As the ratings got lower and cancellation became inevitable, the inside jokes got funnier as the show finally embraced full absurdity and stopped pretending to care about the bottom line. Nowhere is this more evident than in the series finale, ‘Development Arrested’– an ode to fans who have been watching since the very beginning.
Rap group “Arrested Development” sued Fox for copyright infringement on their name. The show later joked about this incident with the Motherboy competition: “Motherboy was also a heavymetal band. We are legally obligated to make this distinction.”
While always funny in its own right, Arrested Development has become beloved for its devotion to continuity, and the surprising way in which it uses absurd comedy to keep the narrative story going. This storytelling method climaxes at the finale, as every network television taboo that Arrested Development ever dabbled with is pushed even further, and seemingly dropped plotlines finally get paid back.
From naming a boat the ‘C-Word,’ to an uncle dating his nephew’s teenage girlfriend, to a sister straddling her twin brother as she demands he marry her (wow. The Bluths are kind of like the 21st century Lannister equivalent, huh?), ‘Development Arrested’ wasn’t afraid to go out with a bang.
The callbacks this episode is ripe with are pretty satisfying for the loyal viewer, too. We finally find out (as we had always sort of suspected) that Lucille is actually the family mastermind and bringer of misfortune as she’s manipulated everyone into doing her bidding throughout the years. It seems she’s finally met her match with her youngest “son” Annyong though, which to our delight and surprise had all along been a spy sent in to bring down the Bluth family.
|“I don’t understand the question, and I won’t respond to it.”|
It was the twist nobody (well, okay, we kind of all) saw coming: seven years after the original show left the air, Netflix brought Arrested Development back as an original Netflix series for the fourth season. And after months of anticipation and a stellar Banana Stand ad campaign, all fifteen of the fresh season 4 episodes dropped on May 26, 2013.
Neither George Sr. nor Tobias were originally intended to be permanent characters on the show.
Season 4 debuted to mixed reviews, once again proving that Arrested Development always brings the unexpected. Unlike the first three seasons, due to filming constraints with the very busy actors, the fourth season aired the storylines out of continuity. Because each episode featured and was developed around one specific member of the Bluth family, this meant that scenes between episodes were intersected and missing, making much of the first part of the season confusing, as it led to its own payoff in later episodes.
While the first three seasons took place with the Bluth family mostly together in Orange County, the fourth season had everyone spread out throughout the world trying to find their own identity away from the Bluth name. Everything that we had come to expect out the show as an audience had been turned on its head: sweet, innocent George Michael became manipulative, and Michael, who had always been the reasonable member of his family, was now the biggest chump of all.
Season 4 left us with quite the cliffhanger as we saw the father/son relationship that was once the backbone of the series be shattered before our eyes, but the good news is, our devastatingly devious family can only go up from here.
All four seasons of ‘Arrested Development’ can now be found on Netflix instant streaming! The first three seasons can also be found on Hulu and as a DVD set.
We adore each of our beloved Bluths, but everyone has that one favorite that holds a special place in our hearts. Which Bluth family member is your personal favorite?