The Regularly Scheduled TV Show Blog

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Arrested Development 3.04 and 3.05, Prison Break 1.10: MR F and a Mo' Better Assassin

Arrested Development returns to save Monday night comedy and Prison Break gets another prisoner along for the ride.

A much needed boost of Arrested Development finally returned and it was an outstanding duo of shows. The first showcased more of the relationship between Michael and Rita, and involved the Japanese investors. The humor and punch lines were just as we left them, spot on and perfectly timed. The first episode dealt with the misinterpretation (lost in translation?) of the word pussy, and how Rita called Michael one. Michael’s resulting quest to prove his manhood to her results in his taking part in a hilarious training homage to all the training montages we see in sports movies. Since GOB is a wuss and won’t be a father to Steve Holt, Michael begins hardcore training for the triathlon. The best part is when they arrive at the competition and find that it’s a kiddie triathlon, involving wading pools, tire obstacles, and being tied to one another by the legs. I love Jason Bateman and his acting is just superb and when he realizes that it’s a kiddie competition his exasperation is perfectly palpable. I also love Charlize Theron’s as Rita. She just plays the idiot so well, as we’ll soon find out in the second episode.

The second episode was by far, one of the best concerning gags. Everything worked perfectly, intertwining with the perfect explosion when MoleMan attacks the miniature city but is foiled by… RocketMan? Ahh, that was definitely one of the funniest moments I’ve seen in a long time. This show also revealed MR F, who turned out to be Tobias the Mole but in fact signifies Rita as well. As the CIA Agent so succinctly explained, “Mentally Retarded Female”. It makes so much sense since she IS in love with Michael. In this episode, however, I was confused with one aspect. When they revealed that it was her uncle who was threatening Michael, did they concede that he had nothing to do with the conspiracy concerning George Sr? Or are they just throwing us a loop? Or, more astutely, am I reading too much into a conspiracy on a show that obviously shouldn’t be taken too seriously since it had MoleMan? I think the last one is correct. Onward to the real conspiracy!

Prison Break was a phenomenal show. The aspect which I enjoyed the most concerned the inclusion of another badass to the stable of assassins in the Secret Service. Who knew there were so many assassins readily available to the White House? I sure didn’t. But his character was a devastatingly awesome character. When we were first introduced to him, I was taken aback. The Vice President had built him up to be some kind of force to be reckoned with and we’re shown this really lumpy guy, plain-looking, and seems like he could have been relocated from the Brady Bunch show. Where was the cool guy in the dark glasses and the badass leather gear with his huge gun? But then, we shortly realize how much of a badass he is with one swoop. When former badass Secret Service agent makes his move on the new guy, he is promptly and swiftly taken care of, with hit finger broken. This was so succinct an action and did so much more of asserting the new guys prowess than any sort of dialog could have. One of the better showcases of astute writing and acting that delivered.

On the other hand, one of the worst scenes concerning promptness and flow of the scene came with the talk between LJ and Nick. What was supposed to be a heart to heart between these two characters came off as sappy and forced. Most of the clichéd lines were there, including “you have to be strong” and “I know what you’re going through”. I mean, I could have gagged from all the horrible and forced acting in this scene. I know it seems like I have a vendetta against LJ but his acting is horrible and it seems to infect the other decent actors on this show when he is on screen with them. Last week, the Secret Service agents were almost fouled by LJ and this week Nick’s acting chops were taken hostage. I am not sure if it’s the dialog as well, but for some reason, the show bogs down when LJ is involved and mucking up the flow of the show. Hopefully the writers and directors do their jobs and kill this kid now.

Meanwhile, Scofield had to deal with the mob and Abruzzi in order to get back into P.I. and back on duty. Inside prison is where the show really shines, and I was glad it did not disappoint. I didn’t see the twist of Abruzzi and Scofield setting up the mobster but that’s a good thing. Good writing surprises you, and this totally did. Scofield didn’t compromise his principles and he got his way. I guess more of his superhero powers showing through again. However, one thing that happened in the prison that I don’t like was the inclusion of yet another member of the BreakOut crew. The black drug runner for Scofield magically became a member of CSI and found out the matching rubble from the yard matched the rubble in the break room? Riiight. I believe that as much as I believe LJ’s acting. I suppose the writers did it to complicate things even more… but the way I see it, they are just making it more complicated for the sake of complication and not really adding any new threads to the story. In any case, we’ll find out the ramifications next week!


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