First off, this is not an endorsement for the southern, smarty-pants rap outfit famous for â€śMr. Wendalâ€ť from the early 1990s. This is, instead a ringing recommendation for you to watch the sharpest, smartest and most unconventional sitcom not on HBO â€“ â€śArrested Development.â€ť
Like most sitcoms, â€śArrested Developmentâ€ť is about a family, the Bluths. However, unlike most sitcoms â€śArrested Developmentâ€ť has no audience laugh track, no wacky neighbors, no cute kids and no fat guy with a hot wife (aka the CBS networkâ€™s sitcom blueprint). It is much smarter and weirder than that and for some that makes â€śArrested Developmentâ€ť perhaps unapproachable. For others that appreciate non-mainstream territory, this show is for you!
Whatâ€™s it all about?
The Bluths are a wealthy Southern California brood that has their assets currently frozen as Dad, George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) sits in jail for a host of Enron-like scams. His wife, the self-absorbed Bluth matriarch Lucille (Jessica Walter) is just a tad more motherly than â€śDynastyâ€™sâ€ť Joan Collins.
Their grown kids are essentially a mess: George II or â€śGobâ€ť as he is called (Will Arnett), is a jobless, wannabe ladies man and magician; Primadonna daughter Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) is in-training to one day become her vapid mother; Baby brother, Byron â€śBusterâ€ť Bluth (Tony Hale) is a quivering hypochondriac with multiple hang-ups who still lives at home despite being at least 30.
That leaves the one bright spot and sane member of the Bluth family, the middle son Michael (Jason Bateman), a widower father of a teenage son himself, who must maintain the family business and be the straight man in a family of crack-ups.
Despite fairly low ratings, Fox has renewed â€śArrested Developmentâ€ť and will slot it just after â€śThe Simpsonsâ€ť on Sunday nights. That should bring new viewers as will the high level of buzz currently about. After receiving massive critical praise, it managed to capture five Emmys including Best Writing and Outstanding Comedy (beating â€śSex and the City,â€ť â€śCurb Your Enthusiasmâ€ť and â€śEverybody Loves Raymondâ€ť) and was awarded the hefty TV Land â€śFuture Classicâ€ť designation in its first season. These accolades award the sharp writing, dead-on perfect performances and departure from normal TV.