Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Arrested Development Rides Off Into the Sunset

Life sure as fuck isn’t fair. Genuinely good things goes unnoticed until they’re gone and the bad and mediocre get rewarded because people who don’t know their ass from a hole in Shitney Spear’s head get to make the decisions.

It’s become almost cliché to lament the passing of Fox’s Arrested Development. The awesome and destined to be classic half hour show was cancelled, presumably due to low ratings, even though it won an Emmy and achieved a near fanatical fan base. It was routine to hear myself, friends and family members say, “why is Arrested Development getting cancelled when (insert bad Fox show here) is still on?” My favorite shows to insert were The War At Home, a terrible waste of a half hour, and Prison Break. Talk about a Gilligan’s Island scenario; either they escape or not and the show’s over. Just a plain waste of everyone’s time. And very, very homoerotic from the look of the commercials, just like the OC.

My sister can’t believe Stacked, the Pam Anderson “laugh-fest” is still on instead of Arrested, and I’m pretty sure if you shaved some money off of Bill O’Reilly’s sexual harassment defense fund, there’d be some money left over to pay for Arrested Development’s production. Couldn’t have Fox spared us the abysmal Head Cases (which lasted like two episodes and I won a bet with my wife because it was cancelled…she claimed it would go a full season. Ha.) and the soon-to-be-cancelled, as soon-as-it-premiers because it looks terrible, The Loop?

I think that was the problem with Arrested Development. It probably cost more to make because it wasn’t done on a crappy sound stage. They actually shot a lot on location which can’t be cheap. The War At Home is done on one, maybe two sets and they got writers from the local community college to send in jokes for added savings. They saved even more money by getting photos of Michael Rappaport blowing Spike Lee and blackmailed him into to doing the show for free. That’s the only reason I could come up with as to why he would be involved with something sooooo shitty.

Married: With Children, the epic Fox sitcom was filmed on a few sets and still became a classic American comedy (seriously, I believe this). But what other sitcoms do you remember being on Fox during the time it was on? The Simpsons? Was there anything else that stood the test of time? No, because Fox has a long track record of putting out crap and not recognizing when it has something good.

Arrested Development is probably gone for good. There were grumblings that it could go to another network or Showtime, but I don’t think those rumors have panned out. It’s a shame because it was by far the best written comedy on TV in a long while. Was it too sophisticated for the bland American palette? I think so. The fact that the According to Jim, Yes Dear, and The King of Queens are still on proves that.

So for the same reason Asslee Simpson sells a lot of records and Martin Lawrence still makes movies, Arrested Development has gone the way of the dodo. The lesson here is enjoy it while it lasts because no matter how much talent and creative juice you have in a project, it won’t matter when Skating With Bruce Jenner’s Plastic Surgery Disaster pulls in more ratings. Vaya con dios, Arrested Development.

Epilogue to this post: William Hung (the spectacular failure of American Idol) was on one of the final episodes of Arrested. William Hung and the Hung Jury was his band name I think. Anyway, I’ve got a great William Hung story that I’ll share with you next time.


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