Arrested Development (TV series)

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox television Arrested Development is a character-driven comedy television series about a wealthy but dysfunctional family. The show is presented like a documentary, complete with narration, archival photos, and historical footage. Set in Balboa Island, California, it is filmed on location in the city and the surrounding area.

The show was created by Mitchell Hurwitz (The Ellen Show, The John Larroquette Show, The Golden Girls). TV veteran Ron Howard is an executive producer and the uncredited narrator. It airs on Fox Television in the US and on BBC 2 or 4 in the UK. It debuted on November 2, 2003.


Brief outline

The premise of Arrested Development revolves around the Bluth family. The patriarch of the clan, George Bluth Sr. is founder and former C.E.O. of the Bluth Company, which builds homes, among other things. George Sr. was arrested by the Securities and Exchange Commission for defrauding customers and spending too much of the company's money on "personal expenses". He was convicted and sent to Orange County Prison that, ironically, his company had built in 1983.

Meanwhile, his wife, Lucille became C.E.O. and immediately named her youngest son Buster as the new president, but he was not prepared for the rigors of the job. Michael, the middle son and twin to the Bluth's only girl, Lindsay, then was awarded control. He maintained control until he himself became the target of the ongoing investigation into the company's financial records and various dealings. At that point, eldest son George Oscar (G.O.B.) was named president.

The show focuses on the tension that developed between the members of the Bluth family due primarily to their diminished spending power. Sibling rivalries, unresolved oedipal conflicts, sexual incompatibilities, personal identity crises, adolescent trauma, aging, pride, miscommunication, lying, guilt, subterfuge, determination, manipulation, mutilation, social status anxiety, and countless other themes weave serpentine throughout Arrested Development.

Much like other dysfunctional family comedies such as Malcolm in the Middle, The Simpsons, Roseanne, and Married with Children, the family unit is depicted as necessary for the survival of the individual. Much of the comedy comes from the quirks of the characters and the patterns that developed within the family structure.


Main article: Characters from Arrested Development

Character Description Played by
George Bluth Sr. Patriarch of Bluth family; escaped prisoner; married to Lucille Jeffrey Tambor
Lucille Bluth Neglectful lush; mother to Bluth brood; CEO of Bluth Company, alcoholic Jessica Walter
George Oscar "G.O.B" Bluth II Struggling magician; creator of "Bananagrabber"; appears in "Girls with Low Self-Esteem" videos, created a CD with puppet named Franklin Will Arnett
Michael Bluth Middle Bluth son; twin of Lindsay; father of George Michael; saviour of the Bluth Empire; hopes to bring company back from the dead Jason Bateman
George Michael Bluth Son of Michael; loves his bike; loved his teacher and lusted after his cousin, Maeby; terrified of prisons and midgets; always on time; has new girlfriend, Ann Michael Cera
Buster Bluth Oedipally disturbed biological baby boy; loves juice; career student; scared of sheep, sex, girls, and so on; signed on to the United States Army by his mother on a dare from a fake Michael Moore ; had his hand bit off by an escaped, trained seal Tony Hale
Lindsay Bluth Fünke Twin of Michael; unhappily married to Tobias; mother of Maeby; has low self-esteem; loves to cage dance, protest various causes, shop, and flirt Portia de Rossi
Tobias Fünke Sort-of husband to Lindsay; former psychiatrist; "never-nude"; has turned to acting; student of Carl Weathers; may be gay; aspiring member of the Blue Man Group; Mrs. Featherbottom David Cross
Maeby Fünke Daughter of Tobias and Lindsay; product of artificial insemination; created fake charity for rare disease B.S.; created a false persona named Surely who was dying of disease; currently a major movie executive at the age of 15, also admits she likes George Michael Alia Shawkat


Michael Bluth's (Jason Bateman) first name is a sly reference to Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) of The Godfather movies. Like Corleone, Michael Bluth is the son of a wealthy and powerful family who is (somewhat reluctantly) forced to take over the family business due to the incapacity of the family's patriarch. The parallel is not exact, as Michael Corleone is the third born, after Santino and Alfredo. However, after assuming power, both are subsequently surrounded by brothers and sisters who constantly ask for money or scheme behind their backs. There is even a scene in which the eldest Bluth son GOB confronts Michael, claiming that, because he is older, he should have control of the company and is tired of not getting respect, a dialog nearly identical to Fredo's conversation with Michael Corleone over the same thing in The Godfather Part II. Also, the last name Bluth may be a contraction of 'blurred Truth' the latter suggested by the in the moment when Michael Bluth watches an exposé on the Bluth family, called "The Bluth Family,... Blurred Truth". Equivocation is a reoccuring theme through out the series.


The show is a hit with critics but has not yet gained a sizeable audience. Despite its low ratings, the series has been renewed by Fox and will return for the 2005-06 season.

It won five Emmy Awards in 2004, including "Best Comedy", "Best Casting", and "Best Writing in a Comedy" for the pilot episode. It also won the Television Critics Association Award for "Best Comedy" and "Outstanding New Series", the TV Land award for "Future Classic", and the Golden Satellite Award for "Best Comedy". Jessica Walter (Lucille Bluth) and Jeffrey Tambor (George Bluth Sr.) also won Golden Satellites for their performances.

Jason Bateman also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor In A Comedy Series in 2005.

Due to low audience turnout and to promote their highly anticipated re-broadcast of the animated series Family Guy, Fox announced that it would halt the production of the second season at 18 episodes, 4 episodes short of the planned season. (This cutback was satirized in the episode "The Sword of Destiny", in which the Bluth Company had an order to build 22 houses reduced to 18.) Despite fears that this was a prelude to cancellation, the network defended its actions claiming that the show would fare poorly during network sweeps period, and that it was simply a procedural matter. The network has renewed the show for the 2005-2006 season.

Celebrity Guests on Arrested Development

The show frequently brings in celebrity guests. A partial list is included below.

External links


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