Archive for October 4th, 2010

Arrested Development: Season 1, Ep. 1-Pilot

 Rating: 4/5

When I first saw the list of TV shows available for the Mass Media Blog Project, immediately I knew I had to choose of course, Arrested Development. This is for several reasons the most important being that Michael Cera is in this show and I absolutely love his style of acting which is often, that of an awkward person. Additionally, my friends and several of my mother’s friends expressed their love of this “unfortunately short-lived show.” However, to my surprise, this show revolves around Michael Bluth, played by Jason Bateman, and his attempt to hold together his very dysfunctional family together after the arrest of the patriarch, George Bluth.

I find this show to be pretty hilarious due to the fact that George Sr. was arrested because of the family’s usage of Bluth Development Company money for the funding of their own, often selfish, needs. The funny thing about this is that this is unbelievably similar to the events that led to the 2008 economic crisis. Selfish Wall Street CEO’s were found to have given themselves raises to support the multimillion dollar homes and flashy cars while they knew their actions were going to have an unbelievably negative effect on investors and the public in general. I cannot help but think this is part of the reason why people still love Arrested Development.

                Anyway, this episode starts off on a boat party where Michael is expecting to be promoted to partner of the Bluth Development Company and his mother, Lucille Bluth, expressing her feeling of annoyance caused by gay protestors who are sailing alongside the Bluth boat. It is then that we are introduced to the rest of the Bluth family which is made up of Lindsay Bluth Fünke (Michael’s twin sister), her husband Dr. Tobias Fünke, her daughter Mae “Maebe” Fünke,  the eldest Bluth sibling, George Oscar Bluth, and the youngest and probably the most helpless, Byron “Buster” Bluth. This show is filmed in a way that you feel like this is a reality show and often shows flashbacks and events that led up to whatever is going on in a certain scene in this case, the lifestyle of each Bluth. Even before stating each family member’s background, you can already tell that Lindsay married Tobias just to spite her family because she along with Michael are really the only sane Bluth’s however, it is unfortunate that her love of clothes , fashion and cheese and wine fundraisers prevents her from sharing a common value with Michael which is, family. It is particularly sad that when Maebe approaches the Bluth Frozen Banana stand where George Michael works, George Michael doesn’t even recognize her as being part of the family.

                Because of this, Maebe suggests that she kiss George Michael in front of Lindsay to “teach her a lesson.” This too is unfortunate because you can tell upon their previous encounter that George Michael isn’t the smoothest when it comes to ladies and therefore, cannot control himself from honestly developing feelings for his own cousin while she is only interested in rebelling. Then again, what can you expect from a clearly dysfunctional family. I can already tell that the Segway driving Gob will be annoying due to his lack of concern over the family. His failed attempt at hiding his father shows that he lives to satisfy him but is a coward when it comes to facing Michael which can be seen in his constant fleeing when trying to speak to him.

                I can’t help but feel that Lucille cares is a selfish, self centered person as she is only interested in maintaining the famiy’s appearance of high status even though at this point, they are broke. Additionally, her babying Buster and openly expressing dislike of her children goes to show how terrible she is. Michael really is the only hope this family has for getting themselves out of this deep hole they got themselves into.  

                So far, I have grown to love Tobias. He is unwittingly funny and it is sad that more attention isn’t paid to him but this is understandable and he is not directly part of the Bluth family. I really hope that he and Michael somehow turn Lindsay around because as previously stated, she and Michael are the only ones in this show with a brain. Also, I’m really glad Michael decided to not completely abandon the family although I was secretly hoping he would and am alright with his decision in allowing Lindsay and her family staying with them in the model home although you can tell Maebe and George Michael sharing a room isn’t the best decision.I just loved the irony in the song “Love will keep us Together” when it was stated that Michael had decided to never speak to the family again. Additionally, this show has really turned out to be everything I hoped it would be as it has been a while since I’ve seen a show that isn’t mindless.