By Michael Clark
When we think of disfunctional TV families, “The Simpsons” is often the first to come to mind. But before the Simpsons – way back in good old 2003 – Fox Broadcasting Co. aired a sitcom that made looking bad far too funny.
The Bluth family of “Arrested Development” is not too far off from the Simpsons in their level of dysfunction. Somehow they found a way to be just as bad as the Simpsons, yet not be cartoons, which obviously tones things down.
When I think of the Bluths, I almost always think of a movie I saw in sociology class. It was about the lives of a small population of the world who are, simply put, “better off.” The Bluths don’t work a day in their lives, but they still manage to screw up the perfect life.
“Dolores, listen to me. Empty the account; shred it, keep it, shred it, keep it,” their sociopath of a father George Bluth said after he had been arrested for embezzlement and “pretty much using the company as a piggy bank.”
Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) is the counselor/reliable son who holds things together, figuring out every one of his father’s lies and secrets.
To accompany Michael is his son, ironically named George Michael (Michael Cera), who once again has the typical role of being Charlie Brown. “Michael, I meant THERE WAS MONEY IN THE BANANA STAND!” George says to Michael when visiting him in prison, after he just burned down the banana stand. What George meant was that he had built the money (about $250,000) into the walls.
That is just one of the lessons Michael and his son learned throughout those three years of the show’s airing. It’s an outrageous show and of course has a racist alcoholic mother known as Lucille/Gangee (Portia de Rossi), who just hates everyone. There’s a brother named Gob (Will Arnett) who sidelines as a magician. Then there’s the youngest, a baby Buster, a vindictive little child who apparently loves his mommy a bit too much.
Moving from that head case to another, Tobias Funke a hippy psychiatrist who has an epiphany and decides “to be an actor.” Also there is his wife and Michael’s sister, Lindsay, who later comes to be adopted.
Although this Grammy-nominated show has gone off the air, the director has hinted that it may not be the end of the Bluthe family; a movie has been rumored to be in the works. “If there’s a way to continue this in a form that’s not a weekly episodic series television, I’d be up for it,” Mitchell Hurwitz has said. Hurwitz reportedly decided to team up with Ron Howard (narrator/producer of the show) on creating “Arrested Development: The Movie.” No release dates have been announced, and according to David Cross, “those guys are notorious for being late.”