When you create a cult legend, it can be hard to follow up that initial success, you don’t want to be seen as repeating the same thing again in your work, so you try something fresh, this can either take off or crash and burn. This was the problem faced by Michael Hurwitz, who after his beloved show, Arrested Development was cancelled, pitched an animated comedy spinoff of an Australian show called Sit Down, Shut Up.
Sit Down takes place in a dysfunctional school… with Jason Bateman voicing P.E. teacher Larry Littlejunk. He and a couple of his fellow Arrested Development alumni play a cast of dysfunctional teachers. The actors who play these characters feel right at home in a voice-over role, knowing how to make even their inflections of their voices funny and a natural fit for their characters.
The use of real photos as the backdrop is a novel idea that doesn’t look jarring or steal focus from the character nor the action. This is a good thing as in these 13 odd episodes, there is quite a lot of action. The plot lines themselves are well suited for the talents behind them, one of my favourites focuses on the tropes of 80s teen movies and offers a funny yet smart and respectful critique of them. While the stories can be a bit vulgar at times. There is a certain level of humour and good writing that progresses throughout the series.
Sit Down reunites a celebrated comedy cast and a premise that manages to be both familiar yet innovative. Its cast of characters continue to grow on you throughout the series short run, and the stories are interesting enough to keep you entertained for at least one sit through. While the title Sit Down, Shut Up is meant to be directed at the children of the school, it is good advice for the viewer as well… Sit Down, Shut Up, and just enjoy.
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