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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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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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