Power Rankings: Arrested Development Edition

1 Aug

Here’s a feature which will be regularly displayed weekly which we (the royal we, mostly) call Power Rankings.  Each week, we’ll pick a television show and rank the actors/actresses/contestants/correspondents/etc. based on what they’ve done after the series ended (unless we’re ranking a current series, in which case we’ll have to bend the rules).  Preference will be given to more recent work, but if the work was a long time ago, but much more important/relevant, that will be factored in as well.  And with that, I present:

POWER RANKINGS:  Arrested Development Edition:

  1. Jason Bateman – two years ago this spot would have surely been taken by Michael Cera, but oh, how times have changed.  I submit that no single person benefited more from Arrested Development – outside of an appearance in The Sweetest Thing, Bateman’s career was more or less moribund until the appearance of AD, and while the show failed to crack the commercial mainstream while it was on, the critical buzz combined with the cult formed as the show was ending and after it was over, Bateman’s career was born anew.  Important supporting roles in The Break Up, Juno, Hancock and Up in the Air have led to starring roles in a series of largely mediocre films, such as The Switch, Couples Retreat, The Change Up (which should also be called The Switch, really) and Horrible Bosses.  It’s hard to say where Bateman’s career is headed, if he keeps doing such fare, but right now, he’s starring in movies, some of which are successful, which is more than anyone but the next person on this list can even say, and hey, maybe he can still be the next Paul Rudd.
  1. Michael Cera – how times have changed, part 2.  Just two years ago, Cera was still the clear breakout star of Arrested Development, having leveraged an extremely successful role in the critical and commercial smash Superbad (the beginning, with Knocked Up, of Apatow-mania) and as a supporting character in critical and commercial darling Juno into a position of top billing in movies like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Year One, Youth in Revolt and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.  The last three were more or less flops, though the last two received some positive notice.  Still, it doesn’t seem as if Cera is quite in the position of strength he once was.
  1. Will Arnett – well, his successful turn as G.O.B. Bluth hasn’t quite made him a movie star, but people at least keep trying to make him a television star.  He played supporting roles in a number of movies that weren’t particularly successful, from Let’s Go To Prison, to Blades of Glory, to Hot Rod, to the Brothers Solomon, most of which were tepidly reviewed at best, and not financially successful.  He’s had a little more luck in television, where he’s had a recurring role as Alec Baldwin’s rival, Devan Banks, on 30 Rock, and got his own show written by Mitch Hurwitz, Running Wilde, which was cancelled fairly quickly, but which individually earned him decent enough reviews.  He’s get another shot at it this upcoming fall as one of the stars of Up All Night, working aside Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph.
  1. Jessica Walter – older actors and actresses are at a disadvantage, compared to their younger brethren, and actresses in particular.  Walter, however, has managed to buck the trend, a little bit anyway, starring in TV Land sitcom Retired at 35 (yes, TV Land has original shows – I can’t imagine how many people actually watched this, but it got picked up for a second season, so that has to say something) and she is a voice regular on FX’s Archer as intelligence agency ISIS’s head, which is only a voice role, but is quite culturally relevant.  Really not bad at all, especially compared to those that come after.
  1. David Cross – unlike the other cast members, Cross has his primary career in stand up comedy to fall back on, even without any acting.  That said, he’s done a bit of acting as well, currently starting in his own sitcom The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, a mildly well reviewed show, co-produced by IFC and the BBC.  He also helped fill the coffers of his bank account with roles in both of the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies and both of the Kung Fu Panda movies.  In between, he wrote and produced a pilot for Adult Swim called Paid Programming which wasn’t picked up.  He also appeared as a reoccurring character in Will Arnett’s now-cancelled Running Wilde.
  1. Jeffery Tambor – he hasn’t had anything close to a starring role in anything, except for the extremely short-lived sitcom Twenty Good Years (which aired four episodes in the fall of 2006).  That said, he’s gotten relatively steady work, which counts for something.  He’s had voice work in Tangled and Monsters vs. Aliens, and non-voice work in The Invention of Lying, Paul and both Hangovers, as well as a couple of spots in Entourage as a crazy version of himself.
  1. Tony Hale – he’s appeared in a couple of relatively well-known movies, such as Stranger Than Fiction and The Informant!, and a lot more less well-known movies.  In television, he was a series regular in Andy Richter’s second of three attempts at a successful network sitcom, Andy Barker PI, was a reoccurring character on Chuck and on the last season of Numb3rs (I wasn’t initially sure where the 3 went) and an NBC-backed web series called CTRL which I had never heard of before.
  1. Portia de Rossi – she was in 10 episodes of Nip/Tuck and starred in the one season of surprisingly decently reviewed Better Off Ted.  That’s about it.
  1. Alia Shawkat – more projects than de Rossi, but less prominent in those projects.  Her most relevant was probably her role in Whip It, and she had a decent role in The Runaways and in Cedar Rapids.  Then she appeared as a one off in a bunch of TV shows.

One Response to “Power Rankings: Arrested Development Edition”

  1. E-Money August 2, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    Don’t forget Tony Hale’s scene-stealing role in Flatland as the King of Pointland, although I suppose mostly school-age kids will get that one.

    I also wonder where Portia de Rossi’s marriage to Ellen ranks…should be part of the convo…

    Overall, I agree with the placements.

    Looking forward to the Simpsons Power Rankings, Seinfeld, Friends,…quite a list forthcoming. I wonder if Xander or Giles are last on the Buffy list…or Anya, I suppose.

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