Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013 7:49:44 PM
Arrested Development, a Fox Network comedy, is my one and only kryptonite (weakness). This witty and charming cast of characters grasps at my attention. This show is focused around the Bluth Family— a dysfunctional family trying to deal with their company’s legal issues. The originality of the characters, story line, and the pure wit and comical cunning of the humor make this show an instant pick-me-up.
Arrested Development aired from 2003-2006, and will be returning to air a final season this year. The originality of this series caught my attention... and held it. This unique cast of characters seems, no matter how out-there they may be, to be an exaggerated representation of every family member in one way or another. The show portrays a silly, carefree father; a crazy-driven mother; their four adult children; a son-in-law; and two grandchildren.
There seems to be “typical” types of sibling that most people assume to be in each family. One is sensible and hardworking (Michael Bluth); another is silly and dysfunctional (Gob Bluth); one is spoiled and lazy [Lindsey (Bluth) Fünke], and the other is the baby of the family (Buster Bluth). Although these traits aren’t true for all, for they are greatly inflamed, these seem to be the go-to characteristics for most families in sitcoms and movies. These characteristics are what make this cast relatable. This cast was so popular, not only for the stories, the humor, and the ridiculous traits they hold, but because fans could relate to their crazy, mixed-up everyday life.
This plot is unexpected. Level-headed son Michael Bluth takes over family affairs after his father is imprisoned. But the rest of his spoiled, dysfunctional family is making his job unbearable. Unlike typical sitcoms, which focus on the day-to-day lives of a family or group of friends, this TV show focuses on the development on the characters and their lives. Along with this, some of the show involves their day-to-day life, but not enough to fit the typical sitcom stereotype.
The fresh and distinctive humor of this show is what I refer to as “the icing on the cake.” This humor strays from the usual comedy found in sitcoms; this show heavily relies on verbal and situational irony. For a close observer, humor can be found in irony portrayed by written messages and pictures. Arrested Development also incorporates a narrator, rare in comedic television. Often, humor is integrated through the voice of the narrator himself, seldom found in this particular medium.
I consider Arrested Development to be groundbreaking in television media. I have never seen a show that was so inventive and enjoyably unique. Although this show may merely be entertainment for some, for me it is more than that. This kind of originality in cast, plot, and comedy has served as a writing inspiration in my life. This show has motivated me to pursue becoming a writer, and hopefully to create a show as creative and entertaining as Arrested Development.