Isla Fisher in Sachi + Babi

Posted on May 28, 2013

This looks like two cute, but mismatched pieces.

 

Isla Fisher attends the premiere of ‘Now You See Me’ in Los Angeles in a Sachi + Babi dress paired with Dana Rebecca Designs jewelry.

Sachi + Babi Fall 2013 Collection

Turns out it’s just two cute, but mismatched parts of a Frankendress. Oh, well. Try again, dear.

Now.

We may as well admit that we only picked these pictures to give us a chance to talk about ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT’S new season, which dropped in one fell swoop on Netflix over the weekend, and in which Isla made a very notable turn in an ongoing role which wound up adding quite a bit to the AD mythos (if not the Ron Howard mythos). Oh, and to give you a chance to talk about it as well. But really, it’s to give us a chance because as we’ve said many a time, if we leave an opinion un-expressed, it tends to cause skin and digestive problems for us. We’re not going to get too far into the weeds of the season, but we should say right now that if you really want to avoid SPOILERS on the topic, you should probably skip this post altogether. We have no intention of policing the COMMENTS SECTION FOR SPOILERS, so you should skip that too, if you’re so inclined. There. Done up in all-caps and everything.

And if you want to read a really good review of the season, you should probably skip us altogether and head over to the A.V. Club, where the always-excellent Todd VanDerWerff pretty much nails it, as far as we’re concerned. Long story short, (and as we put it in our one tweet on the subject), Season 4 of Arrested Development was an occasionally fascinating experiment in long-form storytelling that should be praised for its inventiveness and the meticulousness of its scripting. It was not, however, pause-the-scene, slide-off-the-couch-laughing funny, as the show sometimes was in its earlier seasons. At least not in our opinion. There were times when it got very funny and we are more committed than ever now to the idea that Will Arnett is a true comic genius and that Alia Shawkat has always been the un-noticed comic jewel in the AD crown (not to slight anyone else’s performance; the cast was uniformly good across the board), but the creative focus seemed to be more on cleverness than on being funny.

On the one hand, we applaud the boldness of that approach; of any approach, really, that commits to taking the show in a new direction, structurally speaking. There would have been an enormous temptation just to bring the whole gang back together for a series of repeating catchphrases and fanservice winks to the audience, but Hurwitz clearly had loftier goals in mind. The problem, however, with attempting this Rashomon-style approach to storytelling naturally means that the earliest chapters of the story are going to be confusing in their lack of context, not to mention heavy with exposition. In other words, in order to have an unfolding puzzle of a plot, you need to front-load the story with a lot of stuff that isn’t actually all that entertaining. It’s true that it all gets much more entertaining as the story goes on and various puzzle pieces click into place, but there’s at least an hour and a half of stuff in the first half of the season that’s simply not up to AD par, in terms of entertainment value.

But it’s hard not to be entertained just by seeing all the members of the extended Bluth family together again. Everyone brings their A game to the party and we have nothing but praise for them all. Unfortunately, and we don’t know if it comes down to wanting to experiment or needing to work around the schedules of busy actors (we suspect it’s a combination of both), the season consists almost entirely of the various members of the cast going off on their own -  literally so, in most cases – and only coming together one or two at a time. The great pleasure of watching Arrested Development is watching that enormously talented cast interact with each other. We’re all for doing unexpected things with the story, but removing a key element of its appeal can’t ever work to its benefit. Again, the way the show worked around this apparent scheduling issue was occasionally very, very clever (like Tobias’ and Lindsay’s McMansion argument), but we still would have rather seen, say, an 8-episode season in which everyone in the cast could interact freely rather than a 15-episode season during which they all spent most of it apart from each other. In most cases, when a TV ensemble really clicks it’s because it’s composed of talented people playing characters that mostly can’t stand on their own so all the talent is devoted to making the unit work as a whole. When you separate some of these characters out, it becomes obvious that some of them, no matter how funny or talented the actor, can’t really support 35 minutes off by themselves in the story.

Still, we enjoyed the hell out of it (mostly), appreciated the addition of some brand new terminology into the AD lexicon (“anus tart” stands with the best of them), enjoyed seeing all of these actors in these roles again, occasionally oooohed and aaaahed over the various clever ways the puzzle pieces clicked into place, kind of begrudgingly applaud the cocky, confident (albeit somewhat unsatisfying) way in which the season ended, and if we were the types to give letter grades to TV shows, we’d rate this one a firm Elvis Face. Or a B, if you want to be conventional about it.

 

 

[Photo Credit: Andrew Evans/PR Photos, style.com]

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=603005248 Jeff Warhurst

      What an ugly dress. LOL The skirt has the same print as subway seats, or a bad hotel carpet. Hideous.

      • Qitkat

        And the top clearly is made with those fabric-y flowers you can buy by the dozen at the dollar store to scatter on your wedding tables, and attached to the dress top with scrapbook brads ;-p

    • LaSylphide

      I like it better with the black tights; they kind of tie it together so they look less mismatched.

      • Patricia Gillett

        Agreed. This is clearly Zooey Deshanel’s outfit, not Isla’s.

        • j_anson

          Hahah, THIS.

    • NoNeinNyet

      AD Season 4 feels like Steven Moffat collaborated on it. Maybe I’ll just go home and watch Coupling instead of the last 5 AD episodes I have left.

    • chelles_bells

      I would have loved it more if this season actually worked on bringing the characters together. I felt like the ending separated them more than they were at the start of season 4. If they are going to do a movie, they are going to have to add some episodes to this season (or go for a season 5) that actually resolves some of the plot lines. Leaving everything wide open just doesn’t work when a movie is not in the immediate works.

    • MilaXX

      I enjoyed it. I suspect that lack of the full ensemble was due to actor availability and some episodes worked better than others. I was actually surprised that I like the Buster episodes as much as I did. Hated the ending, which felt abrupt, but I suspect is set up for the proposed movie. I am always saddened at how awful Will Arnett’s sitcom attempts are whenever I watch him in an ep of AD. I may be in the minority, but I like Portia DeRossi’s quirky comedies, but they never seem to succeed. I still miss Better off Ted. Isla was a very welcome and surprisingly talented addition to the the cast.

      Oh yeah, I like her Frankendress.

      • misstressofsylar

        I was thinking that too. i would have probably preferred maybe just 10 episodes of the show which might have meant a lesser hectic sched and more chances for the cast together. and btw, Wiig was spot on as a young Lucille Bluth!

        • PinkLemon

          Wiig was a REVELATION.

        • librarygrrl64

          Yes, that was perfect casting! The young Barry Zuckercorn was pretty good, too. Seth Rogen didn’t work for me, though.

      • iheartbuffy

        Devon on 30 Rock is pretty great though… baby episode !?

      • librarygrrl64

        I think Arnett had some very funny moments on Up All Night, and he and Applegate (another good comedic actor) had excellent chemistry. The writing just wasn’t that good nor the plotting that consistent.

        • MilaXX

          I think all parties involved (Arnett, Applegate & Randolf) in Up All Night did great work with so-so material.

          • librarygrrl64

            Agreed. It was a waste of a good cast.

    • misstressofsylar

      love the Todd of AV Club shout out.. I always look forward to his reviews of some of my fave TV shows such as Community and GOT

    • http://twitter.com/FunButNutz John Spodick

      I’m 10 episodes in, and it’s still funnier than any other sitcom of the past 10 years. Really, only Better Off Ted came close to what Arrested Development can do when it’s firing on all cylinders. To construct a mega “Pulp Fiction” warped timeline must have been maddening to put together, but in the end it really seems to have worked. Hopefully I’ll get to the last 5 episodes tonight, and maybe my opinion will change a bit, but I doubt it…consensus is that the show gets better near the end.

      • Nicole Chubb

        I’m already prepared to re-watch it.

      • porcupie

        Why has this got a downvote?! I completely agree, I love it. And I love the experiment of the non linear narrative and connecting story lines (I said “ahhhh, NOW I get it!” so many times). I also think it was absolutely hilarious. Especially Getaway and The Sound of Silence cues. Reading about it on the internet has also revealed SO many hidden jokes/call backs, so I’m going to be rewatching a lot of times, I think.

      • librarygrrl64

        LOVED Better Off Ted. Do you know if they ever released season 2 on DVD? I own season 1 and have watched season 2 endlessly on Netflix.

    • MichaelStrangeways

      WHAT?!?!? No love for Tommy Tune as Argyle Austero?!?!! I’m totally demanding that Lucille 2 and Argyle get their own wacky spin-off: “The Austeros!!”

      That, and: “The Real Asian Housewives of Orange County” need to be on the air.

      • iheartbuffy

        preach.

    • formerlyAnon

      Unattractive dress. I’m about to start AD over from the beginning to lead into season 4, and find your review of this one sufficiently positive that it doesn’t de-motivate me at all.

    • IMNAngryLiberal

      Haven’t watched the new Arrested Development eps yet, but since this post showed up so closed to the Amy Adams post, I think it is time to expose the elephant in the room (blog, whatever). Isla Fischer and Amy Adams are the same person, right? And they are just fucking with us?

    • http://www.what-the-frock.com Dana WhatTheFrock

      I have two major issues with AD season 4.

      1. I agree with T. Lo about missing the family dynamic. This is a fantastic ensemble cast, and I’m bummed that we didn’t get many scenes with them all together.

      2. I hated what they did with Michael. He was just as slimy as everyone else was this season, and I think the show needs him as a moral center.

      • LJCdoc

        I feel like that slimy part of Michael has always been just below the surface. I’m not all the way through yet, but my current hypothesis is that George Michael is the new “moral center”.

      • porcupie

        Michael was always oblivious and self centred though. He never listened to his son or what he wanted, and was always just about seeming like the nice guy, rather than actually being one. He was only ever moral in comparison to the rest of his family, but he’s a Bluth through and through.

      • librarygrrl64

        Yes, it was hard seeing Michael like that.

    • Meg0GayGuys6

      I read in a magazine that as the writers began writing the AD movie, they realized that they’d have to cover the question of “What’s everyone been up to in the past 7 years?”, which would take up the whole movie, before getting to the plot of the movie. Enter, these episodes. That way, when they write the movie, everyone can be together and the audience knows what they’ve been up to.

    • LJCdoc

      I’m about halfway through, and so far, I’m loving it. I agree that the first few episodes were hard, because of trying to find the story. I do wish there was more interaction, but I’m absolutely thrilled to see Bluths again, and in my opinion, enough of the comedy magic is still there for me. They did not make a huge mistake, IMO.

    • Anniebet

      Ooh, Isla Adams gets two spots on today’s TLo!

    • iheartbuffy

      Maria Bamford has been my favorite part so far – I have three episodes left to go. Every time they say her name (she’s Debris) I die- it’s just the most downright brilliant irony. With TLO on AnuStart (and face blindless)- have it written in sharpie on a piece of legal pad on my fridge.

      • librarygrrl64

        The two episodes in Austerity were among the strongest ones, IMO. And TOMMY FREAKIN TUNE!!!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QFW22QV426LUOEPGASPZJWJMDE MishaFoomin

      I see Optimus Prime just below the waist in THAT area.

    • Beth513

      We watched the whole thing in two days. It really gets good by the middle when things start coming together. It was a different approach but I thought it worked for the most part. Like others, I was so thrilled to see the Bluths back in action I could overlook any flaws or shortcomings. Gob Bluth has always been my favorite and his episodes are by far the best. I cannot wait to watch the whole thing again.

      • porcupie

        SAME!

    • bertkeeter

      That is one ugly dress, SERIOUSLY UGLY!

    • Brian G. Cox

      I’m guessing the designer just forgot to take the little display cards off the earrings before perforating the top with them.

      As for ADS4 I thought it was an interesting sit-com style take on vertical prose that reminded me of the Coupling episode “9 1/2 minutes.” Now if you’ll excuse me I think the UPS guy just delivered the new martini shaker (Lucille Bluth capacity).

    • macwell

      I can’t gety eyes to stop hurting. Oh wait – navigating away seems to help….LOL!!

    • Diana

      LOVE EACH OTHER was so funny to me, I hope I’m not in the minority here.

    • JasmineAM

      You guys visit the AV Club too? Jesus, my internet worlds are colliding.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      Borat made her do this! She sister-wife, no.3 prostitute in all Kazakhstan!

    • MannahattaMamma

      This legs-crossed-so-everything-looks-skinnier pose makes every single woman walking the RC look like she’s got to take a wicked pee.

    • PinkLemon

      It seemed this season was so much more focused on a creative/very complex overall story arch. There are parts I’m not quite getting – like the Fantastic 4 play Tobias puts on….seemed totally disposable. ‘Getaway’ has been stuck in my head since Sunday. LOVED the Gob episodes. I think George Michael’s was my fave, since so much story came together in that one. (This is a rambley review I have going here, but my thoughts on the season are…. still quite rambley.) Now I just want to see Sally Sitwell and Lindsay go at it again in the campaign – echoing their high school days. They’re hinting at that, right? Seemed really open at the end – on various story counts. I want to know what happens with Fake Block, etc!

    • f_yeah_marie

      T and Lo, I just loved you guys even more after finding out you two are Arrested Development fans. I just finished watching the new season and while it isn’t perfect, I still loved it. I can just taste the happy seeing the Bluths/Funkes again. The development in the Michael/George Michael dynamic was a welcome surprise, I have to say, even though it made me sad.

    • librarygrrl64

      Short answer: I’m glad you referenced TvDW at the AV Club, because, yes, he is right on the money. I enjoyed it, but I was disappointed by some of it. I felt like, with the exception of a VERY few regulars/guest stars, the show was always at its strongest when the Bluths were playing opposite each other. The disjointedness of season 4 didn’t work for me.

    • Sawa

      I love this look on her. As a petite girl, I know how hard it is to get a look that really shows off proportions well – and this looks adorable. I think the skirt is supposed to be subtle echo of all the holograms that appear in the film.