Monday, June 10, 2013

The Arrested Developedit: You Needed This

This is all written with the assumption that you have already binge-watched Season 4 Of Arrested Development and you probably have a small collection of gifs you pulled off of tumblr. 

When Reddit user morphinapg uploaded their Arrested Developedit of S4, I was giddy. Like, new Pokemon edition giddy. It was happy dance time. For one thing, like a lot of fans I struggled this season with the non-linear storytelling. Each episode covering one character's perspective of the same story was obviously done to accomodate the cast. Which is cool, because we all know they're busy being awesome people constantly working other on amazing projects (why aren't you watching Archer again?). 

 However accommodations aside the problem with telling the same story nine times over and over in slightly different perspective shifts is that it will inevitably lose it's emotional impact. The repetition of the scene will begin to feel a little slow and stale. It's hard to do this type of non-linear storytelling in a way where the tension and pacing doesn't lag, even if it does feature a new scene in between the repeats where a Never Nude goes to a methadone clinic to beef up on his acting. And at times the new AD suffered from this. For every, crazy new GOB scene, there was a recut of the police office with a slightly different perspective that seemed to drag on. Also it's worth mentioning that the original series was told in linear fashion. So you're used to one style because you've watched it a bazillion times and here comes this totally different other style that kind of throws you off. Kind of like when you're used to strawberry fro-yo, and you get strawberry every time and then all of a sudden the strawberry is gone at the fro-yo place and it's been replaced with matcha and you're like "whoa, this is going to take some getting used to". 

This is the worst analogy in the world, but stick with me here. Because said other fans felt this same pain and re-edited Season 4 so you can get your strawberry Bluths. The edit is not perfect; sometimes the VO is wonky and you'll get opening credits in the middle of an episode, but is does get you following the story as it unfolds from all sides at the same time. It kicks the pacing back up and re-infuses AD with the feeling that the cast is together, rather than on their own separate story lines with other members occasionally popping in to remind you they're there. It's fresher, and while some of the setups don't hit quite as hard, it's still a hilariously twisty ride. For those who wanted this season to feel more like the older seasons, the edit does so and does so well.

The bad news is that as of this article being posted the individual downloads of the episodes seem to have been taken down from the file sharing site for obvious copyright issues. Good news is that once anything is on the internet, it will rise again somewhere else. 

Unlike GOB, who went with the rapture.

This is Asher Powell’s last article for Stellar Four, as she'll be taking a three month sabbatical to go work a writing gig. You can still follow her on twitter where she'll continue to keep you in the loop about what she's working on as well a the nerdier side of pop culture and how much she misses her kitties. 

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