We live in a fairly amazing world. If you need evidence of this, look no further than the fact that previously cancelled shows can come back to life. Next year, new episodes of Arrested Development will be released on Netflick, reuniting one of the best casts in television history to continue” the story of a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them together.” There really is no weak link in this series. Everyone is perfectly cast, the writing is amazing with many jokes planted seasons before their pay off, and clever directing that winks at the audience.
When head of the Bluth family and company, George Sr (Jeffrey Tambor) is arrested for long lists of crimes, his middle son Michael (Jason Bateman) is put in charge of keeping all things Bluth together. However, Michael despises his mother ( Jessica Walter), finds his three siblings (Will Arnett, Portia de Rossi, and Tony Hale) to be spoiled, useless brats, and hopes to keep his son George Michael (Michael Cera) from becoming one of them. While there are times where Michael appreciates his family, they never fail to disappoint him with their selfishness and their stupidity.
I often compare to the Bluths to another famous family, The Corleones of the Godfather trilogy. Think about it: Gob is the impulsive older brother, Lindsay is the bratty sister who married a man the family doesn’t approve of (David Cross), Buster is helpless brother who can’t be trusted with the business, and the son who has to step in against his will is even named Michael! One of the show biggest strengths is that each character has their own unique identity and the actors take turns being the funniest one in the scene. The cast also really enjoyed working together and respected one another, which is apparent when you watch them interact.
As a writer, I really have to be in awe of what those who worked on Arrested Development created. If you play close attention there is so much subtle stuff that’s going on in the background, waiting patiently for their pay-off, sometimes seasons later. Everything is so carefully crafted that nothing is filler, it shows you what an artform episodic television can be when treated as a whole instead of one episode at a time. One recurring inside jokes was that the Bluth family is being followed by a reality show crew, much like the characters in The Office, but unlike The Office, the characters never act like they are part of a show with talking head segments, etc. There are hints throughout the series that are easy to miss but the show trusts that the audience will piece everything together.
While it is tragic we’ve had so few Arrested Development episodes for so long, I sometimes wonder if it’s one of those “Better to burn out than to fade away” situations. What we have is so precious and perfect, would it have turned become shell of its former self if allowed to continue? I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the new episodes and always treasure my seasons 1-3 DVDs.
Favorite episode: Good Grief