A.A. Bondy
American Hearts

Leaves in the Gutter

For What I Don't Become

The Thick of It
BBC America

Saddest Ghost Lamp

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Pedantic Viewer, Installment One

I've always thought the rumors of "Arrested Development's" imminent demise, prompted by Gail Berman's departure from Fox to Paramount, were a little overheated. Berman protected the show as much as she could, but her successor, former F/X chief Peter Liguori, certainly knows the importance of keeping a network propped up by critically beloved shows that no one watches. Sure, "The Shield" does good cable numbers, but "Rescue Me"? If Liguori kept that alive for the sake of the critics, then I think Jason Bateman and Co. are safe for another season.

But then again, quality seems to be slipping. Take last night's oddly paced episode. Aside from some weird editing, there were two really bad dubs over lines by David Cross. It reminded me of the Itchy and Scratchy episode where Roger Meyers Jr. dispatched Poochie, voiced by Homer Simpson, to a faraway planet in post-production.

I've grabbed audio files because I'm obsessive and have nothing better to do with my Sunday evenings. In the first, that's Cross screaming at Ted. Listen to the lines, "And that's how you keep out unwanted visitors. Although, if I may"--I swear that's not Cross at all. And if it is, he's got a cold or something that he didn't have when he shot the scene.

In the second clip, it's the lines, "Michael, this is what we talked about. I'm sure they'll do just fine without you." If it is Cross, it's a really bad job dubbing. Sounds like Donald Trump in the board room, with every word cut together from a different conversation.

I don't have the technology to grab video, but obviously during the above-mentioned lines the camera had cut away to reaction shots, so you couldn't see Cross' face.

In acknowledgement of how absurdly Worst-Episode-Ever-esque the foregoing is, I've decided that it will be the first installment of an irregular featured called The Pedantic Viewer. Please make Reference Tone your home for small-minded criticism.