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Reviews

May 27, 2013

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The cast of Arrested Development

If you’d told me a couple of years ago that I’d be sitting here at 5:30am having finished a new season of Arrested Development, I likely wouldn’t have believed you. It’s somewhat surreal, really, to think that this show could rise out of the mountainous ash-pile of lamented cancellation. It’s fitting, then, that the fourth season premiere is entitled “Flight of the Phoenix” — the meaning of which I shouldn’t have to spell out to fans of the show.

Firstly, a caveat of sorts: I watched the entire season within 12 hours of its release, so my reaction to it here is an initial one. As those who have seen the show will know, part of its commensurate charm is its heavily self-referential nature with running jokes and callbacks dotting each episode. Watching it all at once helps one to catch these, but it also wears on one’s patience. I will not be revealing any key plot details if I can help it, though I will be talking about the characters and about my reaction to the ending but not in any explicit way, so only read on if this won’t bother you. As to how I’ve seen it already: you should “something search” that for yourself.

Continue reading “NO SPOILERS!: Arrested Development season four review”

Analysis

Apr 21, 2013

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Kevin Spacey failing to properly apply nail polish in House of Cards.

One of the reasons The Simpsons will prove to be, in this writer’s haughty, look-at-me-I’m-a-TV-blogger opinion, television’s greatest achievement is because it’s almost impossibly enduring. Those classic seasons just don’t age; even a generally under-appreciated episode like “A Streetcar Named Marge” only increases in stature the more I revisit it (if you don’t cackle hysterically at this The Birds reference at The Ayn Rand School for Tots — genius in itself — then I can nought but pity you).

The reason I mention The Simpsons is because of how progressively it became so brilliant and iconic. It started as brief little sketches on The Tracey Ullman Show, blustered through a good but uneven first season before finding its feet in its second, and now it’s probably the most oft-quoted body of work since Zombie Shakespeare wrote a bunch of plays. Even its increasing detachment from the original characters and persistent refusal to die can’t sully its legacy. But if you turn the clock back, even at its peak the show struggled to please everyone — thankfully, those dissenters’ ridiculous opinions on an episode like “Itchy & Scratchy Land” live on in the internet’s memory.

Continue reading House of Cards indeed: does the ‘Netflix model’ diminish television as art?”