Sunday, March 06, 2005


When geeks like me talk about continuity it's usually in reference to something either DC or marvel has done (or undone) that just doesn't vibe (or hell, sometimes DOES vibe) with what's come before. Sometimes we bitch because we think continuity should be ignored. sometimes we bitch because it IS being ignored. There's no pleasing fanboys, anyone who's been associated with any facet of fandom can attest to that, we like to bitch no matter what.

That said, I'm not here to talk comics, I'm here to talk TV. You don't see a lot of continuity on TV, do you know why? Because unless it's people sitting on the couch daily watching Soaps (or, oddly enough, wrestling), audiences can't be bothered to really pay that much attention to what they're watching. There are the attempts at continuity in long running shows, but mostly those are used to bring viewers back, not as any sort of reward for those few that feel the need to watch every show. Of course, I'm not talking about "geek" shows (Buffy, angel, Star Trek, you get the point...) I'm just thinking about mainstream TV. Stuff like Friends, Cheers, Frasier (all poor examples, because they actually did have a bit of continuity, but mostly that "outside" continuity I mentioned). But, then yoiu get a show like Arrested Development. It seems to be nothing but continuity, but not in a sense that it alienates new viewers, in fact I've converted two or three people over based on episodes soaked in references to other episodes. I know I'm beating this horse to death, but it reall-y is amazing. Not since Seinfeld (and Soap before it, though sometimes entire plots got dropped on that show) went off the air has there been a show that pays off so well for its audience, there were jokes in tonights two episodes that were payoffs from an episode from a year ago. Not that they were set up in advance (maybe they were), but that the writers have found ways to go back and dip into past episodes and come up with more jokes to tell. And none of it alienated the audience, the jokes were still funny outside of continuity, but if you were in on it from the beginning it made it even better. If this show gets cancelled I may have to start buying plane tickets and personally kicking the crap out of everyone that didn't watch it!

Kidding of course.

Watch it, if you're a wanna-be writer, it's a brilliant exercise in plot development and comedy, the jokes are always funny, and only get funnier when you watch them again. If you're a wanna-be filmmaker, the style of the show is a great example of what you can do with a limited budget and a lot of heart. Actors? You don't get much better than this ensemble cast, timing, expression, character, and even movement are all part of the charm of the show and while part of that is the writing, it wouldn't be half as great without these actors and the characters they've developed. And if you're just looking for entertainment, you won't find anything better on television (no, not even Scrubs, as much as that pains me).

I swear, no more Arrested Development posts this week, I'll save em for next week!


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