TV Review: Arrested Development (Season One)

Maeby & George MichaelAnd now for the least surprising score I’ll ever give anything….

Arrested Development is without a doubt the most unique sitcom ever created. Trying to explain why it’s so good to someone who hasn’t seen it is a really hard thing to do; the show is more or less about a dysfunctional family, and dysfunctional families have been in sitcom after sitcom after sitcom. And not only that, but this family is in charge of a real estate company. It sounds like the most typical, generic, boring sitcom you’d ever see.

Here are the things that really set Arrested Development apart:

-This is slow-building. Going back, now I think that the second and third episode of the first season are two of the best episodes in the entire series — but when you first watch the first 3 or 4 episodes, there’s a good chance you’ll be thinking “….eh”. But the more you get to know these characters, the more and more you’ll like the show.

-Speaking of the characters. Take any sitcom you’d like, and count all of the characters that you’d consider to be great. Now, double that number. Chances are, Arrested Development has more great characters than that. The whole main cast is outstanding and the minor characters are hilarious too.

-The writing is better than anything else I’ve seen. It may not be obvious at first, but every single line is said for a reason.

-This is a serial comedy and it’s meant to be watched in order. If you watch Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, or Seinfeld, you can just watch any random episode, understand what’s going on, and get all the jokes. In Arrested Development, if you just watch random episodes you will hate this show. There are so many callbacks to earlier episodes that if you just watch a random one, half of the jokes will fly over your head.

-You have to actually PAY ATTENTION. You can’t just have this on in the background; when you watch Arrested Development, you have to give it your full undivided attention or else you won’t understand a lot of it.

-It’s ridiculously consistent. Most sitcoms that I like have quite a few episodes that are bad. In season one of Arrested Development, there isn’t one bad episode. They’re all awesome.

-It broke new ground and the storylines went places other sitcoms wouldn’t even think about going. Other shows wouldn’t touch a storyline like the George-Michael/Maeby storyline with a 10-foot pole (except for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia).

-It’s more rewatchable than anything else I have ever seen. This is something that’s probably better the second time you watch it than it was the first time.

-Most importantly, it’s hilarious. This is the funniest show ever created. A lot of it is subtle, though — there are a lot of times where you won’t really get a joke at first until 10 seconds later and then you’ll be rewinding the DVD to see if that character actually said what you think he said.

Seriously, I cannot recommend this show enough. There’s something in it for everybody. If you haven’t seen this show yet, you should probably drop whatever you’re doing and go rent the DVDs or watch the show online or something. In a way, I’m sort of jealous of those who haven’t seen this show yet. I’ve seen the whole thing a few times, and although every episode is still enjoyable it’s not as hilarious as it once was since I know all the jokes that are coming.

Score = 10/10

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