Arrested Development: One sitcom to rule them all...

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I am just going to say I am not much of a television person.  I much prefer movies and videogames, but there are some shows that are worth it, and Arrested Development definitely falls under this category. 

          Arrested Development is a FOX sitcom that ran from 2003 to 2006 for three glorious seasons.  It has garnered a cult following since the beginning of the show and was cut down in its prime due to lack of mainstream attention.  It makes this show a total gem as it inspired the writers and creative producers to push the limits even further as the show was getting ever so closer to an abrupt ending.

          The show follows the Bluth Family, a very eccentric group, with the patriarch George Sr.(played by Jeffrey Tambor) as the CEO of a real estate company locked up for possible treason for dealing homes to Iraq.  His son Michael(Jason Bateman), the only somewhat normal one of the family, must now take over his father's company and somehow lead his own family through the troubled times ahead.  He must learn how to grow up and no longer rely on George Sr. 

          One of the great aspects of this show is the superb cast including Will Arnett as Michael Bluth's brother Gob, Jessica Walter as his mother, and his son played by Michael Cera.  Other actors such as Liza Minnelli as the mother's rival and Gob one time love interest; Henry Winkler as the ne-er do well family lawyer.  Other guest appearances include Scrubs star Zach Braff, Scott Baio, Charlize Theron, and many more.

          The writing of this show is spectacular and all the credit in the world goes to Mitchell Hurwitz and other writers for the show.  It is a witty comedy that takes the eccentric Bluth family and pits them against everyday situations that they would normally not have faced except for their current circumstances.  This creates outrageously hilarious situations as each character has their own passion and flair which allow for great reactions to everyday life.  For example, Will Arnett's character is trying to become a professional magician, so he often tries to use his magic on dates and corporate meetings in order to get someone to hire him for a gig.

            The show's ability to handle multiple plotlines that intertwine really does separate it from the other sitcoms out there.  Almost every character is included in every episode and layers of depth are added to the show by its simultaneous tackling of multiple topics going on in today's society.  The show's lifespan often referenced and made fun of current political controversies, including former President Bush's Mission Accomplished photo, the Patriot Act, and much more that added a sense of realism to these characters as they went through the same everyday issues we do.

            Arrested Development also has some key aspects that make it very different from other television sitcoms.  The first is the use of hand held cameras to create the feeling of a documentary starring the lives of the Bluth Family.  Another is the breaking of the "fourth wall", when a television show acknowledges its presence of an audience, to heighten the show's comedic effect.  Will Arnett's character will sometimes argue with the show's omniscient narrator, Ron Howard, on what actually happens in previous episodes.  All of these aspects add up to "Arrested Development" being a truly unique sitcom that deserves to stand out amongst all the other duds that plague television today.

-Matt

Greenwich Library Intern

 

1 Comment

Based on your recommendation, I just started watching Arrested Development. This show is hilarious! It reminds me a lot of Strangers With Candy. Both are genius. Thanks for the recommendation!

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This page contains a single entry by Administrator published on June 23, 2010 12:10 PM.

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