Ron Howard’s masterpiece will have you in stitches, says Aaron Murphy
Arrested Development is a massive cult-comedy TV show, originally aired by FOX. Jason Bateman stars as Michael Bluth: an honest man whose life is thrown into disarray when his father, George Bluth (Jeffrey Tambor) is imprisoned for embezzlement from the Bluth Company. Michael Bluth and his son George-Michael (Michael Cera) are then forced into close contact with their dysfunctional family. Hilarity ensues.
It is a clever comedy with highlights from Gob (pronounced ‘Jobe’), Michael’s older brother (played by the hilarious Will Arnett), who is a Segway-riding, idiot magician. The family unashamedly steal money from the company in almost every scene and it becomes clear that the transition from wealth to penny-pinching for the Bluth family will be both hysterical and cringe worthy.
The jokes are almost all motifs or overshadowing the plot in some way and make every episode memorable. It’s great fun to watch over and over because of these and you’re guaranteed to be drawn into the madness of the show and slapped playfully back to reality again and again. Sound good yet?
This will genuinely enhance your life. If you ever meet another Arrested Development fan, which you will, you will find out in the first 10 minutes. Much like Father Ted, the jokes work their way into your head until they’re all that comes to mind and there’ll be a tell-tale smile on the utterance of “ice cream sandwich” or “illusion” (you’ll see).
Do you often find yourself using someone else’s name as a pun? Look no further. From Michael’s niece (and George Michael’s awkward, incestuous love interest) ‘Maeby’ (Ali Shawkat) to his mother ‘Lucille’ there are recurring puns everywhere in this show.
The whole story flows very well and effortlessly ties together which makes watching the show not only a funny experience, but also one which doesn’t take over your life as much as, for example, The Wire. Most of the episodes are about 25 minutes and a lot fits into that time. (Spoiler Alert) Fonzi jumps a shark, again. It’s very unexpected. You are constantly on edge.
There’s a lot to this seemingly small, intimate comedy. It’s lucid and engaging on all levels and, as well as being an interesting, well-thought through plot, it’s one of those rare, truly funny shows. If you’re a fan of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s “Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy” and the motifs therein, then you’ll love this.
The long awaited fourth season has arrived and everyone should pick up the DVD box set or watching this on Netflix. Rumour has it that there is even a film on the way, but that is not yet confirmed. If you’re thinking “Hey! Box sets cost money!”, just remember that “there’s always money in the banana stand.” Watch this series; it is the cleverest thing you’ll do all year.