Arrested Development (2003-2005)
This wickedly funny Emmy-winning sitcom follows the tribulations of the Bluths, a wealthy California clan gone to the dogs after paterfamilias and real estate tycoon George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) gets busted for fraud. Now long-suffering son Michael (Jason Bateman) keeps the family business afloat as he spars with his boozy mother (Jessica Walter), vapid siblings (Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett and Tony Hale) and other wildly dysfunctional relatives.
“Remember there’s always money in the banana stand.”
Well I had intended this week to just cover some truly awful turkeys but I felt I had to digress. Netflix finally announced that they will show NEW episodes of Arrested Development in 2013 and that they will be showing exclusively on Netflix. Now it will be quite a wait but you can start by watching the first three seasons right now on Netflix.
Arrested Development features a wonderful if unwieldy ensemble cast. Jason Batemen anchors the show as everyman Michael Bluth but most of the other characters are completely off the wall. Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Tony Hale, Jessica Walter, Alia Shawkat and David Cross all play quirky relatives – each one vying for attention. Everyone seems to have a different favorite character.
The wonderful ensemble extends to the frequent guest stars. Look for Liza Minnelli, Henry Winkler, Charlize Theron, Amy Poehler, Carl Weathers, Ben Stiller, Jane Lynch and many more in multi-episode story arcs.
The writing is wonderful and it is amazing that they are able to fit all nine family members in each episode. I love the running joke where each episode has a preview of the next episode and none of those events ever occur in the next episode.
People Watch: Yes that is Ron Howard narrating each episode and look for noted terrible (yet enthusiastic) singer William Hung playing himself in two episodes .