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I just want my hand back. - EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD!

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December 23rd, 2008

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05:58 pm - I just want my hand back.
I'm going through the second season of Arrested Development again, and am amazed at the sheer amount of foreshadowing thrown in the episodes leading up to Buster's seal attack. (That's where he goes swimming in the ocean to spite his mother Lucille, and a loose seal with a taste for blood attacks him and bites off his hand.) The references start in the first episode, for crying out loud.

And the best part is, it's all so wonderfully subtle. The FOX anchorman gives a "next, a seal attack scares local swimmer" teaser after reporting on another Bluth disaster, for instance. And he says it way too early in the season for anybody to have realized it was important. When Buster finds his old big red hand chair in Lupe's house (the maid had always been taking stuff from Lucille on the sly) he marvels "Gee, I never thought I'd ever miss a hand so much!" Both those lines sound like throwaway gags on first viewing. But no.

At the same time, the show intentionally overplays the "Could Oscar be Buster's father?" foreshadowing to the point of ludicrousness. It's all a brilliant mix. We won't even begin to get into the "loose seal" pun, either.

I do consider AD to have been one of the best written television shows ever but the more I watch, the more I really believe it.

(8 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 23rd, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)
Sigh. So so true.
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2008 01:02 am (UTC)
My only complaint about that show is that I feel like it started to flail and stretch plausibility, even by its own standards, during the Mr. F. arc and thereabouts. The rest I absolutely agree with you about. And, hmm.. I never have rewatched it (also: my hyphen key appears to be broken. hrmmm) and am now curious what else I might get out of the endeavor...

Edited at 2008-12-24 01:04 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
there's always money in the banana stand.

FWIW i totally agree with you. the show is beyond mindbendingly brilliant.
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
DAMMIT, this is kpht.
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC)
i think it's the same for the Rita character, the foreshadowing i mean. unless i was too dense the first time...?

Edited at 2008-12-24 02:55 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
Man, no joke. I get asked when I rewatch it (usually to have on in the background when I'm doing something else equally unproductive) why I still laugh even though I've seen it a whole bunch of times, and it's because every time I watch it there's something new to pick up.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
It's so wonderful to re-watch the series and see just how far ahead they started their jokes.

I wonder if there are things that were hinted at during the series that they weren't able to get to. I'm anxiously awaiting the movie to find out!

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