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Arrested Development Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Ron Howard, Charlize Theron

Arrested Development (Season 3): Michael Bluth is still trying to keep his dysfunctional family together – and they’re doing their best to screw everything up. This series coasts a little more on the established gags like the Bluth lessons (why you should always leave a note!), rather than creating new ones; some old plot-lines and characters are also written back in to beef up the story. Because it was the last scheduled season, the final few episodes felt obligated to tie-up the loose ends like the Iraq “light treason” court case, cousin love etc – which was good to see, but feels more forced than the usual completely unrelated antics. Once again the two stars of the show are the cast and the writers – you just don’t get it this good on both sides very often. As you’d expect, Season 3 is still great TV, but it doesn’t feel as fresh or funny as the first two series – the episodes aren’t quite as tight, or packed with jokes, and some of the bigger laughs stoop down to things like rude language (pussy/fags) and retards; which previous seasons didn’t need to fall back on. However, those niggles are minor, and Season 3 ensures that the show remains one of the greatest comedies of all time.

Score: 7.5/10

Arrested Development Season 1 Review

Arrested Development Season 2 Review

Arrested Development Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Ron Howard, Charlize TheronJason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Ron Howard, Charlize Theron, Scott Baio

Arrested Development – Season 3: Poorly received comedy series that’s all about the family, and family values. Sounds like the ultimate cliché but this has to be one of the funniest, wittiest and smartest TV show’s I’ve seen. It’s absolutely bursting with comedy, one-liners, slapstick & adult jokes, and gags that run through an episode, season, or even the entire show: mixed between in your face, subtle or even just hinted at. The downside of this is that it’s a little too clever/fast for some, and a lot of the ‘contemporary’ quips aren’t as relevant as they were several years ago. There’s no dumb laugh-track, so you can pick up everything. The cast has too much talent – both young and old – to list: David Cross, Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Tony Hale… not to mention the stunning Portia De Rossi. As a show, it’s also smart in that it’s very aware of itself and similar shows, episode 9 in particular is screaming with self-reference and irony. The characters, who drive the plot, are all great, consistent and well-acted; in particular the promiscuous Tobias, whose every line is innuendo-tastic. Gob is also a treat to watch. It looks great, is well-written (with an amazing attention to detail*), very neat, and the show does well to handle constant incest references – which would put many people off. As great as it is this season starts to wear a little thin by the end – so it’s probably for the best that they’ve stopped it there. Like the show says “Tell your friends” as all three season are 100% worth watching.

Score: 8.5/10

*so much of which would be lost between aired episodes a week apart, which is probably the main reason it wasn’t a successful broadcast show. Definitely one for DVD sessions.