November 08, 2005

The salvation of comedy

Today my post is one part rave, one part plea.

If you're not watching Arrested Development - please start watching! NOW! Quite simply, it is the best comedy on television, and I would venture to say the saving grace of the sitcom format.

I'm so glad to see the return of this show. After the interminable baseball playoffs and World Series, Fox has finally deigned to broadcast actual programming. So Monday night brought back Arrested, and in back-to-back episodes, no less! It was so hilarious, the SNU and I were almost in tears a couple times. What's so good about this two-time Emmy award winner? Let me explain.

First, the caveat. This show is not the kind where you can watch whilst reading a magazine, slurping spaghetti and talking on the phone. It requires your attention and your commitment. And you will be rewarded...handsomely. It's intelligent, clever, and full of quick references that you'll miss if you blink. In many ways it reminds me of Lost.

Arrested is the story of the Bluth family - a crazy bunch of people with passable morals who are wealthy:
  • George Bluth, Sr. was recently put in jail for bad business dealings. He's currently out of prison on house arrest, but is constantly looking for a way out.
  • His wife, Lucille, never met a drink she didn't like. She's the poster woman for bad parenting.
  • Eldest son Michael is the supposedly sane one who controls the family finances during this tumultous period. But he has a weakness for pretty women, and continually second-guesses his own parenting skills.
  • Michael's son is George Michael, who is pretty much a geek trying to fit in. He has an unnatural crush on his first cousin, who may or may not be his biological first cousin.
  • Second son Gob (that's pronounced like the Biblical figure Job) is a part-time magician, overly dramatic, and pretty much an idiot. He recently discovered that he fathered a son many years ago.
  • Third in line is Lindsay, the spoiled, self-centered one. She's a hopeless flake, and moves from one cause to the next with alarming frequency. She's also got a libido that won't quit.
  • Her on-again, off-again husband is Tobias. He is a wannabe actor who acts so incredibly homosexual, you will be amazed. Former stand-by for the Blue Man Group.
  • Their daughter is Maeby. She's the blunt, outspoken, but often-overlooked member of the family. Last season she was inadvertantly given a job as a top Hollywood studio executive, which caused some hilarious moments.
  • The fourth and final Bluth child is Buster. He's a tad slow mentally, and still has a fixation on his mother. His hand was bitten off by a rogue seal, so he now has a hook. He also signed up for the Army, but is trying to get out of it.
  • Unrelated to the family but a real hoot is Lucille 2. She's a socialite friend of Lucille's, played by Liza Minelli. She had an all-too-brief affair with Buster in season 1.
Got all that? And that's just the start. Every episode has references to other episodes, which greatly reward the loyal viewer. And it's all narrated with droll wit by none other than Ron Howard (a.k.a. Opie, the big Hollywood director). He's much funnier than you'd expect!!!

So check it out, discuss, ask questions. Monday nights at 8 pm Eastern on Fox. Catch it! Rent earlier seasons! Enjoy!


Stef said...

I do love AD but haven't been able to watch it regularly. I agree that you need to pay attention and watch them in sequence. I'm gonna get season 2 on Netflix soon. And isn't Jason Bateman just dreamy?!? I've had a crush on him for probably 20 years!

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget, George "may have also committed some... light... treason."

I'm just glad that Fox is giving the show yet another season to find an audience.
P.S. Found my way to your blog via Stef's, and I really enjoy it!

Dancer in DC said...

Thanks! I'm happy to have you here! (This is Marcie, right?)

Welcome to all, and forward to your friends. I feel like a guy standing on a box in Speaker's Corner at Hyde Park in London.

ScottE. said...

Tee hee....last night was really good. Buster and Alias....that's all I can say. HA!

Jason Bateman is a cutie. Yum yum!