion — the illusions he created with such painstaking care — and all you can see now are allegations that seem a lot more convincing than his vague apologies and promises to do better." Seitz writes that Tambor's "performance as Hank Kingsley, the sidekick on The Larry Sanders Show, was one of the great portraits of showbiz narcissism, but I can’t imagine revisiting it with the same eyes now, especially during the season where Hank’s assistant, played by Scott Thompson, sues his boss for making homophobic jokes and contributing to a culture of harassment. I can’t lose myself in the fiction anymore because I don’t see the character he’s playing — not exclusively. I see the character for a few seconds or minutes at a time, and then the façade drops and I see the accused sexual harasser and verbal abuser who was fired from his award-winning lead role on Transparent, and who, according to (Jessica) Walter, verbally abused her on the set of Arrested Development. This sort of thing seems categorically different from, say, watching a film starring an actor whose political beliefs are different from yours (though there, too, a line could be irrevocably crossed). Once you believe that a particular actor or filmmaker or screenwriter is a predator or abuser, you’re aware that the environment that produced your entertainment — the film set — was engaged in a conscious or reflexive cover-up, in the name of protecting an investment."
- Jason Bateman showed how Hollywood has justified bad behavior for generations: "Bateman defaulted to every entrenched cultural script of minimizing fault," says David Sims, "downplaying misbehavior, and largely attributing Tambor’s verbal harassment to the unique, circumstantial pressures of acting—a process, he suggested, most onlookers could not hope to understand."
- The interview resonated because "the disrespect felt so benign in the delivery and so destructive in the effect": "How can you have 'zero complaints' about a workplace someone else remembers as containing the worst verbal abuse of her career?" says Linda Holmes. "Is that not, itself, a complaint? Why is it important that over and above forgiveness, Tambor receives absolution from the utterly unaffected men in the cast, right in front of the woman who initially told the Hollywood Reporter she didn't even want to talk about her history with him in the first place? Tambor brought all this up, put all of it out in public, just so everyone else could explain why it didn't matter? Is this reverse roast, this closing argument by a self-appointed defense attorney — is this supposed to be his reckoning?"
- Tony Hale joins Bateman in apologizing to Jessica Walter for his behavior in New York Times interview
- Bateman's apology was "actually good" and "oddly refreshing" -- a stark contrast to Louis CK's apology
- Life in Pieces star Thomas Sadowski slams Arrested men for what they did to Walter: "What in the halfpenny f*ck is happening?!"
- New York Times reporter Sopan Deb: "When I asked about Jeffrey Tambor, obviously the room's tone changed quite a bit"
Posted Thursday 5/24/18 at 4:10AM EDT
Arrested Development men accused of gaslighting Jessica Walter to defend Jeffrey Tambor
The New York Times sitdown with the Netflix cast was notable for the great lengths the men went to defend Tambor after Walter called him out for once verbally abusing her on set. "Jessica Walter actually cries in this interview about how terrible Jeffrey Tambor was to her and her male co-stars go to extraordinary lengths to comfort and defend...Tambor. FFS," tweeted New York Magazine writer Marin Cogan. Much of the online ire was for Jason Bateman, who offered a defense of Tambor's behavior that no one pushed back against, except for Alia Shawkat, the only other female cast member in attendance. "This is a family and families, you know, have love, laughter, arguments — again, not to belittle it, but a lot of stuff happens in 15 years," Bateman said. To which Vulture writer Kathryn VanArendonk tweeted:"'Families get messy' is the most emotionally manipulative, undermining rhetorical move. For one, that sh*t would still be gutting and difficult and confidence-shaking if they were a family! But more importantly: they are NOT. 'We're a family' is an attempt to excuse Tambor and Bateman, but it's also a gesture that excuses (creator Mitch) Hurwitz and Netflix from taking any action to remedy the situation. Corporations are not your family."
UPDATE: Jason Bateman apologizes in a series of tweets: "Based on listening to the NYT interview and hearing people’s thoughts online, I realize that I was wrong. I sound like I’m condoning yelling at work. I do not. It sounds like I’m excusing Jeffery. I do not. It sounds like I’m insensitive to Jessica. I am not. In fact, I’m horrified that I wasn’t more aware of how this incident affected her...I’m incredibly embarrassed and deeply sorry to have done that to Jessica. This is a big learning moment for me. I shouldn’t have tried so hard to mansplain, or fix a fight, or make everything okay. I should’ve focused more on what the most important part of it all is — there’s never any excuse for abuse, in any form, from any gender. And, the victim’s voice needs to be heard and respected. Period...I didn’t say that and instead said a bunch of other stuff and not very well. I deeply, and sincerely, apologize.”