Everyone in the whole world was sad when Arrested Development was taken off the air way back in 2006. But now Mitchell Hurwitz is back and he’s got his friends from AD back with him. Most of the cast from Bluth and Co. are now lending their talents in voice version to Hurwitz’s animated show taking place in a school focusing on the faculty and their shenanigans.
The show re-uses many of the tactics AD had before that made that series so unique and funny. The clever set up for jokes and that only “pay-off on the rewatch” or are so self-referential that it may set a tough barrier of entry for new viewers — which is unfortunate. Like most artistic work where a lot effort has been put into underlayers of what is being shown, the worth gained by experiencing is only equivalent to the amount of effort the consumer will put into looking for those layers. And therein lies Sit Down Shut Up’s error, it has no mindless punchlines. The jokes all need a few second thoughts. I have found that one gets into the “flow” of the show, and that after watching a few episodes the set-ups become more apparent and you miss less. And on top of that the animation is also somewhat a deterrent. Though the hand-drawn presentation allows for more crazy things to happen without costing more, which hopefully means that this show will last longer than AD by not being such a money sponge.
If you’re a fan of comedy and can appreciate the tiers in the writing then this definitely is a must-see TV for you. If you prefer your comedies to be more physical and low key then perhaps give it a miss. But it is very much recommended.