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Smartest, Funniest Show Ever

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Smartest, Funniest Show Ever

Old 04-15-08, 11:16 AM
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The Great Entertainment that is 'Arrested Development'

....Arrested Development. I've had all the seasons for a couple of years, I have watched them before, but lately I have been going back through them, and I don't think a comedy has as many layers of story and humor. (EDIT: I enjoy the show, but I don't literally believe it is the smartest show. The title is a hyperbole to show my love for the show. No debate about this is necessary )

I literally pick up on stuff and laugh at different things everytime I watch an episode. Just amazing stuff, and I hope this movie gets made. Ron Howards narration, the editing, and the acting is stellar. Never will there be a more perfect casting.

And Will Arnett as Gob...is phenomenal. Just watched the episode again last night with the company softball game...just awesome.

Discuss.

Last edited by StephenX; 04-15-08 at 11:53 AM.
Old 04-15-08, 11:21 AM
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Smuggest show? Definitely. Along with many of the fans that are condescending towards those of us that just do not like the show. If I have one more AD fan insinuate that I don't like the show because I just am not smart enough to "get it," I'm going to clobber them with a baseball bat.

The acting by Jeffrey Tambor was top notch as always, but the rest of the show was good. Not horrible, but certainly not the godsend of modern television that people try to make it out to be.
Old 04-15-08, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by MovieExchange
Smuggest show? Definitely. Along with many of the fans that are condescending towards those of us that just do not like the show. If I have one more AD fan insinuate that I don't like the show because I just am not smart enough to "get it," I'm going to clobber them with a baseball bat.

The acting by Jeffrey Tambor was top notch as always, but the rest of the show was good. Not horrible, but certainly not the godsend of modern television that people try to make it out to be.
I can respect that. The pilot and first one or two after that were 'meh.' But as soon as the relationships with characters were built, it REALLY picked up (to me, anyways).
Old 04-15-08, 11:25 AM
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Do you like The Office? If not, its simply because you don't get smart humor either.
Old 04-15-08, 11:33 AM
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On it's best day Arrested Development doesn't even approach being even half as smart or funny as The Simpsons was during it's peak, say, seasons 3-8. And that's well over 100 episodes, more than double the episodes AD produced.
Old 04-15-08, 11:34 AM
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Okay, I don't want this to erupt in a debate over smartness/humor, its basically a thread to talk about Arrested Development, not to debate its greatness or lack thereof.

The threat title is an opinion of mine, no need to debate that.
Old 04-15-08, 11:43 AM
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Cheer's also is pretty smart.
Old 04-15-08, 11:48 AM
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While Arrested Development would be near the top, I'd have to give the nod to Seinfeld, with Frasier probably coming in at number three. A show that influenced society as much as Seinfeld did had to be playing with a full deck.

Last edited by Vipper II; 04-15-08 at 11:52 AM.
Old 04-15-08, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by MovieExchange
Smuggest show? Definitely. Along with many of the fans that are condescending towards those of us that just do not like the show. If I have one more AD fan insinuate that I don't like the show because I just am not smart enough to "get it," I'm going to clobber them with a baseball bat.
Getting the show has nothing to do with being smart. It's either your type of comedy or it isn't. It has nothing to do with intelligence.
Old 04-15-08, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by StephenX
its basically a thread to talk about Arrested Development, not to debate its greatness or lack thereof.
One problem: there have been about a thousand threads about "Arrested Development"'s "greatness".

Now I know how people felt when I was praised "Scrubs" all the time when I first joined.

I like AD, but we don't need all these "praising" threads. Ok, we get it, it's the greatest comedy ever and nothing has been funnier. We "get" it.
Old 04-15-08, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by nateman
One problem: there have been about a thousand threads about "Arrested Development"'s "greatness".

Now I know how people felt when I was praised "Scrubs" all the time when I first joined.

I like AD, but we don't need all these "praising" threads. Ok, we get it, it's the greatest comedy ever and nothing has been funnier. We "get" it.
I didn't care too much for Scrubs, but LOVE The Office. Should I check out 30 Rock? I haven't heard a lot of negative stuff about it.
Old 04-15-08, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenX
I didn't care too much for Scrubs, but LOVE The Office. Should I check out 30 Rock? I haven't heard a lot of negative stuff about it.
I highly recommend you check out "30 Rock". It's kind of like "Arrested Development" actually.

If you don't like it, it doesn't mean you don't "get" it, it just isn't your show. It isn't like "Scrubs" at all really, so you might like it. I'm not a fan of the US version of "The Office" personally (I'm a fan of Jenna Fisher, however), but the UK (the original) version was pretty good. The US version has a very talented cast, however. The US version of "The Office isn't bad by any means, and I might love it after it goes off the air (like I did with "Seinfeld"), but I don't watch or buy the DVDs right now.

If you're going to watch "30 Rock" from the beginning; give it a couple of episodes. It's funny from the start, but it really transforms into a brilliant comedy within the first season.
Old 04-15-08, 12:43 PM
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Flight of the Conchords

/end thread
Old 04-15-08, 12:48 PM
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All In The Family
Old 04-15-08, 01:11 PM
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The Beverly Hillbillies.
Old 04-15-08, 01:12 PM
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Fawlty Towers
Old 04-15-08, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Getting the show has nothing to do with being smart. It's either your type of comedy or it isn't. It has nothing to do with intelligence.
That was his point. Many fans of the show do not treat it that way though.
Old 04-15-08, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Getting the show has nothing to do with being smart. It's either your type of comedy or it isn't. It has nothing to do with intelligence.
I definitely agree on that. I just remember the many threads here and elsewhere that contained people berating those not liking the show as "too dumb to understand it."

I consider myself above average intelligence, I have a sense of humor that ranges from old slapstick of 3 Stooges to the more "intellectual" stand-up comics. For some reason, AD just never clicked with me. I watched the entire first season when someone traded it in to my store. Even though I didn't particularly care for it after the first disc, I stuck around hoping things would develop, but it just didn't click for me.

I'd have to say that if someone traded in the second season I would watch it, if only for the (as I mentioned originally) phenomenal acting by Tambor. It's just one of those shows I never understood the fuss over though.
Old 04-15-08, 02:03 PM
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The Office (UK) has to be up there. But I'm sticking with Arrested Development.
Old 04-15-08, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by nateman
I'm not a fan of the US version of "The Office" personally (I'm a fan of Jenna Fisher, however)
Her?
Old 04-15-08, 04:23 PM
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What exactly are the qualities that make a comedy 'smart'?

Is it that they don't follow the typical sitcom routes? Is it the quality or style of the writing, acting, etc.? Is it the lack of a laugh track? All of the above? None of the above?
Old 04-15-08, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlieK
What exactly are the qualities that make a comedy 'smart'?

Is it that they don't follow the typical sitcom routes? Is it the quality or style of the writing, acting, etc.? Is it the lack of a laugh track? All of the above? None of the above?
Interesting question. I'd say all of the above, but more importantly, unconventional. A show that ditches all preconceived notions of what a sitcom should be.

I think AD takes the crown though because of the sheer volume and layers of jokes thrown at you. You would have the typical one liners(dialog), site gags, jokes in the background, lots of call backs to previous gags, even cues that forshadow future gags, and even musical bits that add to the complexity. At any given time you have one or more of these going on all at the same time while a typical sitcom will throw one at you and wait for the laughter to subside before lobbing another at you.

Seinfeld is right up there though because it too, took the sitcom manual and threw it out the window. Who else would have done an entire 22 minutes waiting on a table at a restaurant? Crazy. Seinfeld paved the way for AD and most shows on the air today.

Third would have to be the Office (UK) that took the mockumentary and used social awkwardness as it's ace-in-the-hole. Sure there have been awkward characters through time, but the lack of a laugh track intensified and amplified that awkwardness to unrivaled levels. Something no other sitcom had ever done before.

Of course there is nothing wrong with a traditional sitcom, it's worked for decades. I always think back to (James Burrows?) discussing Cheers about how it was literally... setup-setup-punchline, setup-setup-punchline, repeated for 22 minutes. It's crazy watching episodes after hearing that. You can totally see that in action and it works, brilliantly.

Last edited by Michael Corvin; 04-15-08 at 04:44 PM.
Old 04-15-08, 05:06 PM
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I totally agree with Michael. It's the 'smart' stuff that he describes that makes a show so rewatchable. The formula is broken, forcing you to have to look for the hidden jokes that aren't that obvious. These 'layers' make it difficult for some people to get into. Since the joke isn't so obvious, a lot of people don't like that. Another example is The Office: you might laugh at what Michael says, but on a second viewing its even funnier seeing Pam's reaction as he says it. It's not 'lol' funny, just makes something else that much funnier.

Not saying they are dumb, just saying only certain people are going to enjoy doing that. I, personally, love it.

Last edited by StephenX; 04-15-08 at 05:08 PM.
Old 04-15-08, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
I think AD takes the crown though because of the sheer volume and layers of jokes thrown at you. You would have the typical one liners(dialog), site gags, jokes in the background, lots of call backs to previous gags, even cues that forshadow future gags, and even musical bits that add to the complexity. At any given time you have one or more of these going on all at the same time while a typical sitcom will throw one at you and wait for the laughter to subside before lobbing another at you.
Simpsons did all that and more, for far more episodes.

But I guess it doesn't count because it's animated...
Old 04-15-08, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by slop101
Simpsons did all that and more, for far more episodes.

But I guess it doesn't count because it's animated...
Not quite the same since anything can be done in animation. You want Homer abducted by aliens while Chopin's funeral march plays in the background while you see the power plant get nuked from orbit? Done. Totally forget about it by next week? No problem. Not quite the same restraints as live action.

I never could get into the Simpsons. I watched the first few seasons but didn't buy into the phenomenon it became. I catch an episode here and there and am still left scratching my head. Having missed the so called "pinnacle" my opinion probably doesn't count for much though.

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