Now the story of a great television show that got cancelled and the diehard viewers who had no choice but to keep yelling and screaming until Netflix brought it back for another season, seven years later. It’s the Arrested Development Season Four Recap-A-Thon, Episode 12: “Señoritis,” which explains exactly how Maeby is, somehow, still in high school.
It seems that Maeby’s graduation fell right around the same time as her parents’ twin spiritual journeys to India—so Maeby, already feeling slighted of attention, decided not to graduate. Instead she went to India herself, to oversee Gangie V: Eat, Pray, Love, Run; it was only there that she discovered she was staying at the same hotel as her mother, and got the film’s make-up crew to turn her into the shaman. (Should have seen that coming. Didn’t.)
Once she returns, in further attempt to test their poor attention skills, she continues re-doing her senior year (her aliases include Maeby Featherbottom and Maeby Flunke), but she can’t keep her job as a movie executive long, especially once Kitty’s on the scene—and Deadine’s smug “Toldja!” headline is a nice touch. So she remains in high school, failing math (the bus full of math-challenged students’ garbled singing of “99 Bottles of Beer” is a nice touch) and looking for a new wagon to hitch herself to—which turns out to be George Michael’s FakeBlock software.
These episodes keep returning to that early, full family meeting scene, revealing more and more about it (this time, that Maeby was there too) and at this point in the heavily interconnected season, the show itself is functioning in much the same way: there’s payoffs left and right, from the true meaning of that “for” message on the big check (Maeby’s royalties for Gangie 4: Facelift) to the fact that Maeby was, in fact, working as her mother’s pimp for Herbert Love, to the surprise identity of Lucille 2’s earlier-mentioned foster child. (The Google blackout gets a nice callback too: “Do a something search on it.”)
Episode writers Jim Brandon & Brian Singleton—new to the show, previously known as co-creators of the web comedy Dorm Life—come up with some clever new bits too: the cruelest and funniest undoubtedly the brutal Computer animation explaining exactly why George Michael is a bad kisser (“Really just rookie mistakes,” the narrator insists). But this is Alia Shawkat’s show, and she shines; her dry line readings and sprung comic timing have only improved in the years since the show’s debut.
Finally: though it’s come up in several episodes now, we haven’t really discussed the family’s new snack of Parmesan and mustard. Frankly, I find the whole idea a little disturbing, so we’re just gonna leave it at that.
- So this was either a literally phoned-in role or an indication we’re going to see her later, but that was Keri Russell—co-star of Arnett, Hurwitz, and Cross’s last show Running Wilde—doing the voice-mail message as Carr’s widow (“Also, Tobias, you got a callback for something called The Big Bang Theory”)
- Donnie Richter (or is it?)
- “Actually, uh, can we make it—uh, marry me—make it a Wild Turkey.”
- Mort Meyers (played by Jeff Garlin, and including Curb Your Enthusiasm music)
- Jim Cramer. Never thought I’d be happy to see Jim Cramer
- “If you do my Spanish, I’ll teach you how to French.”
- “This is a tough time for teens! This is often when drugs become an issue!”
- “And for a moment, Maeby felt superior to her cousin. And her uncle.”
- “The only bigger honor would be having an award like that named after you.”
- Maeby’s savvy business sense: “I think you should consider calling it The FakeBlock. It’s cleaner. Like The Netflix—“
- “Thank you, Kirk Cameron, for that incredibly Bible-y introduction.”
- Narrator: “She had a made a huge mis—“ Maeby: “Oh no, I’m fine.”