The Theatrical Journalist

Improv, Comedy, Women, Melbourne and everything in between.

A Billion Reasons Why You Should Watch Arrested Development

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From left: Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor, Portia Di Rossi, David Cross, Jason Bateman, Jessica Walter, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, and Tony Hale. (Source: Tumblr)

Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together…

According to IGN, Arrested Development is the “funniest show of all time”.

You’re probably wondering how I’m literally going to come up with ‘a billion reasons’ as to why you should watch Arrested Development.

In defence/justification of the title, I think the billion reasons can form one conceptual reason being: this show is the greatest. The series is the first of its kind, helping to pave the way for other wonderful dry-witted sitcoms. It is hilarious, creative, star-powered, and in a sense, comedically complex – these tropes account for most of my “billion” reasons. The density of the series allows you – if not asks of you – to re-watch each episode several times because the layers of humour are deeper than you initially think. Some have even pointed out how Freudian the series is – and they are correct. There is incest, nearly everyone is a pathological liar, one character has an Oedipus complex, you could argue Michael Bluth has an Elektra complex, the matriarch is an alcoholic, and the constant need for validation in each of the characters is stifling. Also, Tobias is a closeted-or-in-denial homosexual/and/or white-African American who wears denim cut-offs due to his rare psychological affliction of never being able to be nude, diagnosing him a Nevernude.

And yet, I think every fan not-so-secretly wants to be a Bluth. (Pretty please?)

Jeffrey Tambor as George Sr, spending season 2 hidden in the attic. (Source: Tumblr)

Jeffrey Tambor as George Sr, spending season 2 hidden in the attic. (Source: Tumblr)

This is a show so well-received, so beloved by its fans, that after 7 years off the air Arrested Development is coming back more popular than ever. If you don’t treat yo self to watch this marvellous show, then you’ve made a huge mistake.

Here’s the best news: in the wake of its highly anticipated return on May 26 via Netflix, a fresh Arrested Development is coming back into our lives for 14 glorious episodes. The show ran for three seasons, the third season cut short due to a fall in the ratings. Originally airing on FOX, the series was cancelled in February 2006 after three years on the air. Since its cancellation, Arrested Development has gained a cult following. The comical and characterised density of the show allows for repeated viewing because there is so much attention to comedic detail and throwbacks. Each time you watch an episode, you’ll discover something more hilarious and you’ll enjoy it even more. You can’t get sick of this series. It’s not possible.

The Bluth family, 7 years later. (Source: Tumblr)

The Bluth family, 7 years later. (Source: Netflix)

The Bluth family is lead by the responsible Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman), taking over the family business after his father, George Sr, is arrested for tax evasion, fraud and “light” treason . Michael’s adorably awkward teenage son George-Michael (Michael Cera) has a crush on his once-estranged cousin, Maeby (Alia Shawkat). Maeby’s parents are the ambiguous/’buy-curious’ Tobias Fünke (played flawlessly by David Cross) and her mother, Lindsay Bluth (Portia Di Rossi). Lindsay and Michael are twins, and have a desperate older brother/magician named GOB/George Oscar Bluth (Will Arnett), and a younger brother, Buster Bluth (Tony Hale). Buster had a strong, suffocating relationship with matriarch of the family, Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter) who was married to George Sr, head of The Bluth Company and patriarch of the family (and he has a twin brother, Oscar, both George Sr and Oscar are played by Jeffrey Tambor).

Calling Arrested Development “the funniest show of all time” is, of course, a stretch as well as subjective. People will disagree, depending on your humour. However, it paved the landscape for most single-camera, dry sitcoms like 30 Rock, Community, Modern Family, Happy Endings, The Office, et cetera. Arrested Development is most definitely the original Modern Family – the Bluths were one of the most dysfunctional TV families of all time – there was second-degree incest, for crying out loud! Jason Bateman once described it as “[Wes Anderson’s] The Royal Tenenbaums shot like Cops”.

Michael Cera as George-Michael Bluth as Adam in ‘The Creation of Adam’ (In Tobias’s cutoffs).

The series had some of the best cameos in television history. Liza Minelli, Charlize Theron, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Henry Winkler, Amy Poehler, Ben Stiller, Martin Short, Carl Weathers, Christine Taylor, James Lipton (from Inside The Actor’s Studio) and Judy Greer, just to name a few. In the upcoming season, the cameos are taken to a whole new level as we’re blessed with the presences of John Slattery, John Krasinski, Kristen Wiig, Seth Rogan, Isla Fischer, Ron Howard (also the series’ narrator) and Conan O’Brien.

This is a series that rebooted and skyrocketed the careers of our beloved Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Will Arnett, Alia Shawkat and Portia Di Rossi, as well rebooting American humour – giving it a much needed makeover.

Arrested Development season 4 is available on Netflix May 26th. Get watchin’.

Here is an amazing supercut of some of the best Bluth running gags:


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