Welcome to the second edition of the “The Great State-Lines Arrested Development Re-Watch (or Watch If You Haven’t Seen It) Fifty-Three Episodes in Forty-Nine Days Culminating In The Jarrett Haas Hosted Binge Watching Party of Season Four Extravaganza Diary.” The first entry/introduction only covered episode one, so you still have plenty of time to jump in.
One of the coolest things I have come to appreciate about the show is that you could literally start watching at any episode and the show itself will quickly bring you up to speed on the relevant storylines. It is as if the show’s creators anticipate at what parts of the show a boyfriend would have to explain to his girlfriend, who has not yet seen the show, why a certain character is acting a certain way. In that split second the show essentially goes ‘Hold up! I got this!’ and then proceeds to explain any relevant information through brief flashbacks and narration.
I have decided to try to avoid recapping the show as much as possible. I’m working under the assumption that most of you have already seen the episode. If you do need a recap, there already exists far more extensive recap summaries than what I could provide, at the Arrested Development wikia page. The wikia page is also a great jump off point for those of you that are like me and love to delve deeper into obscure references or metaphors you may catch while watching the show.
8 – “Top Banana”
Favorite Quote: “Doing the time of my life.”
Tobias is stupid-hilarious. That is the best way I can put it. His comedic zone reminds me a lot of Will Farrell’s. I can’t imagine being an actor and trying to keep a straight face while doing a scene with him.
I don’t know how many people would agree with me, because it is such a subtle gag, but my favorite joke in the entire episode is when George Michael keeps referring to himself as “Mr. Manager” after his dad uses it as a term of endearment but then repeatedly tries to explain to George Michael that it’s just “manager.”
9 – Bringing Up Buster
Favorite Quote: “That’s a little cornball.”
I’m really digging the pace of the show. It covers a lot in the small time span of just 22 minutes.
I’m a sucker for Full House corny endings, so I loved the feel good closure of this episode which ends with George Michael apologizing for being a jerk to his dad who was trying to spend time with him. But what I loved the most is how the show winks at the audience by acknowledging the ending is a bit over the top sentimental by Michael saying “That’s a little cornball,” to which both Michael and George Michael agree that they don’t mind.
10 – Key Decisions
Favorite Quote: “Great, now you’re an athlete.’
I have to admit that by now I am pretty much emotionally invested in the show and it’s characters. The cornball in me, the part of me that enjoys a chick flick more than a man should, had me completely sucked in when Michael started to fall for Gob’s girlfriend Marta. Like a fool I rooted for Michael hooking up with Marta when I should’ve known better. I took the bait and paid the price. For that I gave this episode a 9.
11 – Visiting Ours
Favorite Quote: “. . . Hugs gotta end sometime, obviously.”
Watching this episode is when I realized that you could have missed every episode up until this one and be completely caught up just by way of flashbacks. The usefulness of this device is becomes more apparent with each passing episode.
12 – Charity Drive
Favorite Quote: “. . . Even after he gave you the rights to his ‘Mr. Banana-Grabber’ character.”
This is my favorite episode so far. I thought the Mr. Banana-Grabber gag was over the top hilarious! Maybe it’s just me. See, Michael told Gob that he could no longer get free frozen bananas from the banana stand, and Gob offered rights to his likeness for a hamburglar-type character called “‘Mr. Banana Grabber’ or something” in exchange for free bananas. From my perspective this was just Gob acting like an idiot, and apparently Michael felt the same because he refused the offer. At no point did I believe the rights to this hypothetical hamburglar style character would ever have any value. So later when Michael needed Gob’s help and Gob refused unless he got his free banana rights reinstated as well as “Creative control, spin-off rights and theme park approval for Mr. Banana Grabber, Baby Banana Grabber, and any other Banana Grabber family character that might emanate there from”, I thought that Michael was just entertaining his brother’s idiocy when he agreed to the deal except that he (Michael) “retain animation rights.” The punctuation mark comes at the end of the episode when Gob kicks himself for giving up animation rights as he watches Mr. Banana Grabber on television, which shows Mr. Banana Grabber riding on Gob’s trademark Segway.
13 – My Mother The Car
Favorite Quote: “You don’t hate me. Mom hates me. You kinda like me.”
This is the first episode that I started to realize that the show has more going on than meets the eye. I was intrigued by the outdated ominous music that was being played as the show would segue from scene to scene. Through the AD wikia page I found out that the title of the episode was taking from an old tv show called My Mother the Car. I also found out that at one scene, Lindsay and Gob have the original tv show playing in the background. Because the wikia page did not answer my curiosity about the music playing during the segues I went on to find an old episode My Mother the Car online, and sure enough, the segue music was also from the original tv show. All and all this is pretty useless information, but I love a good informational scavenger hunt.
My favorite part of the episode is when Gob abandons his plans to steal the yacht and go to South America because he suspects their mother is lying to Michael. For a moment I actually believed that he was concerned about Michael, but it turns out that he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to catch their mother in a lie. Maybe I am just projecting but a part of me wants to believe it was partly for Michael. Nevertheless, this is the first time that I Gob appears likable.
13 – In God We Trust
Favorite Quote: “Portugal? Well, gonna live it up in ole South America, aren’t we, Michael?”
Between this episode and the last, I am beginning to realize the other characters are far more sympathetic than I previously believed. This time it is his sister Lindsay that Michael bonds with over the shared hatred of their mother.
14 – A much deserved night off. Catch up on that DVR
15 – Storming The Castle
Favorite Quote: “You’ll never be able to do it. You’re too good. You’re the noble one. The one who never wins.”
I don’t know why but I died when George Sr. was in solitary confinement and embraced the sun shining in through the window that cast a shadow in the form of the Jewish star. I guess I was laughing at how crazy and stupid he is and how I kinda saw where this was going. I was right.
15 – Pier Pressure
Favorite Quote: “So you taught me a lesson not to teach lessons?”
This is my new favorite episode. The episode features true flashbacks (not recaps) to the characters’ childhoods, about how George Sr. used to use a one armed man to teach the kids lesson. I LOVE flashbacks! They are one of the best tv/movie tricks ever created. When used correctly they can push a good movie to great and a great movie to all-time great. Come to think of it, How I Met Your Mother is one giant flashback – genius!
It was the way the flashbacks set up the ending that really did it for me. I nearly fell out when J. Walter Weatherman’s arm flew off during the fake police raid. I actually yelled out loud, “He’s teaching him another lesson! HAHAHAHA!” I love irony, and this show uses irony as good as any other show I’ve ever seen.
Greatness Scale: Archer
I know Arrested Development came first, but I saw Archer first and I love Archer. Archer, it turns out, borrows a lot from AD. For one, Jessica Walter’s Lucille character and Mallory Archer are essentially the same character. The same is true for Judy Greer’s Kitty Sanchez and Cheryl characters. Jeffrey Tambor also has a recurring role on Archer. Even David Cross had a three episode stint on Archer. Don’t get me wrong, they are two very different shows; but the tone, use of irony, and witty banter are very similar. I think a major similarity between the shows that I really like is that both shows have their own little inside jokes and obscure references. There is a rewarding feeling that accompanies getting a joke that you know few people would understand. I also enjoy the hunt of trying to figure out a joke that goes over my head. There is nothing wrong with the obvious joke, but there is plenty to be said about the joke that takes a bit of digging. Both shows do a wonderful job of combining stupid-outlandish humor with a much subtler brand of humor that I doubt many people even can process.
I would love to hear your thoughts. If you have seen the show or are watching the show now, feel free to add anything you like and I will try to incorporate it into my next article. Click hear for the re-watch schedule if you need to catch up or want to just jump in. Leave comments or inbox me on facebook at Thomas Shepard.