When I visited my brother back in April he wouldn’t shut up about this show, Arrested Development, which he and his buddies had gotten in to in a major way. Of course I had heard all the hype over here about how critically acclaimed it was and the like however I am not a huge fan of the sitcom and therefore I never watched it when it was on the tube. Charlie kept hammering away at how funny it was and so on and so on so I finally, in a moment of bored with the other 700 movies I own despair, broke down and bought the first season on DVD.
And then spent the rest of the weekend absorbing all 22 of the first season episodes and let me tell you it was worth every minute I wasted that weekend. My problems with sitcoms usually break down in to one of two categories. Either there are no characters with which I connect (a la Sienfeld where I hated the lot of them and therefore had no interest in watching them be dicks) or the situations are so far removed from reality that I have trouble relating to them and therefore lose interest. Believe me I am aware how hypocritical that last one sounds coming from a scifi/fantasy fan, but I am nothing if not comfortable in most of my hypocrisies and although Arrested Development has some really far out scenarios, for some reason I was able to get over myself and enjoy them.
Beginning with the set-up for the series, Arrested Development is just, as Mr. TunaCan might say, not right. At his father’s retirement party Michael Bluth, played with sublime grace by Jason Bateman, learns that not only will he not be named president of his father’s development company but that his father is under investigation by the government for some nefarious goings-on. Michael decides to take his son, George-Michael, and head for the hills however he is stayed by a somewhat impassioned plea from his father to stay and save the family. Thus Michael sets out to herd his collection of screwball relatives, which includes his older brother Gob (pronounced Job with a long o) who is, to put it nicely, a struggling magician, his younger brother Buster, who is still attached to their mother in an alarming way, his sister Lindsay and her husband Tobias who are struggling to save their marriage and remain unemployed as long as possible, and his mother who is a functional alcoholic. On top of this he has to save the family business. Let the hilarity ensue.
I think the one thing that holds this series together for me is that despite the bizarre circumstances in which the family Bluth manages to find itself, the relationships between the characters ring true.
Let me put it to you this way. I enjoyed the first season so much that the weekend after I finished the first season I went and picked up the second season. Of course part of this might have to do with my desire to see more of Portia de Rossi. Can you say wicked hot smile? I knew you could.
Is it just me or do these two look like they could be brothers?
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