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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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Holiday Extra Special

Make The Holidays ’80s Again

Enjoy the holiday cheer Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Whatever happened to the kind of crazy-yet-cozy holiday specials that blanketed the early winter airwaves of the 1980s? Unceremoniously killed by infectious ’90s jadedness? Slow fade out at the hands of early-onset millennial ennui? Whatever the reason, nixing the tradition was a huge mistake.

A huge mistake that we’re about to fix.

Announcing IFC’s Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celeb-studded extravaganza in the glorious tradition of yesteryear featuring Bridget Everett, Jo Firestone, Nick Thune, Jen Kirkman, house band The Dap-Kings, and many more. And it’s at Joe’s Pub, everyone’s favorite home away from home in the Big Apple.

The yuletide cheer explodes Wednesday December 21 at 10P. But if you were born after 1989 and have no idea what void this spectacular special is going to fill, sample from this vintage selection of holiday hits:

Andy Williams and The NBC Kids Search For Santa

The quintessential holiday special. Get snuggly and turn off your brain. You won’t need it.

A Muppet Family Christmas

The Fraggles. The Muppets. The Sesame Street gang. Fate. The Jim Henson multiverse merges in this warm and fuzzy Holiday gathering.

Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas

To this day a foolproof antidote to holiday cynicism. It’s cheesy, but a good cheese. In this case an Alpine Gruyère.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, busted. This one was released in 1978. Still totally ’80s though. And yes that’s Bea Arthur.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

Pass the eggnog, and make sure it’s loaded. This special is everything you’d expect it to be and much, much more.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It Ain't Over Yet

A Guide to Coping with the End of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Watch the final episodes tonight at 11 and 11:30P on IFC.

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After five seasons and 110 halved-hour episodes, Scott Aukerman’s hipster comedy opus, Comedy Bang! Bang!, has come to an end. Fridays at 11 and 11:30P will never be the same. We know it can be hard for fans to adjust after the series finale of their favorite TV show. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to managing your grief.

Step One: Cry it out

It’s just natural. We’re sad too.
Scott crying GIF

Step Two: Read the CB!B! IMDB Trivia Page

The show is over and it feels like you’ve lost a friend. But how well did you really know this friend? Head over to Comedy Bang! Bang!’s IMDB page to find out some things you may not have known…like that it’s “based on a Civil War battle of the same name” or that “Reggie Watts was actually born with the name Theodore Leopold The Third.”

Step Three: Listen to the podcast

One fascinating piece of CB!B! trivia that you might not learn from IMDB is that there’s a podcast that shares the same name as the TV show. It’s even hosted by Scott Aukerman! It’s not exactly like watching the TV show on a Friday night, but that’s only because each episode is released Monday morning. If you close your eyes, the podcast is just like watching the show with your eyes closed!

Step Four: Watch brand new CB!B! clips?!

The best way to cope with the end of Comedy Bang! Bang! is to completely ignore that it’s over — because it’s not. In an unprecedented move, IFC is opening up the bonus CB!B! content vault. There are four brand new, never-before-seen sketches featuring Scott Aukerman, Kid Cudi, and “Weird Al” Yankovic ready for you to view on the IFC App. There’s also one right here, below this paragraph! Watch all four b-b-bonus clips and feel better.

Binge the entire final season, plus exclusive sketches, right now on the IFC app.

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Everybody Sweats Now

The Four-Day Sweatsgiving Weekend On IFC

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This long holiday weekend is your time to gobble gobble gobble and give heartfelt thanks—thanks for the comfort and forgiveness of sweatpants. Because when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing more wholesome and American than stuffing yourself stupid and spending endless hours in front of the TV in your softest of softests.

So get the sweats, grab the remote and join IFC for four perfect days of entertainment.

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It all starts with a 24-hour T-day marathon of Rocky Horror Picture Show, then continues Friday with an all-day binge of Stan Against Evil.

By Saturday, the couch will have molded to your shape. Which is good, because you’ll be nestled in for back-to-back Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Finally, come Sunday it’s time to put the sweat back in your sweatpants with The Shining, The Exorcist, The Chronicles of Riddick, Terminator 2, and Blade: Trinity. They totally count as cardio.

As if you need more convincing, here’s Martha Wash and the IFC&C Music Factory to hammer the point home.

The Sweatsgiving Weekend starts Thursday on IFC

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