(For those who didn’t spend the weekend catching up, note there are spoilers ahead.)
Many of you probably spent your three-day weekend binge-watching the new season of Arrested Development on Netflix Instant. Some of you probably loved it unconditionally no matter what, like a long-lost family member (family is the most important thing!), and some of you perhaps were disappointed, like Michael Bluth often is in his family. Still, there were a lot of things to like about the new season: Tobias and GOB’s especially wacky storylines, the Entourage parody, the painful but Arrested Development-appropriate skewerings of the housing crisis and the rise of Herman Cain, but most of all, the new crop of guest stars.
The new guest stars this season were especially stellar. Broadway legend Tommy Tune as Argyle Austero, the musical theatre-loving brother of Liza Minnelli’s Lucille II was an especially brilliant casting move, and his scenes were toe-tapping fun. Maria Bamford’s turn as recovering failed actress DeBree Bardeaux will hopefully escalate her to deserved national treasure status, and perhaps was one of the high points of the entire new season. And Max Winkler and Kristen Wiig, appearing as Young Barry Zuckerkorn and Young Lucille Bluth, respectively, were both surprisingly on point. The former was a nice continuation of the circle of former Happy Days cast members on the show as well.
But as much as the new guest stars shone and deserve all the accolades and smiley Emojis for their performances, the most pleasant surprise of this season has been a recurring guest star in all four seasons: anchorman John Beard, played by actual Emmy Award-winning newsman John Beard, a native of Buffalo and most recently appearing on the city’s WGRZ network.
Beard has played a stock-character news anchor in television and movies before, including 24, Spider-Man and The Siege, but he’s perhaps most recognized (outside of his actual anchoring career) for his role in Arrested Development as Newport Beach’s premiere anchor. And with more exposition needed to catch everyone up on the last five years, Beard has had more time to shine and become an integral part of the plot. His hosting of a To Catch a Predator-style show was a key point in the Tobias arc; he now even has a son, John Beard Jr., played by Ben Schwartz, who essentially made him another Jean-Ralphio, not that we’re complaining, who featured in GOB’s story. He helped move the plot along, all while becoming an important character in and of himself and getting a lot more screen time. And he did it all with the clarity and professionalism that you’d expect in a seasoned anchor.