June 15, 2013. My phone blinks as a new email arrives in my inbox.
“Arrested dev season 4 rocks. Your review is wrong. Ron Howard is funny and perfect in the show. It is fantastic.”
Andrew T. Cohen, MD, FACS
Chief, Division of Plastic Surgery Cedars Sinai Medical Center
BOOM. The gauntlet is thrown. The smack down begins.
Now, I have to hand it to Dr. Cohen. He emailed me directly. And he used his real name in response to my latest blog post, “Arrested Development Season 4 is not clever; it’s bad TV.” Unlike “Gene Parmesean,” “Steve Holt,” and “P. Daddy,” who disguised their real names under the facades of AD characters. I even heard from “Bob Loblaw,” who said, “I’m sorry to say this, but you are a ninny.”
Where are we? England? Is this 1593? Will Queen Elizabeth I be here?
Never have I ever been called a ninny.
But I appreciated the honesty. The frankness in every comment that was written to me in novel form, debating (fighting?) my review and defending the show. But there was something about Dr. Cohen emailing my inbox directly with a subject that had nothing less than a Z Snap in tone and signing it with his actual name, email, website, and phone number that told me: Andrew Cohen, Arrested Development Connoisseur and Plastic Surgeon Extraordinaire, means business. I respect that.
Now, as I promised in several of my comment responses – I’m looking at you “Vincent,” “Doug,” and “drayfish” – I plan to rewatch the season. But as one of my colleagues at the Baltimore Post-Examiner put it, “I would hope when you watch season 4 again your opinion doesn’t change too much, just to keep the critics perplexed!” And he’s right. I can’t promise my opinion will change dramatically, but I can promise to keep an open mind.
That said, as I sat on the back deck with a beer and some friends and told them the story of Andrew Cohen in my inbox and started mulling over some of the other comments, I realized a few things. Mainly, what makes a story and storytelling “good.”
Having said that, I realize watching Arrested Development is like marinating a piece of meat. Our brains need time to soak up the rich jokes, phrases and callbacks, so I think the request to “not binge” is valid. I did start watching the season again today …and it was OK. But, then again, I haven’t had time to let it marinate.
So, thanks, Arresties (may I call you that? You’ll be giving Trekkies a run for their money). Your readership and your feedback are invaluable. And thanks, Andrew Cohen, MD. I’m impressed you have time outside of the OR to email me with such succinct sentences. I hear you. Don’t go away mad. Don’t even go away. I’m ready to have a conversation.