Friday, November 11, 2005

Damn Fox Philistines!

by Tom Bozzo

So long, Arrested Development. Sniff.

OK, so this isn't exactly the World's Biggest Surprise, as the ratings have been terrible. Nevertheless, for me it will join the often sublime "It's Like, You Know..." (which starred Whit Stillman regular Chris Eigeman and Jennifer Grey playing quasi-herself, and ran briefly on ABC in 1999-2000) among data points towards the proposition, "If we must rely on the taste of the mass market, we're pretty much screwed."

The sliver of hope is that Fox has some incentive to shop 'Arrested' to other outlets to get a greater return from future DVD sales. I'd think that, unbleeped, it would be solid fare for HBO or another pay cable outlet, though perhaps it would suffer a "not invented here" problem. Otherwise, it's few million viewers, while in disaster (or charity) territory for network TV, would be a solid base for an appropriately-chosen extended basic cable network. The catch there is apparently that the show's budget is high. But I have to grasp onto that which is graspable.

Once they moved it to Mondays before "Prison Break", I kept forgetting about it. That's too bad, because it was such a good show. When it was on Sunday, I watched it every week. Fox never supported it like they should have. I hope they find another home on another network.
We were shocked & saddened to learn of the cancellation! It's like Fox wanted it to fail. Always preempted last year by football, this year by baseball. How could it build a loyal following when it was hardly ever on?

I'm not sure about unbleeped though. Case in point - we're working our way though season two again. The Bluth Company Christmas party scene where GOB gives the pre-party talk about sexual harrassment - couldn't be funnier and almost the entire bit of dialog is bleeped.
I agree with both of you that Fox didn't care for the show well -- and having it lead off the lineup was highly questionable. It really needed to be in a post-Seinfeld slot, which Fox really doesn't have.

Cathy, that's a good point about the bleeps. In the 1st season (IIRC), there's a similar scene where Buster unloads a bleeped tirade about Lucille, and who knows whether he was actually saying anything. OTOH, there's shock-value effect a la "The Aristocrats," though such things have to be deployed carefully.
I agree with cathy that the bleeps often makes the scenes funnier. The scene where Buster goes on a Lucille tirade is one of the funniest tv moments I can remember.

Also, I like the way they find a way to mask the mouths of the cursing person. Very cute.
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