DID YOU READ

7 “Arrested Development” reunions you might have missed

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We can expect a sharp decline in our GDP come May 27: It’s the day after the hotly awaited fourth season of “Arrested Development” will be unveiled on Netflix, and, as such, will be responsible for everyone spending that day looking for opportunities to be injecting references into conversations instead of, you know, working. Although the show didn’t live very long, and it was on the air a long time ago, the show has built up a rabid fan base — obviously, one strong enough to warrant more episodes a decade later.

The fourth season will reportedly be structured rather differently from the previous episodes, with not all the characters appearing in all of the episodes, but the entire cast will be represented across the run. Nevertheless, this is undeniably an “Arrested Development” reunion — but did you know there actually have been lots of smaller scale reunions of similar scale, too? Obviously, you did. That’s why you’re reading this, and reading this far. Or that’s why you’ve skipped over these two paragraphs and are diving into the blurbs and video clips below. Either way, I’m gonna go perfect my mayonegg recipe.

1. Jason Bateman and Michael Cera: “Juno”

Although they didn’t appear in scenes together in Diablo Cody’s breakout 2007 film, and I generally avoided instances like this, “Juno” merits inclusion because it was one of the very first times multiple “Arrested Development” actors appeared in the same project, period, after its cancellation in 2006. In this movie Jason Bateman and Michael Cera play semi-analogous versions of the same character: a boy ushered into manhood too quickly (Cera’s character done got Juno preggers in high school), and a man pining for his youth (Bateman’s character never got over his adolescent dreams of becoming a rockstar).


2. Michael Cera and Mae Whitman: “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”

Don’t recognize the name “Mae Whitman?” Really? You don’t recognize “her?” Yes, Ann and George Michael are reunited in Edgar Wright’s brilliant cinematic interpretation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s ingenious graphic novel series equating romance with video games. Cera plays the titular character, who’s a slightly more nervous but also slightly more self-assured version of his usual baseline character, whereas Whitman plays Roxanne “Roxy” Richter, who couldn’t be more different from Ann. She emotes! She’s a ninja! She’s not just into the secular flesh; she’s also a lesbian!


3. Will Arnett and Jason Bateman: “Mansome,” many others

On “Arrested Development,” GOB and Michael are constantly at odds with each other: They’re the ant and grasshopper fable come to life, with a twist. Michael works hard and almost never gets results, whereas GOB doesn’t work hard at all and performs illusions (not magic tricks). In reality, though Bateman and Arnett are almost like brothers. If the above video of them enjoying a spa day together for the 2012 documentary “Mansome” doesn’t prove it, consider the fact that they have started a business together, Dumbdumb Entertainment. The company brings a comedic flair (really) to advertising, usually in successful ways. In Bateman’s own words, “Will Arnett and I make funny shorts that have products integrated organically.” So, in other words, there are lots and lots of commercials for companies like Orbit, Denny’s, Old Navy that helped pay for all those $100,000 suits those guys like to wear.


4. Will Arnett and David Cross and Mitch Hurwitz and David Schwartz: “Running Wilde”

“Running Wilde,” the 2010 show, about a pompous bachelor (Will Arnett, natch) who attempts to woo a childhood sweetheart, didn’t last very long: after 13 episodes, it was dunzo. But, it did reunite those two with another pair of “Arrested Development” names: David Cross (the love interest’s fiancé) and “AD” composer (who plays the composer, an unseen character who writes all the music for the series).


5. David Cross and Will Arnett: “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret”

David Cross teamed up with IFC (a great channel) to make this show about Todd Margaret, a man so out of depth he makes Tobias Funke seem somewhat sane by comparison. Margaret takes a job running the London sales team for an energy drink, Thunder Muscle, but there’s only one problem: He knows nothing about British culture, sales, and how to sell to British people. Arnett plays Cross’ boss, and guess what: A familiar dynamic emerges, wherein Arnett dumps all over Cross, like so much club sauce on a plate of chicken fingers. Man, what a great IFC show: Take it from us.


6. Tony Hale and Will Arnett: “Up All Night”

“Up All Night” is seemingly drifting to being canceled right now (creator Emily Spivey departed in January, co-star Christina Applegate announced she was leaving in February, and Arnett has been cast in a now CBS pilot), but if nothing else it gave the world a reunion of the actors who played GOB and Buster on “Arrested Development.” They even slipped in a slick reference to the show, with Hale calling Arnett his brother in a hip, urban way.


7. Jessica Walter and Jeffrey Tambor and Judy Greer: “Archer”

If you haven’t been watching “Archer,” you’ve missed out on a steady stream of “Arrested Development” reunions. Judy Greer (Kitty) is a regular, as is Jessica Walter (Lucille Bluth), but on two separate occasions, Jeffrey Tambor (George Bluth Sr., Oscar Bluth) has guest starred as two different characters. Yes, they sound pretty much the same, but who cares: It’s George Sr. and Lucille, reunited!

Do you have any favorite “Arrested Development” reunions? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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