Wycked Sceptre

I watched the first disc of “Arrested Development” last night while failing to adjust to Eastern Daylight Time. Good show, as everybody knows by now, and it already made some of the later episodes funnier because of backwards references. It’s a little easier to see how daunting the continuity of the show was/is for attracting new viewers.

One thing that annoyed me, though: a “behind the scenes” documentary as an extra feature on the first disc. This is going to be seen as blasphemy by my peer group, but: sometimes I wish David Cross would just shut the hell up. The documentary has a bit where the other cast members all talk about how funny he is, and then a little while later they talk to him and he goes on this rant about how commercial television demands the show be 20 minutes so they can get 10 minutes of advertising into each episode.

Well that’s a damn shame, Dave. Just think how many more times you could do the same gay-guy-in-denial joke if you just had those extra 5-10 minutes. You know the one — it’s the one-note gimmick your entire “Arrested Development” character is based on, and the same joke you did about a dozen times in “Mr. Show.”

Yes, the guy is extremely funny. Or if he’s not, he at least knows really well how to get carried by genius-level funny people, because he’s been on two of the most brilliant shows ever. But he also comes across as being like the kid who’s gotten told by one too many adults that he’s “gifted.” The other people on the AD documentary are firm but gracious when they talk about the show and how it was handled; Cross goes on rants. And the only problem I have with that is that he’s in my opinion the least funny member of the ensemble — still funny, especially in the mole suit, but he stands out as too showy for a series where everyone else manages to be simultaneoulsy absurd and subtle.

Granted, it says a lot about the quality of “Arrested Development” that my biggest complaint is a member of the cast who’s extremely funny but too grand-standing. But when everybody else seems to have a healthier take on the situation, and he goes off on these predictable “Blame Fox!” and “Stupid Middle America!” type rants, he just comes across as obnoxious as the characters he did on “Mr. Show.”