Hello, darkness, my old friend…
It’s time to talk about GOB. Finally! I have been very excited to watch his episodes, as I have heard they are the fan favorites. After a rather pleasurable viewing, I think I can see why, and no, I don’t feel like I am a victim of an elaborate illusion. I am still holding out to say which are my favorite, but this would rank high, among the Tobias and Debrie episode.
Most importantly, the call-backs are gratifying and in-your-face, much like a Tony Wonder show. The glitter of past seasons is everywhere! One of my personal favorite moments in the original seasons is when GOB indignantly and in a rather alarmed manner yells “BEES???” right after he mishears Lindsay and right before he is inspired to start his bee business. Every time his bees are mentioned, however indirectly, I am fondly reminded of that original moment.
Similar nostalgia is triggered often in this episode, and it helped me realize that GOB is a large part of the show’s comedy; he’s a vehicle for many of the original, most popular jokes, and he is usually given the best lines. Not only is Will Arnett a top-notch improviser and physical presence, but GOB’s character is hypnotic. This doesn’t come from his magician’s flair (or lack thereof), but from his peacocked idiocy and whatever vulnerability creeps out.
Additionally, the detail in every episode is astounding, but as the episodes move forward, everything starts to connect. The show’s postmodern flavor is enhanced even more so with this development because, in my mind, the first rule of postmodernism (or maybe the first rule to its overwhelming success) is to keep the audience feeling “in on the joke” or above the narrative. The more little “easter eggs” are placed, the more perceptive and included the audience begins to feel. I like feeling attuned to Arrested Development’s web of laughs, and I am not ashamed to say I prefer when they roll out the old punch lines, especially in creative ways.
With a new cast of silly characters, and a subtle but greatly appreciated cameo from Kids in the Hall star Bruce McCullough this episode was very fun. It was a refreshing dose of silliness regardless of the inevitable darkness that plagues each character in each episode. I can’t wait for more from GOB, who might be winning my heart in a strange, roofie-induced way.