WEIRDLAND: Arrested Development state

Monday, March 17, 2008

Arrested Development state

"W. H. Auden, a poet with an artistic sensibility strikingly similar to De Vries’, has commented, "What no critic seems to see in my work are its comic undertones. Only through comedy can one be serious"; and De Vries himself has talked at length about the twin problems of "serious" and "comic".

Anyway, it’s false to life to separate elements from counterparts with which they are inseparably mingled in reality. You can’t be talking about the serious and comic separately and still be talking about life, any more than you can independently discuss hydrogen and oxygen and still be dealing with water.

Robert Frost understood (and exemplified) this principle beautifully, I think. He says somewhere ... something about how if we want to be charming or bearable the way is almost rigidly prescribed: if it is with outer seriousness it must be with inner humor; if it is with outer humor it must be with inner seriousness.

There are writers—and you can have them—who think that all you have to do to write a serious book is to lack humor. They are sorely mistaken—as mistaken as those benighted cut-ups who think that all you need to write nonsense is to lack sense.

[...] Wanderhope speaks harshly; perhaps it is utterances like the following that prompt Mr. Fuller’s "shallow and sentimental" judgment:

How I hate this world. I would like to tear it apart with my own two hands if I could. I would like to dismantle the universe star by star, like a treeful of rotten fruit. . . . Man is inconsolable, thanks to that eternal "Why?" when there is no Why, that question mark twisted like a fish hook in the human heart. "Let there be light", we cry, and only the dawn breaks.

[...] From the beginning Joe is, as he puts it, one of God’s clowns (p. 15). He is special. His witty "irreverence" disguises the fact to most of his friends that he is as taken aback by the world as Don Wanderhope when he wonders how slapstick tragedy can get. Joe, however, has more intelligence than the early Wanderhope, and more honesty, too; he is not content to reply on a sophomorically stoic philosophy. Instead, he adopts a pose which he feels suits better—that of the slapstick clown. Like earlier De Vriesian characters, he puns; but unlike his predecessors, Joe puns with an urgency. The world refuses to make sense, so he laughs at it—and at himself".

"Arrested Development was so dizzyingly absurd, jaundiced, silly, multilayered, and brilliant that it seemed less a sitcom and more the answer to a secret prayer for real entertainment we’d been unconsciously uttering for years. Guess now we’ll file it away in the same rarefied circle with Nirvana, Calvin and Hobbes, and Fruit Brute cereal—stuff we knew was good when it was around, but just how good only once it was gone". -Violet Glaze-


"Americans don’t want to be tricked by their art. We shuffle uncomfortably past Soup Cans in museums (and flip over Arrested Development) because we’re not sure if it’s a trick or genuine art. Is it a documentary? reality tv? comedy? When do you laugh? Is incest funny? Do housekeepers live in buses? Why is there a little bit of me in every disturbing character?"


"Lindsay and her husband, Tobias. You know, deep down, they-they both love each other very, very much".

"You know, your average American male is in a perpetual state of adolescence, you know, arrested development".

"I have Pop-Pop in the attic".
-George Michael: You know, I can see why your mom likes it.
It is a really nice tree...
-Maeby: We've got to get it torn down.
-George Michael: ...that must die. Stupid tree.

Read five possible plotlines for the next "Arrested Development" film coming in 2009 from

In the duet show with his perfectly paired talented friend Clark Duke -partner in crime and sibarite-looking colleague at once- Clark and, Michael Cera has continued to offer us generous doses of ad-lib jokes, dead-pan type humor, dry comedic spoofs and substantial sketches marked by constant acid-tongued occurrences, irreverent send-ups and improvised songs which pile up as hodge-podge memoirs from a stand-up discourse we collect all through this sui géneris journey.


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