I first became aware of this show through Son&Heir and #2 Son’s howls of laughter as they watched it in the kids’ upstairs living room. “What the hell were you two laughing at?” was my question when they eventually came downstairs for breakfast the next morning. Well, they told me, and intrigued, I had to watch Arrested Development — whereupon a second outburst of helpless laughter filled the house.
Good grief. This was a Married… With Children-style dysfunctional family, only with blacker humor and razor-sharp cruelty.
Michael: [after George Sr. has been handed a jail sentence] They’re going to keep Dad in jail until this whole thing gets sorted out.
[silence amongst the family]
Michael: Also, I’ve been told that the company’s expense accounts have been frozen…
Michael: …Interesting. I would have expected that after “They’re keeping Dad in jail.”
#2 Son bought me the series on DVD for Christmas several years ago, and I re-watch it about every eighteen months.
This was the show, I think, where Jason Bateman finally (!) shed his child-movie-star persona and became a serious grownup comedy star — his lines delivered with a deadpan monotone which would have had Buster Keaton delivering a standing ovation.
Lucille: You tricked me.
Michael: I deceived you. “Tricked” makes it sound like we have a playful relationship.
Buster: Mom is becoming a little controlling.
Michael: What tipped you off? When she locked you out on the balcony again?
Buster: That was half my fault. I thought I saw a Graham Cracker out there.
Michael: [to his mother] You baited the balcony?
Lucille Bluth: Prove it.
And speaking of Lucille Bluth, don’t even get me started on the exquisite Jessica Walter (on whom I’ve had a crush ever since the 1960s).
And from the show: