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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FilmSnork's Bad Idea #1 - The Arrested Development Movie - The Worst Thing to Happen to the Bluth Family Since the Banana Stand Burned Down?

This past weekend at an Arrested Development reunion at the New Yorker Festival the creator of the show, Mitchell Hurwitz, released word that there are now plans to bring the show back to television for a shortened season, followed by the much talked about feature film.  News spread quickly over twitter, facebook, delighting fans whom after numerous false alarms and misguided reports had finally received news that feel concrete.  While many people are overjoyed about the news I can only think, "Noooooooooo!"  This is a bad idea.

Sure, I would love more Arrested Development, but I would also like a 3rd arm at times - sometimes, it is better not to get what you want.  Here are a few reasons I think we should move on and remember Arrested Development for what it was:

What's left to say - As the third came to an end the original storylines were completed in a satisfying fashion.  There were attempts to save the series, to have it picked up another network, but they never came to fruition.   Maybe the networks realized there was no place for the story too go without reinventing itself.  Cancellation gave the show what many TV series wish they had, a positive legacy.  Many shows overstay their welcome, look at The Simpsons.   Arrested, like all shows, had begun to show signs of aging, minor age lines, but they were there.  By the end of season three it wrapped up the central plotlines and headed for the exit.  Congrats.  It was this decision that secured its spot as one of the best shows ever on television (a list that once contained The Simpsons).   Sure good things are hard to walk away from -  Dickens could have added another chapter to "Great Expectations," "What Happened To Pip Next," but he knew better.  A great storyteller knows what he/she has to says it and ends the story.  The Bluth story has concluded, perhaps it should stay that way.

Sequelititis - And since story line was complete, this new series/movie will essentially be a sequel to the original series.  Haven't we learned time and time again about the consequences of making sequels successful stories that stood on their own.  How many Blues Brothers 2000's or Caddyshack 2's do we need before we learn our lesson?  Sequelititis - I define, in part, as a film that possesses the following characteristics: rehashed storylines, well received secondary characters given expanded roles, the addition of characters (or a well know celeb) in an attempt to cover for flawed writing, forced/predictable/uncalled for romances.   Basically, any sequel that is not created to tell part of the story, but rather to squeeze more money out of a popular title, character.  These films are almost always unsuccessful at capturing the magic of the original and often leave it with a black eye.  There are sequels that succeed and the team behind Arrested have a great track record, should it be tested?

Too much time has passed - Since the original series came to an end 5 years ago the cast has aged, economies have changed.  Do the Bluths still fit, unforced, into this day and age or will they be a square peg?  It seems like the new series will be created for the sole purpose of reintroducing the Bluths into the modern world, making a better transition from small to large screen than just creating a feature film.  The short period of time the original storyline took place over supported the arrested development of the characters, made it feasible.   Will that hold up with a storyline that takes place 6 years later, the world moved on, the characters didn't.  For example, the children stars are now college age?  I do not want to see the equivalent of Danny Cooksey, (Diff'rent Strokes) filling the hole left by the aging of Michael Jr. and Maeby.  Please no.

I am incredibly selfish - Have you ever found an undiscovered cozy little restaurant with great food/service, had the night of your and never told anyone about it in an attempt to keep it as something special for yourself, fearing new crowds woud destroy what made the experieince special?  That is how I feel with Arrested Development.  I found it when it originally ran on television, I tried to get people to watch it,  I supported it, I bought the  It is MY show.  Now it is going to be released again to the world, to a new breed of fan - the type of fan that will use it up and dispose of it like the peel of a banana.  Remember when Austin Powers was popular (before the terrible 3rd film)?  Everyone was saying "Yeah baby" to finish of just about every sentence.  "Check out her dress on her, yeah baby!'  "This burrito is spicy, yeah baby!"  "We are going to have to amputate, yeah baby!"   It started off harmlessly, but by the time Kathi Lee Gifford was saying it I wanted to finish anyone's delivery of the two words with a punch to the stomach.  Let's not do that to Arrested Development.  When I see a half naked man, painted blue wearing jean shorts at a Halloween party I want to  have the urge to congratulate him on the costume, not punch him in the stomach.

With all that said, I would love to see an Arrested Development film/series IF it does not reek of Sequelititis.   I wished for a second Matrix and. damn, that was a mistake.  We have the TV equivalent of the Mona Lisa here, do we risk tampering with it.  These guys have the talent to create a brand new show and not risk blacking the eyes of AR.  Just think, what it Rob Thomas never moved on from Veronica Mars we would not have Party Down, it Joss Whedon continued to only focus on Buffy would we ever have Firefly?

Producers, whatever you decide to do with this series reboot I support you.  I want a the best for Arrested Development but, one request.  Please, no Ted McGinley.  Sorry Ted.

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