24 June 2013
“Oh Crap, I’ve Finished Arrested Development… and It’s The Summer”
Hey guys, remember how excited you were when you found out that just as your current favorite TV comedies were sliding off for summer break* your classic favorite TV comedy would be coming to an internet near you? Suddenly, our warm-weather-induced comedy famine was over!
And then you ran through all fifteen episodes at a speed that was disturbing. No big deal – half the fun of Arrested Development is combing through old episodes to get jokes you missed the first time.
But… after running through the season twice, and watching “Colony Collapse” four times just for that adorable repetition of the word “same,” you’re now feeling even emptier than you were before Arrested Development came back into your life. How to cope?
By going back to the service that caused this mess. Below are four Netflix options for a post-AD-hangover.
THE IT CROWD –I don’t know a smart-girl alive who didn’t kind of fall for Chris O’Dowd in Bridesmaids (before he blew up that portrayal by being accent-less on Girls). The IT Crowd is, on the surface, a fairly clichéd sitcom. IT nerds (played by Chris O’Dowd and the very funny Richard Ayoade, who deserved a better US debut than Neighborhood Watch) overseen by technically inept Jen (the ridiculously game Katherine Parkinson) attempt to navigate the complicated world of corporate drudgery while completely failing in their personal lives. But the show is such an absurd little gem, full of ridiculous one-liners and populated by great characters, that it transcends and improves upon the worn-out sitcom setup.
BLACK BOOKS – yeah, another British show. It’s not just the “Wee Britain” arc on Arrested Development that leads to comparisons to the other side of the pond. Black Books takes a similarly unapologetic look at its three leads, at least two of whom are really bad people. Dylan Moran plays Bernard, a rabidly alcoholic book shop owner who accidentally hires sunny Manny (Bill Bailey). The stakes never really get very high (the pair hang out with equally misanthropic, though slightly less drunk, Fran and get in Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque scrapes), but the show is well written, smart, and flies by.
RAISING HOPE – not exactly obscure, given that it’s currently airing on Fox during its New Girl block, but rarely given its due. Come for the off-kilter family dynamic and racist-old-lady jokes, stay for the Greg Garcia patented sweetness and great lead performances by Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt.
THE INBETWEENERS – a gloriously profane look at being a (British) teenage boy. There’s not a lot unique about this show, except that it dials up all the awkwardness of being in highschool to 11 and the fact that it’s a British tv show means there’s lots of sex jokes and mostly-nudity.
DINOSAURS – when I was a kid and watched this puppet-acted show, I just liked that it was about dinosaurs. As an adult, I recognize it for the deeply satirical look at the family sitcom that it is, along with a healthy heaping of social commentary. Strangely enough, this is probably the clearest descendant from Arrested Development on this list (or rather, Arrested Development has a bit of Dinosaur DNA. Hence those chicken dances)
*And in one notable case, a much-lauded reunion with its creator.