Arrested Development fans are busy counting down the hours until Season 4 premieres this Sunday at midnight on Netflix, and here at Flavorwire, we’re no different. So, we’re passing the time by declaring this Arrested Development Week, all leading up to a Recap-a-thon on Sunday, when our own Jason Bailey will review the whole season, episode by episode. Click here to follow our coverage.
The richness of Arrested Development’s characters plays no small role in its continued cult popularity — we’re spending this week arguing over which Bluth is our favorite, after all. But as brilliant as its central ensemble is, the show’s artistic and comedic success is just as much the result of its deep bench. This is a show practically overflowing with uproarious peripheral characters, whether one-offs or long-running utility players, and a fourth season of AD wouldn’t be complete without at least some of them. We’ve seen the flash-happy Kitty (Judy Greer) in the trailer, and had at least some confirmation that we’ll see Henry Winkler’s Barry Zuckerkorn, Ben Stiller’s Tony Wonder, and Mae Whitman’s Ann (her?) again — so here’s a few more Bluth family hangers-on that will hopefully be back.
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Armando Iannucci’s characters, whether on his HBO series Veep, his BBC show The Thick of It, or that show’s film spin-off In the Loop, all share one common trait: a gift for inventive, ingenious insults and profanity. So while it’s not exactly a shock that Mr. Iannucci is such a cheerful, soft-spoken, and friendly chap, it is a bit of a relief; what’s surprising is that he insists, “I don’t swear myself!” In the worlds he’s writing about, “there is a fair amount of profanity but profanity can be quite dull.” With his characters, though, “we try and make it as interesting as possible so it’s not so much the swear words, it’s more the phrases around the swear words that make it more interesting.”
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Here’s some good news for HBO viewers who are missing Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep‘s off-season: The actress will be back on the network in less than two weeks, starring in a short film directed by her husband, actor/writer/producer Brad Hall. Called “Picture Paris,” it finds Louis-Dreyfus playing a suburban mother who combats empty nest syndrome… Read More
It was a cruel irony that the year with the best Emmy nominations yielded one of the worst awards ceremonies in recent memory. Jimmy Kimmel was affable, but not particularly funny. With very few exceptions, the skits and gags were disastrous. (Should we really be encouraging Tracy Morgan these days?) And the winners were so bad, especially in the comedy categories, that we suggest the Academy consider outsourcing those decisions to real comedians for 2013. (Jon Cryer wins for Two and a Half Men?!) And yet, there were a few redeeming moments, thanks to perennial favorites like Breaking Bad, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Amy Poehler, and Jon Stewart. If you DVR’d the ceremony to watch tonight, we recommend you skip it; we’ve rounded up the only ten moments worth talking… Read More
As Season 1 of HBO’s Veep nears its all-too-soon finish (don’t worry folks, a second season is on its way), we gotta say it’s been nice to have Julia Louis-Dreyfus back on the small screen — although “back” might not be the proper word choice here. The woman has had no real gap in her resume since she became a cast member on Saturday Night Live at the tender age of 21, making her part of a talented class of television actresses with the incredible ability to reinvent themselves time and time again. In celebration of Sunday’s finale, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites from this category. We hope you’ll agree that they deserve a round of applause — and that you’ll add some of your personal favorites in the comments.
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What does a vice president do, anyway? Oh, sure, he’s first in line to lead the free world if the president drops dead or is otherwise incapacitated, and reportedly pursues some policy initiatives of his own. But what is Joe Biden actually doing all day — sitting in a big, comfy desk chair making politically incorrect jokes? How did Dan Quayle spend his time at work? If you told me he mostly watched Murphy Brown reruns while shaking his fist at the TV, I wouldn’t be that surprised. My understanding of Dick Cheney’s legacy is that he split his attention between hunting trips, awarding government contracts to shadowy corporations run by his cronies, and shooting poisonous glares at liberals. In fact, we bet your average American would have a hard time imagining what a day in the life of even our cannier VPs — Al Gore, George H.W. Bush — looked like.
HBO’s Veep, which premieres Sunday night at 10, is premised on that ignorance. Created by Armando Ianucci, the British writer/director/producer best known in America for his excellent 2009 film In the Loop, a satire of American and UK politics surrounding the invasion of Iraq, it stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President Selina Meyer. Flanked by a motley staff — Tony Hale’s goofy body guard, Matt Walsh’s harried communications guy, Reid Scott’s well-connected schemer, and Anna Chlumsky as the snippy but smart chief of staff — she spends her days presiding over an office that’s constantly in a panic, generally for no good reason.
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We’ve been a bit perplexed, to be honest, that we haven’t heard more about HBO’s upcoming comedy series, Veep. Created by the team behind the fantastic 2009 British political satire In the Loop and starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as America’s vice president, it seems to have all the elements of great TV — and its election-year debut is fabulous timing. But Veep seems to have been overshadowed by the network’s other spring fare, like the 2008 election movie, Game Change, and Lena Dunham’s Girls.
Thankfully, we’ve finally got a proper trailer, and the show looks fabulous. There’s witty banter, dirty language, wonky political humor, hints of entertaining drama between the president and the VP, and a whole lot of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Selina Meyer attempting to be charming but just coming off as awkward. Splitsider predicts that Veep will turn out to be a sort of West Wing/Arrested Development combo, and while we certainly see elements of both (yes, that’s Buster, aka Tony Hale), Selina is reminding us quite a bit of 30 Rock’s Liz Lemon. And that’s not especially surprising — Tina Fey has often mentioned Louis-Dreyfus as a big influence on her acting. Watch the preview after the jump, and tell us whether you’ll tune in when Veep premieres April 22nd.
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There are a whole lot of new lady-helmed shows coming to HBO this spring, and the premium channel has just announced when they’ll premiere. We can look forward to Tiny Furniture director Lena Dunham’s Girls, a Judd Apatow-backed half-hour comedy about three underemployed college grads in New York, April 15th. If you’re not as excited… Read More
1. Watch the first trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s documentary film about Spalding Gray, And Everything is Going Fine, which his widow asked the director to make after his tragic death. [via Slashfilm]
2. More Steve Carell news: He and David Steinberg are making a documentary that will chronicle the evolution of comedy over… Read More