"Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together." If that quote means nothing to you, then you've made a huge mistake: you've never watched Arrested Development and probably don't intend on watching its relaunch on Netflix. It also means your water-cooler conversations are going to suffer. But never fear! We've prepped a guide for you on what to say to act like you're an Arrested expert. And you've also got a ton of other pop culture choices for today and Memorial Day to binge on. If you're smart, once you've quoted "There's always money in the banana stand" to your co-workers, redirect the conversation to one of these topics. Consider this your guide to Arrested Development counter-programming this Memorial Day weekend.
MOVIES TO WATCH
The Hangover Part III — Yep, Todd Phillips' explosive conclusion to the Wolf Pack trilogy pulled tepid box office and far worse reviews. If you reveal to your hipper friends that you saw Hangover Part III instead of Arrested Development, you may lose your pop-culture-consumer cred entirely. That said, you can make a joke about how both Hangover Part III and Arrested Development involve tall vehicles with height-clearance issues. Admittedly, though, only one of them — Hangover — thinks a giraffe getting decapitated after slamming into a highway overpass is funny.
Fast & Furious 6 — Arrested Development is all brain, the Fast & Furious franchise all brawn. The sequel may be such counter-AD programming, so radically different, that it might be the only legitimately cool thing to watch instead.
Star Trek Into Darkness — The original Star Trek series was, in essence, the first Arrested Development: A cultishly scrutinized three-season series with a small but rabid fanbase that grew its following in re-runs until it relaunched a decade later as a tentpole franchise everybody loved.
Epic — Need to entertain the kids? Fox Animation Studios' Epic is a surprisingly poignant father-daughter bonding tale that's also like 3-D Fern Gully for the computer animation age. The visuals are pretty stunning, even if the plot — it's like Avatar meets The Borrowers — leaves something to be desired.
TV MARATHONS TO WATCH
TCM War Movie Marathon (All day Sunday and Monday) — Remember our glorious dead with Turner Classic Movies' annual Memorial Day Weekend tribute. Sunday's offerings include John Ford's They Were Expendable (1945, 1:00 p.m. ET), a strong contender for the title of "greatest war movie ever," the classic documentary-style World War II epic Battleground (1949, 8:00 p.m. ET), and a screening in tribute to our Russian allies during WWII, Mikhail Kalatozov's heartbreaking The Cranes Are Flying (1957, 4:30 a.m. Sunday). TCM's saving some of their biggest titles for Monday, such as The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, 6:15 a.m.), The Guns of Navarone (1961, 9:00 a.m.), the profoundly affecting returning-soldiers drama The Best Years of Our Lives (1946, 5:00 p.m.), and Howard Hawks' Air Force (1943, 8:00 p.m.).
Mad Men, AMC, 1:30 p.m. Sunday- 1:12 a.m. Monday — Get caught up on Seasons 5 & 6 with AMC's marathon. Because if there's one show cooler than Arrested Development, it's Mad Men.
Falling Skies, TNT 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. — Season 3's just around the corner for the better-and-better alien-invasion drama. Might as well immerse yourself in a ten-hour marathon!
Clint Eastwood Marathon, Reelz — Feeling lucky? Well sure we do, punks, because Reelz is offering an all-day lineup of Clint Eastwood classics, including his iconic Dollars Trilogy, a whole bunch of Dirty Harry movies, and the underrated Ted Post Western Hang 'Em High.
James Bond, G4 — An all-day, decades-spanning marathon on Monday of Agent 007. Never seen the unfairly overlooked Timothy Dalton Bond flick License to Kill? It's included in G4's lineup, and it's a revealing precursor to today's "gritty reimagining" aesthetic, with Dalton as Daniel Craig for an audience that wasn't ready for Daniel Craig. It's plane-hijacks-plane opening was totally ripped off for the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises.
AMC's War Movie Marathon — Sunday on AMC is all Mad Men, Monday is all war movies. Do yourself a favor: if you've never seen The Longest Day, the star-studded real-time reenactment of the June 6, 1944 D-Day invasion, check it out. And they'll also be showing The Dirty Dozen, of course, the ultimate male weepie.
Veronica Mars, SOAPnet, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. — SOAPnet's determined to fill the time between now and the Kickstarter-funded Veronica Mars movie by giving you a medley of its very best episodes, Monday.
What will you be watching?
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More: Play the ‘Arrested Development’ Game of Life: Print our Boardgame! ‘Arrested Development’ Creator Mitch Hurwitz Says Not to Binge-Watch How to Act Like You’re in on the Known on ‘Arrested Development’ If You’ve Never Watched an Episode
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Bo (Seann William Scott) and Luke (Johnny Knoxville) Duke are cousins--two hell-raisers who drive fast sell moonshine and bed sexy farm girls all across Georgia's Hazzard County. They've got another cousin Daisy Duke (Jessica Simpson) a drop-dead hottie who waits tables at the local watering hole. If someone gets a little too friendly with the gal she's knocks 'em on their ass--and if her cousins get into trouble she shakes hers to get them out of it. Then there's Uncle Jesse Duke (Willie Nelson) who makes the moonshine on his farm tells bad jokes and sings country-western songs. I can't quit thinking about how the Duke family dynamics work. They're all tight-knit cousins right? But Uncle Jesse isn't the father to any of them. So like where's the rest of the Dukes? There's gotta be other siblings parents maybe. It perplexes me. But I digress. Suffice to say the Dukes are always outrunning--and out-jumping--the local law enforcement in their souped-up Dodge Charger the General Lee. The boys are also constantly doing battle with the crooked county commissioner Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds) who cooks up one nefarious plan after another to make Hazzard County his own personal cash cow only to be thwarted by those darn Dukes. Dagnabbit.
Although some diehard fans of the TV show may disagree the casting for this feature film redo is pretty spot on. Knoxville and Scott do just fine as the rip-roarin' Duke cousins bantering about one upping each other--you know boys stuff. Nelson's still got the whole pigtail thing going for him but he looks like he's having a good time. Reynolds does too but he's definitely a lot slicker--and a lot better looking--than the show's original Boss Hogg Sorrell Booke. As the bumbling police veteran character actor M.C. Gainey who always plays bad guys at least gets to show off some comedy chops as Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane. Michael Weston (Garden State) as the wimpy Deputy Enos Strate is sufficiently reduced to a puddle whenever Daisy is around. And then there's Simpson. My my my. It's obvious the camera (and whose ever behind it) loves every inch of her and she tends to light up the screen whenever she's on it. Of course playing Daisy in her acting debut isn't much of a stretch but Simpson still shows a comic flair. The singer-turned-actress could actually become a fairly serviceable comedic actress if she plays her cards right.
This is what director Jay Chandrasekhar (Super Troopers) had to say about making The Dukes of Hazzard: "I had a poster of Daisy Duke [played in the original show by Catherine Bach] on my wall when I was nine that was very inspiring and when you combine the prospect of a new Daisy Duke with the opportunity to send the General Lee flying through the air again it was impossible for me to say no." Well Jay actually you could have said no and maybe the whole Hazzard as a feature idea would have gone away. It's perfectly suitable to have a television show be about nothing but cars flying through the air hot women in skimpy clothes and idiotic behavior. We'll always accept brain-friendly crap on TV. But to be subjected to an entire feature-length film of mindless stupidity is just too much at least in Hazzard's case. Sure watching the General Lee perform seemingly impossible stunts is fun. Apparently 28 Dodge Chargers had to be converted into the multiple General Lees needed for the film and the parts had to be hunted down on the Internet in junkyards or by word of mouth. Still after about the 100th time the car jumps over something you've had quite enough.