By Melanie Terez
You’ll feel a lot better about your wacky family after watching Arrested Development. Despite being taken off-air in 2006, director Mitchell Hurwitz plans to release a fifth season in 2013 picking up where the plot left off seven years ago. The new season will be released only on Netflix (where the other seasons are also available) as a precursor to a movie coming out in 2013. This Fox sitcom is centered on a dysfunctional family in the midst of many unusual situations. Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) deals with the strange group while his father, George Bluth (Jeffrey Tambor), has ongoing run-ins with the law related to embezzling money from the family’s model home company.
While Michael’s father dodges imprisonment at any cost (including escaping and getting his identical twin brother Oscar locked up instead), his three siblings are having many hilarious adventures of their own. These adventures include Gob (Will Arnett)’s failed careers as magician and puppeteer, Lindsay (Portia di Rossi)’s lack of employment and Buster (Tony Hale)’s role as the family baby despite being a middle-aged man.
However, like its title suggests, Arrested Development lacks development. As the seasons progress, the relationships between Lindsay, her husband Tobias, daughter Maeby and Michael’s son George Michael are still dysfunctional, Michael is still single, George Bluth hasn’t been officially freed or imprisoned yet, Buster is still just as “babyish” as ever and Gob is still failing as a puppeteer. Though the characters experience some pretty unusual adventures, they continue to end up nearly right where they started.
Despite being about a family, Arrested Development may not be appropriate to watch with family — that is, if you have younger kids in your house. The show has many sexual references, PG13 language, Oscar frequently smoking marijuana and Tobias’s sexually confusing personality.
Overall, lack of development aside, Arrested Development brilliantly combines humor and wit into a sitcom that, since it doesn’t have a laugh track, doesn’t feel like a sitcom. During the last episode of the fourth season, viewers are given a clue as to the show’s now-near future when Maeby pitches her TV show to Hollywood icon Ron Howard (the show’s narrator). He replies: “I don’t see it as a series. Maybe a movie.”