Arrested Development–Pure Genius

The return of Arrested Development on May 26th should be hailed as a triumph, and as a display of the power of intelligence. To briefly catch you up, the show revolves around the exploits of the rich, incredibly shallow Bluth family. As the opening credits explain, they were a wealthy family that lost everything after the family patriarch is arrested for stealing from the company, and now has no choice but to rely on Michael Bluth, the most stable child in the family, to help bring them all back together. The show featured an insanely talented cast, many of whom gained their fame only after Arrested had ended: Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia de Rossi, and on and on.

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When Arrested Development first premiered in 2002, I remember very vividly reading a review of it in Entertainment Weekly. The magazine actually hailed it as an astoundingly funny sitcom, but also claimed that it would not be surprised to find that the show would be one of the first to be cancelled. Sadly, EW was right—although it did last three seasons before Fox eventually pulled the plug. For those of us who were watching Arrested from the beginning (proud to say I was one of them!) it was a heartbreaking decision. Now, how would anyone ever learn about the genius that is this sitcom? Maybe the world just wasn’t ready yet. After all, it was before the age where everyone had a DVR and could watch the episodes on their own time, able to catch all of the background sight gags or recurring jokes from episode to episode.

Then, an amazing thing happened. The show was released on DVD and suddenly I was hearing it quoted by just about everyone I knew. It started out as annoying, (seriously people if you love it so much why didn’t you watch it when it was on???) but I soon had to accept that we were all fans now; some of us just happened to arrive late to this party. Every so often I would rewatch the entire series, sometimes crying with laughter while watching a scene I had already seen three times before. But by the end of the series viewing, I would always find myself lamenting the fact that this show was no longer on the air, and that I would never be able to get my fill of the Bluths. Would this amazing show ever find its way back to the airways? I wasn’t optimistic it could be done. But I wasn’t going to take “wasn’t optimistic it could be done” for an answer! (FYI, that’s a classic Arrested joke)

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But wait, proof that miracles do exist! The show is set to return! Netflix is bringing the show back with brand new episodes, 14 in total, starting May 26th. This all leads to an eventual Arrested Development movie, which will continue the stories brought up in this brand new season. The fact that this show is returning is something we should all be celebrating. Why? Because it proves that stupidity does not reign, that the American public is still able to appreciate a comedy that is smart, subtle, and quirky. I don’t mean to sound critical of the American public here, but I am always saddened that the American public still seems so hesitant to embrace comedies that do not fit into sitcom cookie-cutter molds. Shows like Community and Parks and Rec are forever on the verge of cancellation, a real shame because they both bring something entirely new to the table. Maybe, just maybe, the re-release of Arrested Development will help the general public realize that comedy can be different from what we’re used to, maybe even remarkably so. Now, what are you waiting for? All three previous seasons of Arrested are available on Netflix! No time like the present to become a fan.

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About Sheri H.

Sheri Horwitz is a teacher in every sense of the word. She is currently in her third year of teaching high schoolers the joys of learning, is married to a wonderful man named Adam, and is a casual film reviewer (meaning she forces her family and students to listen to her rants about films she's seen)
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One Response to Arrested Development–Pure Genius

  1. Kevin Walsh says:

    Thanks for the great post, Sheri. I’m one of your late-comers to the series myself and am once again grateful to Netflix! They’ve found an interesting new life as actual show producers now that they’re, in essence, a network to be reckoned with. (And it doesn’t seem too long ago that it looked like Blockbusters online mail ordering was going to take over the world–along with Borders!)

    The show is particularly fun for me to watch because I didn’t see Michael Cera until he was older, leaner, and fathering a child in “Juno.”

    It’s a show that forty people told me I should watch, but I never did–am I that much of a contrarian?

    Keep the great blogs a-coming!!