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Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat discuss sex and awkward love in “Arrested Development” season 4

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By Michael Rougeau

It’s been seven years since “Arrested Development’s” third season, and in the world inhabited by the Bluth family, just as much time will have passed when the series catches up with them in season 4. Michael Cera‘s George Michael and Alia Shawkat‘s Maeby Fünke are all grown up, and when IFC sat down with the actors behind the cousins-in-love during a recent press day with the cast, they said that their relationships with their family and with one another have changed in subtle ways.

“It’s kind of like in real life, like, it doesn’t really change at all,” Cera said. “You go home and you just regress right back into, like, the same rhythm with your family.”

“Exactly. Yeah, you’re able to maybe not text them as much, because parents don’t know how to text very well,” Shawkat said. She added that “there’s a little more, like, sexual experiences tossed in there,” now that they’re grown up and George Michael has entered college, “because adults have sex.”

“Just to shake things up,” Cera added. “Just because it’s part of the times. It would be weird not to include it. It’s now.” The duo stifled a burst of laughter.

IFC couldn’t help but ask: does that increased sexual experience have anything to do with the fact that by the end of season 3 of “Arrested Development,” George Michael and Maeby had discovered that they’re not actually related?

“Good segue,” Cera said, laughing. But he wouldn’t reveal how things between the awkward couple play out. Shawkat’s lips were sealed as well; both pretended they had forgotten what happens, swearing they were “not trying to be smug.” But smiles tugged at the corners of their mouths, giving them away.

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Neither had any trouble recalling favorite moments from past seasons, though. “I like when Buster has Franklin, the puppet, and he’s like yelling at Lucille. That makes me laugh so hard,” Cera said

“Because he’s, like, only able to express himself through the puppet,” Shawkat added.

“Yeah, just this bottled-up rage coming out,” Cera continued. “And you actually see a camera man. In that moment you see a snippet of a camera man but I guess they just kept it because it was like incredibly funny.”

Shawkat continued, “There’s a very few moments too where they actually, like, wink, like on the boat I think in the final episode — or was it the pilot? It’s one of the bookends — where he’s like running up the stairs and the camera guy, you see his feet. Because it is a documentary.”

“In the courtroom, the judge actually looks at the camera, acknowledges the camera at one point,” Cera added.

Season 4 of “Arrested Development” holds to a slightly different format than the show did in the past, with individual episodes focused on specific characters. There are other changes too, and Cera and Shawkat explained that there will be just as many new jokes as there are old ones making a return.

“There’s a lot of new ones. It’s harder for me to remember which old ones are called back than to think of, like, the new ones that become recurring this season,” Cera added. “There are some new jokes that are all throughout the season that make me laugh so hard.”

“Which I liked,” Shawkat added. “How did [show creator Mitch Hurwitz] say it? He didn’t want it to be, like, an old classics kind of thing? A best of.”

There are also plenty of new guest stars, and the duo said it was “really cool” seeing new characters come to life in the world of Bluths. “I got to work with Eli Vargas,” Shawkat said. “Great guy. Huge in Spain. He’s a heartthrob there. Who else? Terry Crews, he was really funny.”

“It’s really cool seeing new characters actually come into play, and like, because it brings out different quality in our characters,” she continued.

“That these people exist in that universe,” Cera interjected.

“Yeah exactly, like there’s other people in this world, and yeah, and they have such strange guest stars that they wrote in. It’s just, like, some weird shit,” Shawkat finished.

So will the on-again, off-again, awkward-forever couple finally get together in season 4?

“It’s hard to actually say what happens without giving, like, major story points away I think,” Cera explained.

Their relationship “evolves,” Shawkat said, but “it’s arrested in its change.”

“Arrested Development” season 4 will air on Netflix in its entirety beginning May 26. Keep an eye out for IFC’s interviews with the rest of the show’s cast as the premiere approaches.

What is your favorite recurring joke from “Arrested Development”? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Car Notes

Portlandia Keeps Road Rage In Park

Get a lesson in parking etiquette on a new Portlandia.

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It’s the most American form of cause and effect: Park like a monster, receive a passive-aggressive note.

car notes note

This unofficial rule of the road is critical to keeping the great big wheel of car-related Karma in balance. And naturally, Portlandia’s Kath and Dave have elevated it to an awkward, awkward art form in Car Notes, the Portlandia web series presented by Subaru.

If you’ve somehow missed the memo about Car Notes until now, you can catch up on every installment online, on the IFC app, and on demand. You can even have a little taste right here:

If your interest is piqued – great news for you! A special Car Notes sketch makes an appearance in the latest episode of Portlandia, and you can catch up on it now right here.

Watch all-new Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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Naked and Hungry

Two New Ways to Threeway

IFC's Comedy Crib gets sensual in time for Valentine's Day.

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This week, two scandalous new digital series debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib.
Ménage à Trois invites people to participate in a real-life couple’s fantasy boudoir. And The Filling is Mutual follows two saucy chefs who invite comedians to make food inspired by their routines. Each show crosses some major boundaries in sexy and/or delicious ways, and each are impossible to describe in detail without arousing some awkward physical cravings. Which is why it’s best to hear it directly from the minds behind the madness…

Ménage à Trois

According to Diana Kolsky and Murf Meyer, the two extremely versatile constants in the ever-shifting à trois, “MàT is a sensually psychedelic late night variety show exploring matters of hearts, parts and every goddamn thing in between…PS, any nudes will be 100% tasteful.”

This sexy brainchild includes sketches, music, and props that would put Pee-wee’s Playhouse to shame. But how could this fantastical new twist on the vanilla-sex variety show format have come to be?

“We met in a UCB improv class taught by Chris Gethard. It was clear that we both humped to the beat of our own drum; our souls and tongues intermingled at the bar after class, so we dove in head first.”

Sign me up, but promise to go slow. This tricycle is going to need training wheels.

The Filling is Mutual

Comedians Jen Saunderson and Jenny Zigrino became best friends after meeting in the restroom at the Gotham Comedy Club, which explains their super-comfortable dynamic when cooking with their favorite comedians. “We talk about comedy, sex, menses, the obnoxiousness of Christina Aguilera all while eating food that most would push off their New Year’s resolution.”

The hook of cooking food based off of comedy routines is so perfect and so personal. It made us wonder about what dishes Jen & Jenny would pair with some big name comedy staples, like…

Bill Murray?
“Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to… Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to avoid doing any kind of silly Groundhog Day reference.” 

Bridget Everett?
“Cream Balls… Sea Salt encrusted Chocolate Ganache Covered Ice Cream Ball that melt cream when you bite into them.” 

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney? 
“I’d make George and Gil black and white cookies from scratch and just as we open the oven to put the cookie in we’d prank ’em with an obnoxious amount of tuna!!!”

Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen? 
“Definitely a raw cacao “safe word” brownie. Cacao!”

Just perfect.

See both new series in their entirety on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Dark Arts

Foot Fetish Jesus And Other Nightmares

Meet the minds behind Comedy Crib's latest series, Quirks and The Mirror.

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The Mirror and Quirks are really, really strange. Deeply disturbing yet hauntingly beautiful. But you really don’t need to read a synopsis of either of the aforementioned shows to understand the exact variety of nightmare-bonkers comedy these shows deliver — that’s why the good lord made links. Instead, take a peek behind the curtain and meet the creators.

Quirks

Let’s start with Kevin Tosi. Kevin does the whole show by himself. That doesn’t mean he’s a loner — Kevin has a day job with actual humans. But that day job is copywriting. So it’s only natural that his suppressed demons would manifest themselves in biting cartoon form, including “Foot Fetish Jesus”, in ways that somehow speak to all of us. If only all copywriters channeled their inner f*ckedupness into such…expressive art.

The Mirror

Onward to the folks at Wham City Comedy.

These guys aren’t your typical comedy collective in that their work is way more left-field and even elevated than your standard digital short. More funny weird than funny ha-ha. They’ve done collaborations with musicians like Beach House, Dan Deacon & Wye Oak, television networks (obviously), and others. Yeah they get paid, but their motivation feels deeper. Darker. Most of them are video artists, and that explains a lot.

See more of The Mirror and Quirks on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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