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Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) is put in charge of the family real estate business when his father, George Bluth Sr (Jeffrey Tambor), is sent to prison for various white-collar crimes. While Michael is already looking after his teenaged son, George-Michael (Michael Cera), he must also take responsibility for the rest of his eccentric and dysfunctional family: his shrewd, alcoholic mother Lucille (Jessica Walter); creepy magician brother Gob (Will Arnett); oedipal defining brother, Buster (Tony Hale); and his neurotic sister Lindsay (Portia De Rossi).
Along with Lindsay’s ‘Never-Nude’ husband Tobias (David Cross), and their mischievous daughter Maeby (Alia Shawkat), ‘Arrested Development’ also features a satisfying roster of recurring and guest stars: Henry Winkler, Liza Minnelli, Ben Stiller, Amy Poehler, Charlize Theron, Judy Greer, Jeff Garlin and Ed Bagley Jr among the most notable. And all brilliantly narrated by Ron Howard.
Despite ‘Arrested Development’ having only run from 2003-2006, the cult following it developed meant Netflix revived it for a fourth season in 2013, with all the original cast. As is often the danger with revivals, reviews weren’t as favourable as with the original episodes, but I personally found it to be equally enjoyable. The more elaborate nature of the plot, which reveals some events backwards, subverts expectations and yields more gratifying comedy from the overall experience.
‘Arrested Development’ even inspired some of the characters and relationships featured in ‘Archer’, Jessica Walter giving a similar performance of Malory Archer as she does of Lucille Bluth.
With clever writing, new and on-going jokes and a powerhouse cast, Mitchell Hurwitz’s single-camera comedy would be worth the recommendation even without the new material that’s sure to draw viewers who missed ‘Arrested Development’ over a decade ago.