Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Next time on Arrested Development...

I am not much of a television watcher. Growing up I absorbed as many movies as I could, however, when it came to television I just watched whatever was on. I have shows that I watch but there are very few shows I watch regularly, much less since the first episode. Yet sometimes a show catches my eye and I am inexplicably drawn to it. In 2003, a show premiered on Fox that I fell in love with (It ranks No. 1 on my all time television list). Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together. It's Arrested Development.

My Arrested Development DVDs are prized possessions.

Dysfunctional family had been done before. Hell, on Fox alone shows like Malcolm in the Middle and Titus cornered the market on messed up families. Arrested Development, however, did it with a kind of class like nobody else. What drew people to the show was the characters and storytelling. To say that Arrested Development had one of the best casts around is not hyperbolic whatsoever. Each actor fearlessly became a member of the Bluth family: even if it meant having a crush on your cousin or trying to become a member of the Blue Man Group. And each character brought something that added to the hilarity of the show.

It's so hard to pick a favorite.

Arrested Development was, sadly, ahead of it's time. Although a critical darling, it never acquired enough of an audience to sustain itself. Thankfully though, avid watchers such as myself make sure to force the show upon anybody willing to watch. And you know what? Those people end up falling in love with it too. It's a show about an unlikable family, but it does so with so much charm that it's impossible not to love. Each character is ridiculous but never over the top, even when they have a puppet on their hand.


Not only was it hilarious but its storytelling and continuity rivaled most other shows. To its detriment, most of the jokes required previous knowledge of the show. While these callbacks could be frustrating for some viewers, they also made for the most rewarding jokes for fans. This is why the show plays so much better as a DVD marathon. It's so easy to mainline a season and see the jokes build up for hilarious payoffs.

Pictured: Wrong Arrested Development.

Though it was cancelled, the cast all went on to continued success. Most surprising of all was Michael Cera's blossoming from awkward teenager to awkward post-teenager that hipster chicks claim to love. Five years after it went off the air, Arrested Development consistently remains at the top of most, if not all, lists for best sitcom. With the success of a similarly themed show (As a matter of principle I refuse to watch Modern Family), it's no wonder there are talks of bringing it back.

Come on!

Even before Arrested Development was canceled (the network made a huge mistake) there were rumors of its saving. There was even an episode devoted to begging for another network to take it. But after years of waiting, Arrested Development is finally coming back, and in a big way. The movie has finally been confirmed after years of rumors and there is even talks of bringing the show back for a season. A new seasons worth of shows is probably more of a way for people to get caught up with the show's dense continuity, but that's fine with me. I just want to spend more time with the Bluths.

They taught me how breakfast is the most important thing.

Arrested Development has stood the test of time, not because it is easy to love, but because it gives us reason to love it. The show was a product of the time it was made, with Enron failing and the war in Iraq. The show created a whole world of shallow people and their vapid lives but, in their self-centeredness, they were also the most hilarious people to watch on television. It never took the easy laugh, instead making us work to remember to always leave a note and to always watch out for the cornballer. Just being able to hear Ron Howard's narration once again brings joy into my life.

Cue the ukelele music.

1 comment:

  1. Your pictures and video add a lot to the review. Believe it or not, I have not watched this show. I will have to look it up.