Written By: Kelly @ Pieces of Me
This week I am going to mix things up a bit and review a TV series instead of a movie.
Back in 2003 the world was introduced to the Bluth family. Arrested Development was a high comedy sitcom that followed the Bluths. Narrated by Ron Howard, the show begins right after the patriarch George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) is arrested by the Securities and Exchange Commission for defrauding investors. His son Michael (Jason Bateman) steps up to try to do the right thing by keeping his dysfunctional, selfish, and manipulative family together. Even though most of the time he wants (and often threatens) to leave them to fend for themselves. Along with George Sr. and Michael the series follows Michael’s son George Michael (Michael Cera), his mother Lucille (Jessica Walter), his brother Gob (Will Arnett), his sister Lindsay (Portia de Rossi); her husband Tobias (David Cross) and daughter Maeby (Alia Shawkat), and his younger brother Buster (Tony Hale).
For three glorious seasons we tuned in to watch their crazy dysfunctional, yet loveable lives play out before us. Sadly, even with critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base, Fox decided to cancel the gem that was Arrested Development.
Immediately there was an outpouring from fans to bring back the show and the creators didn’t fail us. After rumors of an Arrested Development movie, they finally brought back the entire cast to film 15 more episodes of the beloved show. A full length movie is still being considered as well. Netflix picked up the series and on May 25th they released all 15 new episodes.
I had planned to watch all 15 episodes before I wrote this, but life with two small children got in the way. I have only watched the first five; so far the Bluths are still up their old antics, but something is missing.
It’s small and subtle, and I still immensely enjoyed what I have watched so far, but something is off. That really was to be expected to some degree. The show was originally cancelled in 2006, which meant the cast hadn’t worked together for six years before filming the new episodes. It would be hard to fall back into the exact rhythm you once had in the beginning.
Another thing missing is in the original three seasons every character was in every episode and their stories all intertwined. Since the actors all had moved on with their lives and took on other projects, they had commitments that interfered with filming everyone at the same time. Because of this the new episodes revolve around one of the characters at a time. Some of the original cast is included in these episodes and some are not. Their stories still intertwine but the viewer doesn’t always see how until a different episode. This change was one that made the flow of the episodes change. I understand why they had to make this change, but I miss getting a little from each character’s story in each episode.
If you’re interested in checking this show out, all the episodes are currently available on Netflix. They do offer the first month free, but after that Netflix’s charges a membership fee. If you want to catch up from the beginning, they also have all the episodes from the first three seasons too! The first three seasons are available on DVD and the reruns are also aired on IFC.
I have loved this show since it first aired in 2003. It is a favorite with many of my friends and family as well. The subject matter may not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for something different or are a fan and want to rewatch for the memories Arrested Development won’t let you down.