Arrested Development

“Michael, you are not quite the ladies man I had pictured. Hopefully, we will remedy that when we are in the spa spreading body chocolate on each other.” (Tobias)

Arrested Development is nothing but a comedy legend. Always pushing the envelope, this absurd show about a wealthy family who lost everything (and their one son who had to keep them all together) was canceled halfway into its third season. Just when it was at its peak. Oh FOX.

I breezed through all three season at breakneck speed – this is one of those shows you just can’t put down. It got me in stitches at many occasions and always left me wanting more. The characters – which seemed annoyingly eccentric at first – grew on me; I even started to like them.

But what is the reason for this show’s ongoing success? Why can’t people let it go, even years after it’s been canceled? The easy explanation might be that it is just that good. An other reason could be that it is just so absurd that you don’t forget it (“Loose seal! Loose seal!” comes to mind). Or is the truth a lot more boring: is it just before it was killed off before it ran dry?

Having watched the series in such a short time, I think it’s the latter. It’s like watching a diesel engine: it starts off slowly, picking up its pace, until it can keep up with just about anything. It’s not until you get the characters that you can start enjoying them. The show’s all about inside jokes and repetition humour (once again, “Loose seal! Loose seal!” comes to mind). Come to think of it, it might also be the biggest reason for this show’s downfall: miss an episode and you’ll have a hard time catching up. It’s a strange blend of procedural and serialized storytelling you rarely see on Network television. Sure, the characters don’t evolve, but the plot sure does. And sure, the writers did an adequate job bringing everyone up to speed at the start of every episode, but maybe the end didn’t justify the means?


Tobias Funke proving the principle that any joke can get funny if you keep telling it long enough
Thoughts and things

  • Even though the show was canceled, a lot of these actors moved on to do equally awesome things. Check the imdb page – we all know where Michael Cera is and Jason Bateman shouldn’t be a stranger neither – but David Cross? Will Arnett? Tony Hale? Don’t forget about them.
  • This is the series that taught me to appreciate Will Arnett. I knew him from 30Rock, but I didn’t like the character he played there. Oddly enough, it’s almost exactly the same character as Gob Bluth. So now I like Gob Bluth and I like Devon Banks – so thank you Arrested Development for showing me how hilarious Will Arnett is!

In All…

Arrested Development is absolutely crazy and there’s nothing else like it. No other series has used this blend of narration, montage and dialogue to this day. It goes to show that Arrested Development is a true legend and that it can’t be replaced.

With the movie coming, however, I wonder what the point of it all is. Do they really have to beat this dead horse? Maybe I’m just afraid that this will ruin the series as it stands. It could be a disaster – like those futurama movies. But it could also be the best thing ever – like the futurama series. Which will it be? Time will tell. But until that day comes, I will not stop giggling whenever I see someone on a Segway.