And if you don’t know what we are talking about Michael Cera, star of hit TV show Arrested Development tells Alexi Duggins five good reasons why you should find out
Despite its cancellation during its third season in 2006 due to low viewing figures, over three series, the tale of a dysfunctional, formerly wealthy US family garnered six Emmies, a Golden Globe and two Writers’ Guild of America awards. It reinvigorated Jason Bateman’s Hollywood career and those of Will Arnett and Michael Cera. For our money, it’s hands down the funniest, cleverest, subtlest TV comedy of the last 25 years. And now it’s back. Seven years on the cast has reunited, filming 15 episodes for series four. It’s such a classic show that if you’re yet to see an episode you really need to. But don’t take our word for it: Michael Cera is almost as big a fan, and he was in it.
1 It’s some of the cleverest TV comedy writing of the last 25 years
So layered with subtle jokes is Arrested Development that it’s impossible to take them all in on one watch. ‘It’s some of my favourite comedy writing,’ says Cera. ‘You can view it a second time and have a totally different experience. The more you watch, the deeper you get into it.’
2 It has the best cast in TV comedy, bar none
Each of the nine characters in Arrested Development are played with such vibrancy that they leap through the screen. After you’ve watched a couple of episodes, these aren’t characters, they’re people you know. ‘Right from the first script read-through, we had such a great dynamic, it felt like, “Woah. We’re the champions”. The whole cast is incredible.’ says Cera.
3 It made Michael Cera who he is today
Without Arrested Development, Cera’s sparkling turns in Juno, Scott Pilgrim and Superbad might never have happened. ‘Yeah, it was inexpressibly formative and orientating for my career,’ says Cera. ‘But also in terms of my whole life’s direction.’
4 The antithesis of formulaic TV
Despite racking up awards, Arrested Development was continually under pressure from network execs to dumb down for higher viewing figures, but it refused to compromise. No matter how hard it made life. ‘Fox wanted to cancel us so bad it got to the point where it was funny when we’d win awards,’ smiles Cera. ‘It made us a pebble in its [Fox’s] shoe.’
5 Its move to the internet makes it the future of TV
On television, Arrested Development struggled to pick up viewers from an audience hungry for veg-out TV. Online, it can focus on pleasing fans of subtle, whipsmart comedy the world over. ‘This series is something new,’ says Cera.
The first three series of ‘Arrested Development’ are available from Dhs190, www.amazon.com.