Author Topic: Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?  (Read 6032 times)

Matthew_S

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Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?
« on: August 23, 2006, 02:58:36 PM »

I admit it.  I have yet to see a single episode of Arrested Development.  Still, I've heard so many good things I may check it out.

Here is my question.  I don't like Ron Howard.  As in, I really dislike Ron Howard.  The fact that he is even associated with this show makes me reluctant.  The fact that he is the (omniscient?) voice-over narrator sounds mindblowingly annoying and awful to me.

( I expect the response will be -- Yes, give it a try.  Ronnie doesn't ruin anything.  So, if that is the case, say so and feel free to share favorite moments, actors, lines, episodes... )


Omar

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Re: Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2006, 03:15:59 PM »
I admit it.  I have yet to see a single episode of Arrested Development.  Still, I've heard so many good things I may check it out.

Here is my question.  I don't like Ron Howard.  As in, I really dislike Ron Howard.  The fact that he is even associated with this show makes me reluctant.  The fact that he is the (omniscient?) voice-over narrator sounds mindblowingly annoying and awful to me.

( I expect the response will be -- Yes, give it a try.  Ronnie doesn't ruin anything.  So, if that is the case, say so and feel free to share favorite moments, actors, lines, episodes... )



Ron Howard's narration is fantastic -- it enhances the show.
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Chris L

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Re: Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2006, 04:20:07 PM »
The endless recapping of things in the narration was annoying for me, but otherwise it's funny in its own right.  Unless I'm mistaken, Howard had nothing creatively to do with the show and was just a producer/narrator.  Except for the voice you'd never think he was involved. 

Among the many, many reasons you should watch it is because while the whole cast is great Will Arnett is superhumanly funny in it.

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Re: Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2006, 05:13:55 PM »
The show is far too good to pass up just because you loathe one person associated with it.  At the least, give it a whirl or three.  I bet you'll be able to rise above your Ronniephobia.

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Re: Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2006, 06:39:51 PM »
Nope.  Ron ruins everything.  No doubt.  I watched the first three episodes and couldn't hack it.  I thought "It wouldn't be as bad without the narration".  But I still didn't really like it anyway.  The narration doesn't enhance anything.  It just reiterates things any half-awake person should be able to figure out and/or supplements actual narrative action that hit the cutting room flor with a cursory explanation of what's on screen.  The whole show in general seems overly edited.  I might be the only FOT that has seen this show and doesn't like it, but so be it.  Thumbs down.

kenkwan

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Re: Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2006, 11:07:38 AM »
I really liked it at first. After the first few episodes though, I got tired of it being essientally the same show week after week. Every episode is like, here's that wacky switcheroo you knew was going to happen. I think maybe it's the type of show that should've only been on for one season.

Emerson

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Re: Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2006, 12:49:55 PM »
I never thought AD was The Best Thing On Television. It had a smug, heavy-handed quality that could grate in large doses (epitomized by Opie's VOs).

That said, I was a fan, and would have remained one as long as the remarkably Wursterian G.O.B. character was on.

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Josh

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Re: Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2006, 12:51:37 PM »
The endless recapping of things in the narration was annoying for me, but otherwise it's funny in its own right.

The narration is a bit long winded, but since the show is very self-referential, I imagine it was helpful for the casual viewer. The narrator sort of becomes a character later on, developing a personality of sorts, which I found redeeming.
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Chris L

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Re: Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2006, 01:14:14 PM »
Now I don't feel so bad about not liking Trailer Park Boys. 

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Re: Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2006, 01:49:30 AM »
The Narration annoys the hell out of me because it reminds me of how Sex in the City seems to have brought VOs back into the filmmaking rulebook. Leave the Voice-Overs for Commercials and News...keep them out of TV and Film. It's like listening to a song and some voice whispers to you "Then the chord changes to a D minor with a bit of chromatic colouring"- it REALLY takes you out of the moment.

Trailer Park Boys is great compared to anything else on Canadian TV (really there is nothing else up here)...
Apart from SCTV and the Tom Green Show, Ken Finkelman's "the Newsroom" is the only quality programming that's come from this parcel of land. It's kinda like the poor man's Office or Curb.  Finkelman's mini-series for CBC were also good but suffer on the acting tip.
Well, that's my 1.8 cents.
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butler

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Re: Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2006, 02:07:58 PM »
I might be the only FOT that has seen this show and doesn't like it, but so be it.  Thumbs down.

You're not alone.  I'm still dumbfounded at how funny people think this show is.  It just seems like a bunch of wacky scenarios with no actual jokes. 


shotzi

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Re: Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2006, 03:22:07 PM »
Um, why does everyone hate Ron Howard? His narration was great. This show is modern classic, topped only by the perfect-in-every-way British version of The Office.

Matthew_S

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Re: Arrested Development -- Ruined by Ronnie?
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2006, 04:04:33 PM »
Update (because you care, right??)

Now I've seen a few episodes from season 1 and so far, thumbs up.  On occasion, Ron's voice does grate and it doesn't really add anything (yet?) but it has been acceptable. 

re: wacky situation sans jokes comment.
I disagree, to a point.  I've seen half a dozen or so episodes and each has had a genuine laugh out loud moment or two (and that's one or two more than most sitcoms...).  I can understand the sentiment though.  At times, the show felt 'amusing' rather than funny -- like I understand this is smart and 'funny' but I'm not actually laughing.  (Maybe this is what the agent (?) meant when he told Mr. Kotter, "I'm laughing in here," pointing at his chest.)

re: The Newsroom.
I saw the first season of this show before I moved from Montreal.  I liked it.  I think, at the time, it was accurately pegged as a semi-ripoff of The Larry Sanders Show, simply transplanted into the news division.  I only recently learned that there was a season 2 and 3 with almost whole new cast (it was years later)... Anyone know how they compare?

re: 3 episodes and out.
Maybe try it again.  I've heard it only gets better and better, in particular once you hit seasons 2 and 3 ...

re: Trailer Park
I had trouble getting through one episode.

re: producers don't have creative input.
Well, I'm no expert but I think in TV (perhaps as opposed to movies) producers often do have creative input (that is heeded...) For example, wfmu people we know and enjoy are 'producers' of monk and I think they have a lot of creative input for the series in general and not just the episodes they write.  Also, I think 'show-runners' in general are credited as producers.  In any event, in this instance in particular, this excerpt from the onion's interview with Mitchell Hurwitz is enlightening:

O: Once you made the decision to include a narrator, how did you end up with Ron Howard?

MH: He's the co-founder of Imagine Entertainment, and he's the one who kind of started this idea. And he's got such a great voice. I was talking to him mostly on the phone, because he lives in Connecticut. It seemed like it would be a great way to play against what was emerging as a very frantic half-hour, with his calm, familiar, trustworthy voice. We wanted something that was not judgmental at all. He could say things like "Tobias boarded a van full of homosexuals…" with no spin on it. It was also kind of a manipulation, because one of the ways we got through the door at Fox with this unusual idea was because of Ron—not only his clout, but his creative judgment. He was very involved in every stage of the writing process. I'd finish a draft and get it to him, and he'd have ideas and suggestions. That was of great value to the network. It was just a manipulation, in a way. Because it was like, "If we could get Ron to do the voiceover, if he can do the narrator, then he would, by its very nature, be involved in the show every week. Even though he's going to want to go back and do his movies, he's going to have to be involved with this show, which is going to make the show better. It's also going to raise the profile of the show to the network." Because at this point, it was just a pilot. We weren't making a series at the start.

So there were things like that that I was just doing to stack the deck in our favor. Including the "On the next Arrested Development…" Which is a very presumptuous thing to put at the end of the pilot, because it's just a pilot. So the people screening it in New York, the advertisers, think "Oh, is there another one? I didn't realize we'd made this decision yet." But it also upped the test scores. One of the questions they asked of the test audiences after they screened the pilot is "Would you see it again?" It was a great way to get those numbers high. It was like, "Oh, I have to. There's another one coming."

 

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