Sunday, February 13, 2005

DB on TV: What the hell is wrong with Fox Television?

First Firefly. Then Wonderfalls.

Now Arrested Development?

To quote the blond chick who buys it in the original Matrix flick: No, not like this… Not like this.

Did Fox lose all confidence in “Arrested Development”…? As far as I know, Fox has not formally pulled the plug on “Arrested,” and has at least till mid-May to decide if the comedy will turn up on its 2005-06 slate. Still, giving the borrible “American Dad” its timeslot for May sweeps? Not the best sign.

Keep in mind, this is rumor-central at this point: nothing official has happened, and nothing may be coming down the pike.

But I’m starting to think that Satan himself may be running Fox these days, teasing the foolish mortals with brilliant television, only to cancel the darlings of our nights before our very teary eyes, crushed souls to wander this plane broken and wasted, shattered bodies that had known light only to… okay, you get the idea.

Arrested Development is an absolutely brilliant comedy, the best thing to come to network television since Seinfeld. To not recognize that scientific bloody fact is… miraculous. (Or miraculously evil? I’ll leave it to you, Trusty Reader, to decide.)

I would argue, in fact, that Arrested Development represents the best in American comedy whereas the equally brilliant (and deranged) The Office represents the best of the BritCom. Arrested Development is minute-by-minute, laugh out loud funny. Its characters are unique and manically cynical, over-the-top bizarre (a recent episode in which Buster Bluth skips out on Basic Training to obsess over the Crane Game at the bus station had me rolling for days) and the writing is even better. Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth does a masterful job as the only nearly sane character and anchors a truly remarkable cast that includes Jeffrey Tambor (who plays two roles), Jessica Walter, the lights out talented David Cross, and Tony Hale, who plays the aforementioned Buster.

Please, please Fox, don’t do this. Firefly was resurrected on the strength of its DVD sales (after Fox aired about nine episodes completely out of order before canceling it mercilessly) into the most anticipated movie of the year (okay… for me, anyway): Serenity.

Not like this. Not like this…


The Sore Loser said...

I've never seen Arrested Development. When's it on?

Eric Berlin said...

Sundays at 8 or 8:30 I believe. I highly recommend renting the first season and watching it straight through. It's much more story arc based than many comedies, which may in fact be why that a mass audience isn't "catching on" (woe though it be to the rest of us).

Huge thread on this topic currently raging over on our sister station,, if anyone is interested.

Shah said...

Agreed that it is one of the better (and original) comedy shows on TV these days, but, second only to "Scrubs"

Eric Berlin said...

I think Scrubs is a very good show, an actually funny sitcom (which is increasingly rare... or perhaps just rare) but AD is up there in all-time classic range already, as far as I'm concerned.

It's the best American sitcom since Seinfeld, me thinks... several degrees better than the excellent Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Eric Berlin said...

That being said, I think two animated shows -- South Park and The Simpsons -- can easily make a claim for the funnist show of the '00s.

PJB said...

Good news:

Fox reassures worried fans that 'Arrested' isn't canceled


In the wake of reports that "Arrested Development" will end its season
early, worried fans of the show have besieged Fox with e-mails begging
that the show be kept on the schedule.

That's not unusual; fans have mounted numerous campaigns to keep cult
series alive. What is a little outside the norm in this case is that Fox
Entertainment President Gail Berman has responded to the show's fans.

"Thank you for your e-mail and your passionate support of 'Arrested
Development,' " Berman writes in an e-mail addressed to fans of the show
(you can see the full text at showbiz blog "While the show
has finished production for its second season, contrary to the rumors
you may have heard or read on the Internet, it is NOT canceled."

Earlier, Fox had announced that the May 1 premiere of "American Dad"
was moving from 8:30 to 7:30 p.m. CST - "Arrested's" time slot. The
Hollywood trade papers also reported that "Arrested Development" would end
its season before May sweeps (as it did last year) and possibly have its
episode order reduced.

More than e-mails or campaigns to send banana-shape stress balls to
Berman, an effort that has already raised more than $1,000, Berman says
the best way to ensure the show's future is to watch it. "Arrested
Development," which won the Emmy for best comedy series last fall, currently
draws only a little more than 6 million viewers per week.

Eric Berlin said...

Thanks PJB, but I don't trust Fox so I'll believe it when I see it.

It's nice to see the fans getting preemptive on some asses, however.

By the way, what the hell is wrong with America that only 6 million people are watching Arrested Development every week?

Too much monster trucks? Too much WWE? Too many Alice reruns on the SuperStation?