Question: With all of the pains people are enduring on TV with the CW merger and shows getting the premature axe, let's give one final bit of praise to the show that's escaped the can for almost three years. Even though it was dumped on a Friday night against the Olympics Opening Ceremony and probably got the lowest ratings for its new episodes ever, I couldn't be more pleased with how Arrested Development went out. The final four episodes were all among the best of the best, and I was laughing way out loud the entire time (and I have since watched it twice more and I am still laughing). It has been a roller-coaster ride for the show, and I've been hoping and praying that the ride would go on forever, but after a finale this perfect for those most loyal to the show, I couldn't ask for anything better. Ron Howard's final comments on the end of the series was a great response to Showtime, which would like to continue with the show's genius, but I think it's time to call an end to one of the greatest comedies ever. And hey, a movie would be a riot.
Answer: Again, I steer you toward my recent Dispatch for my own thoughts on Arrested's finale, but I agree with you 100 percent. It was a beautifully crafted finale, a great payoff for those of us who've watched and loved this unique show from the start. And while Showtime still seems like its most appropriate and likely future destination, I'm at peace with the show wrapping as is. Since Arrested Development never felt like an American sitcom in its sensibilities anyway — its taste for the outlandish and bizarre was more like those short-lived British imports we've loved for years (Fawlty Towers, the original Office) — it makes sense that its run was relatively modest (although at 53 episodes, that's a lot more than some British comedies ever make). May it live forever on DVD, and may future generations forever scratch their heads wondering what in the world today's audience was thinking by rejecting something so brilliantly different.