Arrested Development (TV Series 2003– ) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
304 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Very funny
Snoopy19 August 2004
This show takes a few episodes before you *really* GET it. And once you get it, you'll realize why everybody thinks it's one of the best sitcoms ever.

Each character is really defined and original...with real, unique personalities. All of the actors have fantastic chemistry, making for really great interactions and relationships within the show.

The writing for this show is great, and the plots are so absurd that you can't help but find them funny.

A refreshing change in a world where people like reality shows...it's the only good sitcom left.
407 out of 457 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
The smartest thing Fox has done yet
AlphabetCity14 December 2003
This is the funniest show currently on television. All you need to enjoy this show is an appreciation for high-quality acting and incredibly hilarious writing. Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth is perfect as the under-appreciated do-good guy who's just trying to keep his family together and himself sane. Other highlights of the show include Will Arnett as GOB (George Oscar Bluth II), Michael's lame-excuse-for-a-magician brother; Jeffrey Tambor as George Sr., Michael's incarcerated father (he was jailed for "shifty accounting practices"); and Michael Cera as George Michael Bluth, Michael Bluth's perpetually nervous 13-year-old son (who just happens to have a strange infatuation with his cousin, Maebe, played by "State of Grace"'s Alia Shawkat). All in all this show is sure to be a hit, at least with those people whose level of understanding of comedy is above slapstick and bathroom jokes. TREMENDOUSLY hilarious writing and outstanding performances by the whole cast will have you laughing the whole time. Ten out of ten!
444 out of 502 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great TV
metalgoth8 December 2004
Strange, Fox's promos almost made me miss out on this whole thing.

It's a sit-com made with very high standards, it's a career revival for Ron Howard, Henry Winkler and Liza Minelli, and it's a show that puts Fox's profile into HBO territory. "It's Arrested Development"

"In fact...", a Ron Howard quote that has become a cliché around our house, in fact, it's all those things and more. The writing is as good as everyone says it is, the cast is on par with that of Seinfeld or Roseanne. (Say what you will about her, that was a dream cast) Whenever new characters appear, they are inevitably played by people familiar to fans of edgy, intelligent humor. People like Jeffrey Tambor and Jason Bateman are dependably good, Michael Cera is a standout, and David Cross is finally being seen for the talent that he is.

The strongest thing I can say about this is that I find myself repeating various running gags, things that, like "In fact...", have become clichés. "I've made a huge mistake." "I'm having the time of my LIFE in here!" "surprisingly cat-like" "Take a powder, willya fellas?"

This last one, uttered by Liza Minelli as Lucille Austero, sticks with me especially, and I hope that Liza stays with the show longer. As good as the principles are, she manages to outclass even them. The same with Henry Winkler, whose Barry Zuckercorn is the sort of lawyer television's been dying for. Among those main players, Lindsay and Tobias are pretty strange characters to begin with, but when you consider that they are an old married couple, that crosses the line into the bizarre. This show is full of people and situations you just won't see anywhere else, at least until other derivative shows start appearing.

Watch carefully, as there are many bit and pieces lingering in the background that you might miss. Recently, George Michael was dumped by his girlfriend. As he trudged home in a state of misery, you could hear sad Charlie Brown music. In the background, you could see a real - but bright red - dog house, with a real dog lying on top of it. It's things like these that tell me that the creators are just pleased to be doing this show for it's own sake, and that kind of love of the work shows through in the end.

Who knows if this show will last? There's an audience out there for this sort of thing, but they've generally settled into the Sunday night HBO schedule. Hopefully the Emmys, the word of mouth, and the critical raves will draw attention to this show. If not, we'll just have our A.D. dvds to keep us warm, and thank God for 'em!
303 out of 353 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
UNparalleled
nightswatch10 October 2006
You've doubtless heard fans rave and rave about this show, and may have even checked it out. The camp is sharply divided, people either absolutely love it, or tend to just "not get it." In that sense it may not be for everyone (great television, and great art in general, rarely is), and to each his own. But after watching each season multiple times, I can easily say that it is the funniest show that I have ever seen by an ENORMOUS margin. Even after many repeat viewings, I still end up in tears all the time.

DVD treats this series well simply because it suits itself to rapid digestion (and after getting hooked, you won't be able to get up). The writers include many, many running gags that persist through entire seasons, or even the entire series ("I've made a huge mistake." "Her?"). The entire cast is extremely WELL cast and everyone's comedic timing is spot on. The real stars are David Cross as Tobias, and Will Arnett as GOB. Their physical comedy is drop dead hilarious as well. But Jessica Walters and Jeffrey Tambor are phenomenal, the former most especially in the third season.

As others have stated there is no laugh track and this is part of what throws some of the "we don't get it" camp off. The humor is very fast paced as well, and many of the biggest laughs are very subtle physical comedy, or a line of dialog that is dropped in the midst of a conversation. Some of the music that was written for the show is absolutely hilarious as well, especially the song that plays often when George Micheal is put in an awkward (sexual) situation ("whatcha trying to say to me??").

Start with season 1, give it 4 episodes (go through at least the episode "key decisions" which I believe is ep 4). If you're not hooked, or at least intrigued by then, its likely you wont be at all. But if you're like me, and MANY others, you'll find that you've just stumbled upon one of the greatest shows ever made. VERY highly recommended. 10/10
110 out of 126 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
best comedy on TV today
xircso21 October 2004
this comedy is smart where so many others are not. its one of the few shows on today that you find DO NOT have a laugh track which alone makes it unique, but with the excellent writing and acting make it a refreshing and hilarious change. after a few episodes, it all makes sense and is that much funnier once you know the characters and their very individual quirks.

this show deserved all of the awards it won plus a few more just to make sure it gets noticed. its been voted TV-lands "future classic" after only a single season if thats any clue to those who haven't seen it yet. the dry acting of jason bateman and the voice over by ron howard are both stellar and add greatly to the shows overall style.

watch this show as soon as it begins again (nov 7, 2004 after the simpsons) you wont be sorry.
168 out of 203 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
HI-Larious as Well As Intelligent
Nicholai7 November 2004
In this age of lazily-conceived, hastily-produced, fill-in-the-blank reality shows that the FOX network seems to corner the market on, it's refreshing to see them invest in a show that doesn't fit a clichéd formula and challenges the audience's intellect with hilarious results.

Previously, I had written off this show without giving it a chance, assuming that it's just another show about rich people with problems, a la "The OC". It's too bad I didn't give it a chance because I just happened to watch a random episode right while waiting for "Malcom in the Middle". Little did I expect to laugh so hard at George Michael continuously wearing a muscle suit just because his COUSIN. Maebe, gave him a passing compliment. And the absurdity of the situation was amplified by Ron Howard's deadpan narration of the episode, giving it the seriousness the situation doesn't deserve.

The show was still confusing because I wasn't clear on all the relationships and the origninating humor that the episodes look back to. Good think FOX did a marathon of the show in order to set me straight.

Bottom line, this show did not win all those Emmies for nothing. It could give Frasier, Friends and Seinfeld a run for their money any day. Let's hope the Emmys shielded the show from the FOX cancellation bug that afflicted other good shows such as "Action", "Titus", "Greg The Bunny" and ESPECIALLY "Family Guy".

**** out of ****
161 out of 209 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Hilarious comedy!
Chuck Rothman (crothman)25 November 2003
Probably the best show of the 2003 season, and the best new comedy in years. It's very hard to describe, since the comedy is entirely character-based, not plot- or wisecrack-based.

Basically, it's the story of the Bluth family, developers who are in bankruptcy with the father in prison for fraud. One son, Michael, tries to be responsible and keep things going, while the rest of the group is entirely self-centered and can't seem to focus on the fact they are broke and in disgrace.

The various family members go off in various directions: George (GOB) fancies himself a magician, Buster is a momma's boy, Lindsay goes off supporting odd causes, Lindsay's husband Tobias fancies himself an actor. It's a show you need to watch closely, but the laughs are all over the place, from unexpected directions.
119 out of 153 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Am I watching the same show you guys are watching?
rdatsun28 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
OK, seriously, after reading the recent past reviews of the show am starting to ask myself if you people are even giving the show at least five minutes of your time before rushing online to bash it. You guys are saying that season 2 is going downhill yet your not even explaining why the this season is so inferior to the first. I've seen the second season and I have to say it right on par with the first with more funny twist and situations that Michael and the Bluths have to deal with. Yes they changed some of the story lines now (George Sr. on the run, Gob taking over the company, Buster threating to join the army, and so forth) but THATS HOW SEASONS GO. If they kept the same storyline from the first the show would've haven't gotten repetitive before the first two episodes. And beside the show still retains it wit and subtle humor from the first show while continuing storyline from previous episodes. So really whats the problem with the second season? Cause all am hearing is whining and undeserved bashings from folks with short attention spans.
458 out of 626 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Putting the "vision" in television.....
Jolleyism12 October 2006
There was a time during what is commonly known as The Golden Age of Television when the medium was used to communicate. It was used to entertain, inspire, and evoke a connection with the people. There was time in television when the programs would challenge not only the standard, but also the viewer. It started with things like Sanford & Son and All In the Family. Then the Richard Pryor Show shook people to the bone. From these gems came further explorations of the comic genre. We were treated to things like The Simpsons, Married With Children, and Seinfeld. Shows that broke the mold of the typical sitcom formula. They found their actors and made them stars. They didn't take washed up has-been film actors and try to turn them into the affable characters that they obviously were not. They simply took fresh talent and gave them the environment to get better and eventually captivate.

Then something terrible happened in 1993. A show, on what was supposed to be a music video network, got the idea to film real people living together in a house. From the first episode of The Real World, the Golden Age of Television was over. From this little show spawned a countless number of reality TV Shows that have paved the way for mind numbing experiences of watching people acting "real" while they are being filmed. It showed us all that not only is this medium of television completely unoriginal, but that it also provided people with insight into just how far somebody will go to get themselves on the airwaves. In 1994 something else happened. A little show called "Friends" hit the desk of the execs at NBC. From that we now have an endless string of formulaic, hokey, poorly written buddy sitcoms, all focusing on the same issues that plague the "poor" yuppie world that these people all seem to inhabit. Gone was the time when you didn't really need the laugh track; gone was the time of multi-plot line programming.

And then, something truly amazing and inspiring happened. In a collaborative effort from the Hurwitz Company and Imagine Entertainment came a brilliant piece of intelligent programming; a show that had no precedent. A truly talented ensemble cast, a brilliant writing team, and an amazing staff of directors and photographers that changed the art form like never before. Gone were the days of traditional, canned laughter sitcoms. It seems that we had all been saved from another infinite line of weak programs, and by whom? The FOX Network. Who would have thunk it? But then again, it made perfect sense. FOX brought us The Simpsons, Married With Children, and Family Guy. They had been known to challenge the bar that was set by regular programming. But instead of living on with those classics, it was forced to willow away in the doldrums of cancellation alongside other brilliant yet failed shows, like Action, Titus, and Greg the Bunny. Some people like to watch clichéd, overplayed, over done formulas every week. Some people like the safe humor, the one-two camera angles, the boring sets, and the canned laughter. Some people just don't want to think. The rest of us…the rest of us watch Arrested Development.
23 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
First Season on DVD Disk 1 - Highly Recommended!!!
kd4ml21 October 2004
We enjoyed re-discovering the amazing antics of the Bluth family and preparing ourselves for the much anticipated second season. Arrested Development is my kind of situation comedy. No laugh tracks, thank you for respecting our intelligence! When it's funny, we know when to laugh. There are lots of surprises, special guests, great acting and excellent writing. Ron Howard's narration is a bonus. When someone asks me what it's like, I compare it to "Scrubs" but less mean spirited and more family values. I hope it represents the beginning of a trend toward great but gentle humor. I'm just about fed up with "reality" programs. Thank you very much. Keep up the good work.
125 out of 180 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews