An Un­ex­pected de­vel­op­ment

Will Ar­nett And Mitch hur­witz re­unite for net­flix’s new se­rio-com­edy Flaked

Empire (UK) - - PREMIERE - EVE BARLOW

If Ar­rested De­vel­op­ment — yes, even the some­what patchy fourth sea­son — taught us any­thing, it’s that if you throw Will Ar­nett (who played Gob Bluth) and Mitchell Hur­witz (who cre­ated the show) to­gether, laughs are pretty much guar­an­teed. Even their short-lived Fox sitcom, Run­ning Wilde, had its mo­ments. So their re­union on new Net­flix show Flaked is surely a cause for cel­e­bra­tion. Pol­ish those funny bones, peo­ple, you’re go­ing to need them.

“This show’s been much more dra­matic than any­thing I’ve ever done,” says Ar­nett. Wait, what? “Flaked is not just a light­hearted com­edy,” adds co-star Ruth Kear­ney. “There’s also this sad and se­ri­ous back­drop.” Huh? What gives? Did we tell peo­ple to pol­ish their funny bones for noth­ing?

Turns out that although Flaked is a com­edy, it’s ‘se­rio-comic’, and Ar­nett and Hur­witz had loftier goals than mak­ing a fiendishly com­plex laugh­fest. “We wanted to re­flect how we use com­edy in our real lives,” says Ar­nett. “There’s a cer­tain drama that we all carry within us in our lives.”

Ar­nett, who co-cre­ated and co-wrote the show with Mark Chap­pell (Hur­witz serves here as ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer), plays Chip, a fur­ni­ture-store owner and self-con­fessed guru who gets tan­gled in a web of lies. “He’s like an un­of­fi­cial mayor of Venice, he knows ev­ery­body, and ev­ery­body loves him.” Ar­nett used to live in the fa­mously ram­shackle LA

neigh­bour­hood. “It’s changed a lot since I moved there 15 years ago,” he adds. “Venice is all about rein­ven­tion, and the show is about that: rein­ven­tion and change.”

Over Flaked’s eight binge-ready episodes, Chip’s world will un­ravel in a whirl­wind of in­trigue, de­ceit and bag­gage from his less-than-pris­tine past. There will be op­por­tu­ni­ties for change, plenty of rein­ven­tion, and an hon­estto-good­ness plot driv­ing things along. “With Ar­rested De­vel­op­ment, there was al­ways a big­ger story,” says Ar­nett. “The jokes here aren’t just throw­away bull­shit. They’re about some­thing. I think ul­ti­mately that’s what peo­ple will al­ways re­ally want — a real story.”

FLAKED IS ON NET­FLIX FROM MARCH 11.

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