Friday, May 31, 2013

AD season 4

I've watched all of season 4 on Netflix and am only partly through a rewatch now. I have missed many details, I'm sure, and am still trying to figure out the intricate timeline of events. But I just have to gush about Gob's plot. SPOILERS below.

Gob is in love! Huzzah! I didn't expect to get a new couple to ship so soon after the end of The New Normal, but I am delighted and incredibly grateful for it. In general there's a dearth of same-sex couples on TV who get to have a sex life, but I've never seen a slashy, homoerotic, or so-called "bromance" relationship actually become text on TV either; they'll use the bromance subtext as a tool for jokes and innuendo, but it doesn't lead to a real romance deeper than a sweeps-stunt lesbian kiss.

Not that Arrested Development didn't also use slash for plenty of jokes and innuendo when it was on TV. Throughout the first 3 seasons we had a lot of jokes about Tobias's obliviousness, Barry Zuckerkorn's trysts at rest stops, and Gob's inappropriate brotherly love for Michael. But beyond Michael, Gob also had throwaway lines about having threesomes with guys, and he accidentally hit on Gary the poof at the office. That's what's so great about his new boyfriend Tony Wonder; it makes sense for his character, and is a culmination of many hints about Gob's bisexual history offscreen. It finally starts using Gob's sexuality for something more than humor. It's about his loneliness (punctuated so often by the "Sound of Silence" music in season 4) and his need to have friendship and love after all the empty years of drug use and meaningless sex.

Granted, there's the problem of Tony Wonder having a girlfriend and a secret scheme to use Gob to get information about some software. Gob also didn't start dating Tony for honest reasons, wanting revenge for a sabotaged trick, but I'd expect nothing less from a Bluth; scheming and lying is in their blood (even their adopted members have it). However, I do think that Tony and Gob show genuine feelings for each other on their dates, and once the truth comes out, I hope they can overcome both of their plots to destroy each other's careers. The magician rivalry might just be part of what makes them so "the same" and right for each other. It's amazing how adorable they are together, and they haven't even kissed onscreen yet.

Of course I still ship Gob & Michael in my AD fanfics, but I know realistically that they won't ever get together on the show. Arrested Development flirts with incest a lot among the Bluths, but Michael always seems to be given a female love interest for wacky misunderstandings, and maybe the endgame is for him to find a new wife. I don't know. This time around, I find Michael's love interest more interesting for the meta jokes about Ron Howard than for her personality, or the silly love triangle.

So thanks, Mitch, for letting Gob have a boyfriend for once. If this is the consolation prize for no Michael/Gob, then I'll take it. I have no idea how it will all end, but I'm certainly invested in this romance. Somebody greenlight the AD movie, please!

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