I just noticed that Arrested Development has begun naming episodes variations of “The One Where…”, exactly how Friends titled every episode in its 10-year run. Since most viewers never see these, the shift in titles is probably just a way to amuse writers who are probably grasping at anything to enlarge their audience.
One change I did notice in the last Sunday’s episode however: music under a conversation between Michael and Gob that seemed to be an attempt by the creators to indicate the audience “Hey America, here’s some heart for you!” Arrested Development has always had heart… and used music to express it, particularly in conversations between Michael and his son. But this one seemed to be a bit more ham-fisted, a concession to audiences who may find the bizarre family humor cold. It was jarring for me as a regular viewer, but it might be necessary to raise those ratings. It’s just kinda sad that we need laugh tracks to tell us to laugh and musical cues to tell us to care.
That said, the rest of the show has continued to amaze. It’s the funniest show on TV right now. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. And buy the Season One DVD. I’m going to keep repeating it until it’s Seinfeld level hit.