DID YOU READ

Jason Bateman talks “Arrested Development” season 4, says “her?” like the good old days

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By Michael Rougeau

“Arrested Development” is well known for its many recurring jokes, but few have stood the test of time as well as Michael Bluth’s continued disdain for his son’s girlfriend Ann. Though seven years have passed since “Arrested Development” went off the air, IFC learned firsthand that Jason Bateman can still deliver a “Her?” as well as ever. Watch the below video and see for yourself.

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During a recent press day with the cast of “Arrested Development,” IFC had a chance to sit down with Bateman and talk about the coming season. According to him, it wasn’t especially hard to get back into the character of Michael.

“It wasn’t as surreal as I thought it would be,” Bateman said of the show’s return. It’s been over seven years since Fox cancelled “Arrested Development,” and it certainly felt surreal to some fans when Netflix announced it would produce the show’s fourth season. But Bateman said the cast all stayed in touch over the years. “It just was such an easy fit for all of us when we were doing it that when we got back together it was pretty effortless,” he said.

In the last episode of “Arrested Development,” the season 3 finale titled “Development Arrested,” Michael Bluth decided to give up on trying to keep his family together and focus instead on his relationship with his son. By the time the show catches up with him seven years later (seven years have passed in the show as well as in real life), “he’s kind of banged up,” Bateman admitted.

“My character has left looking after [his family] during these seven years and has been trying to keep his own ship afloat — which is I guess kind of a pun — but he hasn’t been able to,” Bateman said. “He’s trying to get his feet back under him and not end up in dire straits like the rest of his family. He doesn’t — well I won’t spoil it, but he’s — it’s a work in progress.”

“Arrested Development” is beloved by fans for its long strings of recurring jokes and self-referential humor, but it’s also had an impressive cast of guest stars who ranged from Henry Winkler to Liza Minnelli. Season 4 will be no different, with stars like Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, and John Slattery picking up the torch. Batemen said he was surprised that so many celebrities wanted to be on the show.

“We were always in such a bubble when we started…we never really knew if anyone was going to like us,” Bateman said. “When celebrities started asking to be on the show that was — that was, you know, it was kind of ‘Well the cool kids are inviting us to a party, sounds great!’ And, you know, we still feel like that.”

As for his favorite moment from the series, Batemen described a scene from season 1, episode 10, “Pier Pressure,” in which Will Arnett’s character GOB blows marijuana smoke in Michael’s face as Michael lectures him on morality. “It made me laugh so much when he did it,” Bateman said. “That was a tough one to get through.”

Bateman promised that dedicated and casual fans alike will be able to enjoy season 4 of “Arrested Development.” “There are plenty of things that satisfy the diehard viewer, but nothing that will alienate the first time viewer,” he said. “[Show creator Mitch Hurwitz] has done it in a way that it’s great for the uninitiated and it’s very satisfying for the diehard.”

“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 we get closer to the premiere.

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

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.