Join 3,516 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Now the story of a wealthy man who lost everything. And the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.
June 16, 2011 7:59 AM   Subscribe

The much-beloved Arrested Development was characterized by its complex, multilayered narrative jokes; here the A. V. Club analyzed a 50-second-long clip and tried to map out all its references (including one very subtle three-part joke about eggs). Luckily for you, there’s a very exhaustive web site, The Balboa Observer-Picayune, which documents the show’s obscurest jokes (H. Maddas, Blackstool, GOB’s ice obsession), its cleverest callbacks (Hello’s revenge, ”Mom says”, pilot/finale callbacks), its visual gags (yearbooks, newspapers, cartoons, Amazon), and its longest-running gags (I’ve made a huge mistake”, “Her?”, Cloud Mir, ”Hey, brother!”, and the chicken dance). Complete index of references at the Bluthcyclopedia. Complete transcripts of every episode. Bonus songs! All You Need Is Smiles. Yellow Boat. Big Yellow Joint. Hot Cops. It Ain’t Easy Being White. Discipline Daddy. Motherboy. Balls in the Air. You Here With Me. I Get Up. Finally, Fonzie jumps the shark again.

The A. V. Club is also reviewing the entire first season this summer; so far they've covered the first six episodes.

If you'd rather listen to the show's excellent ukulele-jazz soundtrack rather than to its song-songs, here's a nice little sampler.

Enjoy.
posted by Rory Marinich (301 comments total) 338 users marked this as a favorite

 
God dammit Rory I had work to do today
posted by clockzero at 8:04 AM on June 16, 2011 [25 favorites]


I mean thanks
posted by clockzero at 8:04 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't think I have ever laughed so hard as I did at the "Your grandfather is going to be crushed" joke.

The amount of work that show would go to just to tell a terrible joke was amazing.
posted by empath at 8:06 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Her?
posted by dig_duggler at 8:10 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Arrested Development is good enough to make me upgrade my Flash player.
posted by starman at 8:11 AM on June 16, 2011


I think this piece of dialogue might be my favourite in the whole series.

(couldn't find the clip with visuals, alas)
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 8:11 AM on June 16, 2011 [15 favorites]


The thing that amazes me most about Arrested Development is how the funny cycles. Things that I thought were hilariously mindblowing on first watch are still funny, but merely amusing. But new things that I didn't initially catch are now hilariously mindblowing. I noticed this when watching an episode for the third time with a friend who was watching for the first time - we were laughing at completely different moments.
posted by lesli212 at 8:14 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Excellent. I can't wait to dig into this when I get home.
posted by OmieWise at 8:15 AM on June 16, 2011


I think the other day I realized that I've been watching Arrested Development about five times a year. Since 2005. For any other show that would probably "superfan" status. For Arrested Development it's just "oh yeah, me too."

Also, of all things, it takes the cake for my favorite pot gag of all time, in four simple words: "it's cold out here."
posted by griphus at 8:15 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


When my brother calls I always answer the phone in Buster's sing-song "hey brother!". Amazingly ut never gets old.
posted by jnrussell at 8:15 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Michael: (to Gob) Get rid of the Seaward.
Lucille: I'll leave when I'm good and ready.
posted by jrossi4r at 8:18 AM on June 16, 2011 [37 favorites]


Funny, I just grabbed this screencap of Maeby's birth announcement the other day, from the very end of the series. They just flash it for a second, I can't imagine putting that much work into creating something that may or may not ever be seen for longer than that.
posted by hermitosis at 8:18 AM on June 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


I've made a huge mistake.
posted by schmod at 8:19 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


My favorite Buster joke, and it's something that is preposterously obscure. At one point, he loses his false arm in a car because he's singing and dancing to Styx Mr. Roboto.

Funny, yes? Even funnier when you remember the VW Mr. Roboto commercial. And even funnier when you realize who the actor is inside the car in the commercial.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:20 AM on June 16, 2011 [43 favorites]


Oh yeah, like a guy with a four digit user number is going to comment in a thread made by a guy with a six digit user number.

COME ON!
posted by bondcliff at 8:21 AM on June 16, 2011 [45 favorites]


Also, I'd like to announce my love for all of Gob's other bizarre, subtle movements: putting bread in the shredder, trying to eat raw spaghetti, not getting a high-five from Michael and turning it into some weird pointing action.
posted by griphus at 8:21 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


my favorite pot gag of all time

I was going to smoke it like a cigarette.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:23 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


As far as ultra-self-referential goes, I think my favorite (though it's really hard to pick) is at the end of the episode where Michael Bluth thinks he has a sister, Nellie. It turns out the sister is actually a prostitute who thinks he wants to hire her out for sex. Of course, Nellie Bluth is played by Justine Bateman, who's Jason Bateman (Michael)'s brother in real life.

The last lines of the episode have Nellie tell Michael just how much money she makes as a prostitute, and Michael impulsively says, "Marry me!", which is of course another catchphrase from the show. Then there's a pause, and he says, "That's just wrong on so many levels."

Of course, Arrested Development made brother-sister incest one of its themes from the very first moments of the show to its very last. So the joke is being made on four levels at once: You have Michael wanting to marry a hooker for her money, you have the sister-not-sister-played-by-sister joke, you have the gag line, and you have the incest theme.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:26 AM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Also, of all things, it takes the cake for my favorite pot gag of all time

Was sure this was going to be "Maybe I'll put it in her brownie."
posted by hermitosis at 8:26 AM on June 16, 2011 [12 favorites]


You're veering away from relatability again, Rory.
posted by griphus at 8:26 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, we moved to London not that long ago, and it turns out we're not too far from this branch of Snappy Snaps... every time I walk by, i think "You know, the singer-songwriter" and have a good laugh.
posted by dubold at 8:28 AM on June 16, 2011


And even that one pales compared to the squinters/tiny-town/we've got a mole/Mr. F/jetpack/Godzilla episode, which is one of the few things in television to literally awe me.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:28 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


It isn't the funniest bit, but maybe my favorite thing in Arrested Development is when George Sr. puts on his wig and hat and sneaks into Buster's room at night, and Buster calls him 'Uncle,' whereupon George Sr. says 'I'm not your uncle, I'm your father,' which is what makes Buster go swimming in the ocean and lose his hand. But the thing is-- Buster tells Lucille that he knows who his real father is, and she gets mad at Oscar for telling Buster, so there are four people involved in the drama, and none of them has the same understanding of what events transpired, and none of them is correct about what events transpired. And the show doesn't even make a big deal out of it.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:30 AM on June 16, 2011 [16 favorites]


I think what I love about AD the most is the feeling you sometimes get that no one else could possibly get the joke but you, which is often borne out by you being the only person in the room that's laughing.

Watching it with other people who are not fans can be incredibly awkward and just adds another level of hilarity to the show for me.
posted by empath at 8:30 AM on June 16, 2011


*gets in bed with this post*
posted by preferred nomenclature at 8:30 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Related: It's hard out there for an Analrapist.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:31 AM on June 16, 2011


The thing about 'Arrested Development' -- and this is rare in comedy shows -- is that it gets the nuance of weird humour spot-on because of the acting. You really can see the thought process that goes on behind Gob's eyes when he does something weird.

Or just the couple of seconds' pause as Michael digests whatever it is he's seen, before he decides to ignore it and change the subject.

In the same kind of way, what made the Frank Drebin "Cigarette? / Yes I know..." joke in 'Police Squad' so great wasn't the actual pun, but Drebin's seemingly genuine disappointment that no-one takes his cigarette, resignedly saying "Well..."

That subtlety never made it to the 'Naked Gun' films...
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 8:32 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


there are four people involved in the drama, and none of them has the same understanding of what events transpired, and none of them is correct about what events transpired. And the show doesn't even make a big deal out of it.

Yeah, it's almost Shakespearean, really.
posted by empath at 8:32 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well what do you expect, Mother? I'm half machine!
posted by shakespeherian at 8:34 AM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


I really want to make a comment about how genius everything in Wee Britain was but every time I try I just start giggling and I lose my train of thought.

So, just close your eyes and remember everything from the lane change upon entering to Fat Ami's and thank me for bringing it up.
posted by bondcliff at 8:38 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some of the joke punchlines are based on so much that's gone before it's practically impossible to re-tell the joke and yet just thinking about it makes you start laughing-till-you-almost-piss-your-pants all over again.

I would also like to point out if you've watched the DVDs you can see the original unedited pilot that was pitched to HBO, which is a bit more "sweary" then the actual series. And I'm actually really glad that they ended up on a network (Fox, right?) and had to use the censor-beep because it made for some really, really great jokes, especially the one where Buster finally starts to badmouth Mother which consists of all the siblings saying stuff like "Mom's such a bitch," etc... and then Buster joins in and everyone's all surprised and encouraging him and then he suddenly lets loose with something so vulgar and horrible that the censor beep just plaaays for like five seconds while everyone looks stunned at what Buster's saying and then when he's done Michael basically says "wow, didn't see that coming."

Comedy *beep*-ing gold.
posted by jnrussell at 8:40 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


My favorite self reference was in the episode where the Bluths are trying to get Andy Griffith (for a fundrasier, maybe?) and through a chain of circumstances end up sending a log cabin on a trailer to his house. Griffith backs out of his committment because he thinks they're making fun of him and the narrator (Ron Howard, aka Opie) breaks character to say, "We would never make fun of Andy Griffith.")
posted by Man-Thing at 8:43 AM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Buster joins in and everyone's all surprised and encouraging him and then he suddenly lets loose with something so vulgar and horrible that the censor beep just plaaays for like five seconds while everyone looks stunned at what Buster's saying and then when he's done Michael basically says "wow, didn't see that coming."

SORRY THE QUOTE IS "WELL NOBODY'S GOING TO TOP THAT"
posted by clockzero at 8:43 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


One thing that blew my mind was finding out that Tony Hale (that is to say, Buster) acted in a Volkswagon commercial where he's sitting in the car dancing manically to Mr. Roboto. The scene is recreated in character with Buster in the stair car in... season 2, I think?

You can watch it here, but the audio is screwed.

"It's like a mind puzzle. An awesome mind puzzle!"
posted by codacorolla at 8:45 AM on June 16, 2011


Also, the greatest and most inadvertent fourth wall break in the show happened when Tobias "overcompensated" and showed up to breakfast in the nude. Watch everyone else in that shot -- especially Lindsay -- as they had no idea it would happen.
posted by griphus at 8:46 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think it was on Reddit that I read how Michael Bluth's gag response "Don't call it that" every time somebody refers to Orange County as "the OC" (which they started doing in response to the TV show of the same name) has a deeper significance, which is that his wife died of ovarian cancer. A fact that I'm pretty sure is mentioned only once in the show. I feel like there're a lot of interesting Michael Bluth quirks that revolve around his wife's death, but that's the first one that comes to mind.

One of the secrets of Arrested Development is that its plot is very, very, very quick-paced, and its actors never read their jokes like they're jokes. Shows like 30 Rock and Community are fast, but their actors all speak like they're reading punchlines (and sometimes the blatantness of it bothers me). In Arrested Development, each actor/actress has a very well-developed comedic character, but that character speaks his/her lines with a straight face. One of the things that let the show be so blindingly quick is that the characters are all speaking past one another; nobody ever realizes there's humor in anybody else's lines, so they all either speak past one another or they change the subject entirely.

Over the top of all this is the narrator, whose presence lets the show change set pieces five times in a minute and lets the plot barrel forwards, because almost every time he speaks it's to announce a new development.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:46 AM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


My two favorite meta-joke:

1) Michael meets Lucille Two at a club, and Tobias is there, and Tobias gets up on stage and sings 'New York New York.' Lucille Two (Liza Minelli) groans, 'Everyone always thinks of Frank Sinatra.'

2) Michael breaks up with Jessie (the publicist) and she turns on the family, and then at one point refers to George Michael as 'Opie,' whereupon Ron Howard says, 'Jessie had gone too far and she had best watch her mouth.'
posted by shakespeherian at 8:49 AM on June 16, 2011 [18 favorites]


You get more out of Arrested Development if you watch it with the subtitles turned on, there are lots of bits of dialogue said off screen or under people's breath that are easy to miss.
posted by Elmore at 8:50 AM on June 16, 2011


Er, yep! Reddit! Here's their 700-comment long thread about stealth jokes in Arrested Development. (If you're new to Reddit, the most relevant jokes are usually the comments on the left-hand side of the screen, rather than the staggered-in thread responses.)
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:51 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think it was on Reddit that I read how Michael Bluth's gag response "Don't call it that" every time somebody refers to Orange County as "the OC"
Tobias: You know, Michael, if I may take off my acting pants for a moment and pull my analrapist stocking over my head, George Michael may be suffering from what we in the soft-sciences call “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”, or the “The O.C. Disorder”.

Michael: Don’t call it that.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:52 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also :One of my favorite pieces of AD tertiary material is David Cross's rant (replete with gigantic fake Featherbottom bossom) about the show.

This is available as a DVD extra, and even if you're the torrenting type, then I would recommend owning a copy (or 2) of them.
posted by codacorolla at 8:54 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was watching an episode of "Sopranos" recently, and the actor who plays Gob, was playing an FBI agent. It was a serious role, but the ONLY thing I could think about was him riding a Segway and doing his magic act with "The Final Countdown" playing in the background.

I just HAD to youtube that right now...and look at this wealth of funny:

The original act.

A professional magician who decided NOT to win the 2008 Australian Society of Magicians' annual competition for the FIFTH year in a row...but decided to do this.

I'd do the same god damn thing if I was Will Arnett and I was on Sesame Street.

And the greatest thing about this thread...nobody has even STARTED to bring up LIZA MINELLI!!! Thats comedy gold!!!
posted by hal_c_on at 8:57 AM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Jessica Walter as Lucille rocks.
posted by disclaimer at 8:58 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


And because some of these weren't ones that I'd noticed the first time, here're the gags that I apparently missed the first nine times I watched this show:

Arm Off. Fag/fig/pussy. Drug-sniffing dog. D'oh. Peruvian torch cacti. Missing a hand. Smelling like fish.

Possibly my favorite: The names of the Sunday Brunch locations.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:58 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


One of the things I loved when I first watched the show is that watching it was often an uncomfortable experience (for me), and yet it made me laugh like a maniac. I'd get a little spike of anxiety at the opening credits, and a little feeling of "I don't know if I want to watch this," and then spend the whole episode laughing and being amazed at its brilliance.
posted by rtha at 8:59 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


A fact that I'm pretty sure is mentioned only once in the show.

I never thought of that connection! Also, the cause of death is never directly referenced. It is repeatedly stated that Michael's wife died of cancer, but never specified. There is a flashback however, to the Bluth's picking a fundraiser topic -- that, among other things, dates itself to May 15th, 1994 thanks to a "shrinkage" reference from "Seinfeld last night" -- and George reads off "'Ovarian Cancer'. Gee, I wonder who that was?" in Michael's general direction. His wife is never mentioned.
posted by griphus at 9:00 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


And by the way...Gob does illusions.

A trick is something a whore does for money.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:00 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favorite bit of AD was the season-long setup with Amy Poehler as the deranged seal trainer, all so Buster could have his life ruined by a Lucille/"Loose seal".
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:00 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


"the Bluths", dammit.
posted by griphus at 9:00 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I watched this for the first time last year properly - it was shown over here, but like Seinfeld it was only shown at about 11.30pm without fanfare, so impossible to get into. I was very confused as to why a character was called George Michael and nobody mentioned this being funny.

The narrator is a great unsung hero. Particularly when he breaks character. 'Shoddy narration, just the worst.'
posted by mippy at 9:03 AM on June 16, 2011


Wait I also forgot that in the episode where they think they've found the seal with Buster's hand but then it turns out the seal's flipped was eaten by a shark, Carl Weathers is talking to Tobias about Burger King and how he can shoot an episode of a teevee show there for free if he uses it for promotional consideration, and then he and Tobias talk about what a great restaurant Burger King is, and then later Barry Zuckercorn (Henry Winkler) is standing by the shark carcass and says he skipped breakfast so he's going to Burger King and then promptly jumps the shark.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:05 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm in the middle of watching my way through The Larry Sanders Show (which, jesus, that's funny, how have I never seen it before?), and kind of planning on going back and rewatching Arrested Development some time later this summer. And I'm weirdly excited about the cognitive dissonance I know I'll feel now every time Jeffrey Tambor's onscreen.
posted by COBRA! at 9:06 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's that saying, about having to explain a joke?
posted by crunchland at 9:09 AM on June 16, 2011


I think another thing I like about AD is the subtle mockery of the Bush administration that runs through the entire show. Amy Poehler's Gitmo' photographs, fake (literally) weapons of mass destruction, the arms dealing with H. Maddas, George Sr. coming out of the spider hole, the message to the share holders via terrorist propaganda tape, a company run by a rich and incompetent family based primarily on corruption, graft, and nepotism. All of that shit is rather harmless and funny when it's Tobias' balls being mistaken for the hills of Iraq, but it captures the manic and absurd feeling of the times well, without ever coming out and giving you a message.

What a great show. I wish that team of writers and actors could hit on a TV show that worked that well, and succeeded for even the small amount of time that AD did.
posted by codacorolla at 9:11 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


And by the way...Gob does illusions.

A trick is something a whore does for money.


or cocaine. (in the original pilot)

or candy. (in the Fox pilot)
posted by dave78981 at 9:11 AM on June 16, 2011


Anyway! My favourite theory about AD is that, had the show continued, Tobias would find out that he was really black. I'm not sure how that would work, exactly, but apparently there are a few Season 3 setups in there.
posted by mippy at 9:11 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


This thread reminded me how much I liked this show + Just discovering that Netflix's streaming app now works for my Droid X = Me (Loving living in the 21st Century + Potentially embarrassing myself as "that guy" laughing out loud on the train)

I absolutely love Archer, but sometimes I think that the reason I do so much is because I get to hear Jessica Walter as the mother from hell having an inappropriately close relationship to her son on a show that has lots of quick references. (I have a similar theory that much anti-Michael Cera backlash in popular culture is based on people wanting him to only be George Michael; it's not that he's always playing the same mopey character -- it's that he's not playing the right one.)

As for my favorite joke from the show, the ones that inexplicably get me every time -- or at least my reaction is inexplicably strong -- is anything related to Anne's blandness. Also I'm not sure if it's a testament to MetaFilter or a failing that we're 20+ comments in and nobody's just posted "STEVE HOLT!"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:12 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love the way GOB#s wife is merely credited as 'Wife of GOB'. Did Amy Poehler first become known through this show before Parks and Rec?

Sadly Larry Sanders just didn't click with me, but I've heard Archer is a win if you like AD.
posted by mippy at 9:13 AM on June 16, 2011


SUBTLE mockery? At one point a MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner falls in front of the whole media to reveal the HOUSE THEY ARE BUILDING IN THE DESERT in totally hollow and unfinished and the whole thing is a scam which is and of itself the crescendo to a Rock-Paper-Scissors joke.
posted by The Whelk at 9:13 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


STEVE HOLT! \0/
posted by birdherder at 9:13 AM on June 16, 2011 [34 favorites]


My favorite is when Michael and Maeby are singing karaoke to "Afternoon Delight," and as the song goes on, they are both becoming more and more aware of the actual content of that song. It just builds and builds.

Or maybe my favorite is any reference to the Corn Baller.

OK. . .must own. . .Damn You Rory Marinich!
posted by Danf at 9:13 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, also, past the first few episodes, every time a character curses, they always have something in front of their mouths. The bleeping was built in and used as a gag. I haven't seen anyone take advantage of that since the Simpsons' Dolly Parton/Generic Superbowl episode where the characters held their mugs in front of their faces so that they could (well, not really) overdub the names of the football teams (and the President) when re-airing the episode.

Also, if you're an Arrested Development who hasn't watched Archer, you have to watch Archer. Jessica Walter has a starring role -- playing Lucille Bluth playing M-- and Jeffrey Tambor is a regular guest star.
posted by griphus at 9:13 AM on June 16, 2011


I just had to go on ebay and purchase the 3 seasons...I know this thread is gonna raise the price.

I'll never watch you and sell you ever again.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:14 AM on June 16, 2011


Best ever:
Michael (From Jail): Since you’re devastating people, go ahead and tell G.O.B. that I’ll be telling the cops that it was him in the truck. So he’ll be joining me here. I’ve got a nice hard cot with his name on it.
Lucille: You’d do that to your own brother?
Michael: I said “cot.”
posted by ColdChef at 9:14 AM on June 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


Plus Judy Greer (Kitty Sanchez) is one of the leads in Archer! Judy Greer is brilliant.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:15 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


SAY GOODBYE TO THESE!

\(.)(.)/

Tobias, lifting shirt, nipples pixellated: 'But can't you say hello to these?'

Tobias' cluelessness just kills me each time.
posted by mippy at 9:16 AM on June 16, 2011


I love the way GOB#s wife is merely credited as 'Wife of GOB'. Did Amy Poehler first become known through this show before Parks and Rec?

Nope; she was well known from her work on SNL and UCB. The joke is that she is actually GOB's wife in real life.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:18 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


SUBTLE mockery? At one point a MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner falls in front of the whole media to reveal the HOUSE THEY ARE BUILDING IN THE DESERT in totally hollow and unfinished and the whole thing is a scam which is and of itself the crescendo to a Rock-Paper-Scissors joke.

I mean it's obvious what they're talking about, but everything is handled in an apolitical manner. If you were some lucky asshole that came from a different dimension where the Iraq war never happened, and you watched that scene, then seeing the whole ridiculous farce unfold and be capped off with a literal Rock Paper Scissors joke would be funny. Being a person who was unfortunate enough to be conscious for the first part of the 21st century makes the joke that much richer, but the political satire (like a lot of jokes in AD) is something in the background that works just below of what you're actually paying attention to. I would say it follows the "complex and understated" definition of subtle, rather than the "easy to miss" definition.

That's what makes it effective and enjoyable political satire versus, say, cartoonists who label things as THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER and ENTITLEMENTS.
posted by codacorolla at 9:18 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


And by the way...Gob does illusions.

A trick is something a whore does for money.

or cocaine. (in the original pilot)

or candy. (in the Fox pilot)


And see, this is another place where the edited-for-Fox pilot is actually much funnier than the HBO pilot. Or rather a different kind of funny.
posted by muddgirl at 9:18 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


When my brother calls I always answer the phone in Buster's sing-song "hey brother!".

WHO YOU CALLIN' BROTHER, YOU HONKY!
posted by hal_c_on at 9:18 AM on June 16, 2011


anything related to Anne's blandness

It's as Ann as the nose on plain's face.

Did Amy Poehler first become known through this show before Parks and Rec?

I still know her from The Upright Citizen's Brigade, but she was on AD and SNL both before Parks and Recreation happened.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:19 AM on June 16, 2011


And see, this is another place where the edited-for-Fox pilot is actually much funnier than the HBO pilot. Or rather a different kind of funny.

Oh my heart...what a glorious person you are for knowing this minutiae.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:21 AM on June 16, 2011


The joke is that she is actually GOB's wife in real life.

I knew that bit, and that Parks and Rec came well after, but we don't get SNL and UCB over here. Imagine a country that doesn't know about Jon Hamm's John Ham!
posted by mippy at 9:22 AM on June 16, 2011


(I meant the role of the Wife, not the actress!)
posted by mippy at 9:23 AM on June 16, 2011


I haven't seen anyone take advantage of that since the Simpsons' Dolly Parton/Generic Superbowl episode where the characters held their mugs in front of their faces so that they could (well, not really) overdub the names of the football teams (and the President) when re-airing the episode.

No! The joke was that the episode aired right after the Super Bowl, but the turnaround on the show is so slow that they didn't know which teams would be playing when they sent it to Korea to be animated. And also there were some doubts about the longevity of Clinton's presidency.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:25 AM on June 16, 2011


And see, this is another place where the edited-for-Fox pilot is actually much funnier than the HBO pilot. Or rather a different kind of funny.

Actually, I disagree on this one. The cocaine line is funny because like so many of the jokes in this show, it plays off the awkwardness of the moment. In this scene, the awkwardness came from Gob saying the line in front of a bunch of kids getting a frozen banana and it was hilarious because he thought it was better to say the whore works for cocaine rather than money. It didn't have the same zing to me in the edited pilot with the candy line; in fact it took me out of the show and thinking about whether or not Fox specifically wouldn't allow the word cocaine.

I still lol at that cocaine line.
posted by dave78981 at 9:25 AM on June 16, 2011


This show inspired me to grab life by the points and not to let go, no matter what my mom says.
posted by padraigin at 9:27 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Michael: I said “cot.”

Michael: Get the Seaward out of here.
Lucille: I'll leave when I'm good and ready.
posted by griphus at 9:31 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


There needs to be a Tumblr blog with all the blink and you'll miss em freeze frames from this show. Possibly called Bob Loblaw's Law Blog.
posted by kersplunk at 9:33 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Re: candy v. cocaine (oh how many times I've said that), I think 'candy' is funnier because when GOB notices there are kids watching and looks awkward, you think 'Oh he said something offensive around kids and that's bad' so he says 'Or candy!' and your brain goes 'Ha ha that was a pretty lame attempt at saving face' and then like three seconds later your brain goes 'WAIT MONEY WASN'T THE BAD PART OF WHAT HE SAID'
posted by shakespeherian at 9:33 AM on June 16, 2011 [12 favorites]


Another awesome thing are the supplementary sites that they set up, like imoscar and imnoscar and saveourbluths (all of which are, sadly, defunct). Its a show that traffics in both senses of the word hypertext.

There needs to be a Tumblr blog with all the blink and you'll miss em freeze frames from this show. Possibly called Bob Loblaw's Law Blog.

I think I've seen that before? Give me a few minutes when I get back to a computer and I'll see what I can turn up.
posted by codacorolla at 9:36 AM on June 16, 2011


Buster on Lindsey's "Hot Ham Water": "So watery, and yet there's a smack of ham to it."
posted by wherever, whatever at 9:36 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's another life lesson gleaned from AD.

Marketing is ALWAYS the problem.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:37 AM on June 16, 2011



Michael: Get the Seaward out of here.
Lucille: I'll leave when I'm good and ready.


For the life of me, I do not get this. And I have seen every episode at least once.
posted by Danf at 9:41 AM on June 16, 2011


For the life of me, I do not get this. And I have seen every episode at least once.

Seaward. C-word.

Also, what I plan to name a boat if we ever get one and if I win that argument.
posted by padraigin at 9:43 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Danf: "The Seaward" is the name of GOB's yacht. "Cunt" is a word beginning with the letter C.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:43 AM on June 16, 2011


Seward. C-word. Cunt.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:43 AM on June 16, 2011


seaward=c-word=cunt
posted by hal_c_on at 9:44 AM on June 16, 2011


holy shit, thats metafilter hillarious!
posted by hal_c_on at 9:45 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, we answered the shit out of that one.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:47 AM on June 16, 2011 [52 favorites]


Wait I also forgot that in the episode where they think they've found the seal with Buster's hand but then it turns out the seal's flipped was eaten by a shark, Carl Weathers is talking to Tobias about Burger King and how he can shoot an episode of a teevee show there for free if he uses it for promotional consideration

This is also a reference to the movie Happy Gilmore where Carl Weathers' character has his hand eaten off by an alligator and Happy finds the alligator in question and returns its head to Weathers (Chubbs Peterson), which is itself an allusion to The Godfather.
posted by mattbucher at 9:48 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK got it. . .padraigin gets my used Cornballer (some reassembly required).
posted by Danf at 9:49 AM on June 16, 2011


Okay fine, I'll say my favorite too... the authorities staking out the prison in a van with "Blendin" written huge on the side.

Well, that and the sentence "Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb". I could say it all day!
posted by bookwo3107 at 9:58 AM on June 16, 2011


Bob Loblaw's Law Blog... You, sir, are a mouthful!
posted by shakespeherian at 10:03 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bob Loblaw no habla espanol.
posted by namewithoutwords at 10:06 AM on June 16, 2011


I've always wondered about that Bob Loblaw. Specifically, I've wondered if the name was suggested by Michael Cera, since he's from Brampton, home of Loblaws.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:09 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mayonegg.

The revulsion on Michael's face.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:12 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Dammit you jerks.

I HAVE WORK TO DO TODAY!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:23 AM on June 16, 2011


Welp I guess it's Netflix at lunch today.
posted by jnrussell at 10:26 AM on June 16, 2011


Or maybe my favorite is any reference to the Corn Baller.

Don't touch the Corn Baller. Never touch the Corn Baller.
posted by killdevil at 10:27 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would also like to take this time to say that I think Jessica Walter does really really good work on Archer, which is not as funny as Arrested Development, but is still very, very funny.
posted by kbanas at 10:28 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some of my favorites:

One of the first times Tobias mentions auditioning for Blue Man Group, as soon as he says it he tosses something in his mouth (probably a Candy Bean) and misses from, like, four inches away. Anyone who has ever seen BMG knows why that is funny.

All the blue paint all over the house.

Bob Loblaw (Scott Baio) replacing Barry Zuckercorn (Henry Winkler) because he "skews younger."

Hop-ons and live-ins.

Hell, the whole concept of the Stairs Car was genius.
posted by bondcliff at 10:32 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


My favorite joke is from the very last episode, "Development Arrested," where they essentially set up a visual joke in reverse order.

Michael walks into the office, and there's a visibly injured employee being led to the elevator.

Then there's a brief piece of dialogue between Michael and someone else. Lindsay maybe?

Then you see another employee, wearing a white button-up shirt and sunglasses but no pants, saying, "I just didn't see it there!"

Then back to Michael and the other dialogue for a beat.

Then a shot towards the end of the hallway, where there's a banner that says "Risky Business" that's attached at one end but hanging loose at the other end, and a ladder collapsed onto the ground.

SO! Based solely on the premise that the company has been upgraded by Jim Cramer from "Don't Buy" to "Risky" (a callback to the first episode of the third season, where he upgraded them from "Sell" to "Don't Buy"), as if that's something to celebrate, the company throws a Risky Business-themed party. Then, by imitating a character from that movie, one of the employees demonstrates that Bluth Company actually IS a risky business by causing an easily avoidable accident that injures another employee. And all of this is revealed in reverse order, in the background, while main-plotline dialogue is going on in the foreground. It's such an elaborate setup for something that's so easy to miss, I love it
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 10:37 AM on June 16, 2011 [26 favorites]


Everything they do is so dramatic and flamboyant, it just makes me want to set myself on fire.
posted by dave78981 at 10:39 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


I have been giggling throughout this thread. It's just so good. Everyone's favorites are my favorites too.
posted by OmieWise at 10:40 AM on June 16, 2011


This thread is making me as happy as the kid who found the severed hand.
posted by Zozo at 10:41 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


you can always go back and have it re-cut
posted by The Whelk at 10:41 AM on June 16, 2011


If you watch the first and last episodes back-to-back, you'll notice that they are basically mirror opposites. I can't give details because I no longer have my DVDs, but it was something that struck me at the time.
posted by Gilbert at 10:48 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


dave78981: "Everything they do is so dramatic and flamboyant, it just makes me want to set myself on fire."

OH MY GOD IT'S A FIRE






sale




 

posted by schmod at 10:48 AM on June 16, 2011 [15 favorites]


The Literal Doctor.

That is all.
posted by bondcliff at 10:51 AM on June 16, 2011


I KNEW IT WAS AGAINST THE LAW!!
posted by dave78981 at 10:53 AM on June 16, 2011


It's such an elaborate setup for something that's so easy to miss, I love it

It's kind of like they assume their audience is smart enough to come up with the obvious joke, so they can just leave it implied and go straight to the next level. I think that's what I was trying to get at it before -- that they set up the pieces for a joke that you have to tell to to yourself. That's why it sometimes feels like no one else would get the jokes, because the jokes aren't actually explicitly told, they're only implied. So you get this rolling laugh from the explicit jokes, followed on by a cascading effect from all of the implicit humor that's really only happening inside your own head.
posted by empath at 10:53 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lucille: How am I supposed to find someone willing to go into that musty old claptrap?

(an unbelievably long beat)

Michael: ...the cabin! Yes! That would be difficult, too.
posted by Zozo at 10:55 AM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


(from memory)
Michael: This isn't a Volvo.
Lindsey: I was sitting on the copier.
(beat)
Michael: I'm glad we didn't spring for color.
posted by emelenjr at 10:59 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Favorites:

George Michael: Maybe it was the singer/songwriter George Michael.

George Michael: Wait, they could see me? I was the "boy"?

GOB: BEES?!
posted by neuromodulator at 11:10 AM on June 16, 2011


It's like a carnival- WITHOUT the half person on the skateboard who grabbed your knee to try to steady himself.
posted by dave78981 at 11:18 AM on June 16, 2011


Michael: ...the cabin! Yes! That would be difficult, too.

The best part of that was the acknowledging sneer from Lucille.
posted by griphus at 11:31 AM on June 16, 2011


Tobias: Michael if I may take off my pants and pull my analrapist stocking over my head, I think George Michael may be suffering from what we in the soft-sciences call "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder", or the "The O.C. Disorder".

Michael: Don't call it that.
posted by killdevil at 11:35 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speech! Speech! Speech! Speech! Speech! Speech! Speech! Speech!
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:46 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


George Sr.: I'm paying thousands of dollars in Krugerrands.

Lindsay: What?

George Sr.: Gold Krugerrands. Your mother snuck them in here, stuffed them in energy bar wrappers to keep me from getting strangled in the shower or worse.

Lindsay: Stabbed?

George Sr.: In a way.
posted by jnrussell at 11:50 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you all. Now I'm choking on my own stifled laughter here.
Marry me!
posted by Kitty Stardust at 11:52 AM on June 16, 2011


I could watch AD all day, every day, for the rest of my life. Every time I rewatch the series (speaking of which, it has been a while, so I'm due) I get more and more mystified as to why it was not the most popular TV show of all time. A lot of people say that the US TV audience can't deal with anything smart, but I don't think that's true. There are plenty of shows that have various elements of AD's style-- including its sophisticated wit --that are popular. Fox screwed the pooch on this one big time. Although, there is a certain satisfaction to the fact that the show went out perfectly, without a single bad episode, never jumping the shark (well, except for the one time there was literal shark jumping), bringing everything back full circle but still leaving you wanting more. I don't think any other TV show has ever been or will ever be as consistently perfect.

The other thing that I love about AD is that not only does it make me laugh until I cry, it also just makes me cry. When Michael is depressed after he and Rita break up, I always get teary. He's just such a genuinely likeable character, and I want so bad to see him happy that it kills me that he's been crushed. And the final episode, when he finally cries while giving the speech on the boat... man, I lose it. Yet even when I'm crying out of sadness, I still laugh hysterically.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:01 PM on June 16, 2011


Everything they do is so dramatic and flamboyant, it just makes me want to set myself on fire

Why am I not going under water? Dear God, WHY AM I NOT GOING UNDER WATER?
posted by codacorolla at 12:11 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


My favorite AD joke ever:

George, Sr.: You know what’s risky? Letting your son go on that church thing.

Michael: Her name’s Ann, Dad. And he’s not going on her, okay? They’re just friends.
posted by flod at 12:13 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Rita: I hate it when they hire Yanks to play Brits. You can always tell.*

*Neither Charlize Theron nor Dave Thomas are "Yanks."
posted by Sys Rq at 12:17 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


BEES?

My apologies if someone's already mentioned bees.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:19 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


To be fair, Theron isn't a Brit, either.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:22 PM on June 16, 2011


I mean Yank.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:22 PM on June 16, 2011


They're both neither, was my point.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:24 PM on June 16, 2011


I love it all but I think Ron Howard is one of the best parts of the show. Michael eating "a whole thing of candy beans" always cracks me up.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 12:24 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


(And you can still tell.)
posted by Sys Rq at 12:25 PM on June 16, 2011


Every time I make popcorn and bring the bowl in to sit next to my wife I always say without fail, "I just wanted to share my Pop Secret with you." She is so far yet to file the divorce papers.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:25 PM on June 16, 2011


I love it all but I think Ron Howard is one of the best parts of the show.

"Hey, that's the name of the show!"
posted by bondcliff at 12:25 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Has anyone outside of the Bluth family, or a person reference AD, ever actually called them candy beans, btw?
posted by codacorolla at 12:25 PM on June 16, 2011


Sys Rq: Gotcha.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:27 PM on June 16, 2011


I also like when they make the show's camera leave the courtroom.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:27 PM on June 16, 2011


I don't think I have ever laughed so hard as I did at the "Your grandfather is going to be crushed" joke.

I didn't remember this one and when I googled, the only hit for the phrase was this page!
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:27 PM on June 16, 2011


sevenyearlurk: "I love it all but I think Ron Howard is one of the best parts of the show"

"Really shoddy narrating. Just pure crap."
posted by namewithoutwords at 12:28 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love it all but I think Ron Howard is one of the best parts of the show.

Jessie Bowers: Daddy lost his shot at happy and it’s all your fault, Opie,
Narrator: Jessie had gone too far and she had best watch her mouth.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:28 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh, and headfirst. Like Pete Rose. *airhorn*
posted by namewithoutwords at 12:29 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


And there you are coming out of your mother's third base!
posted by shakespeherian at 12:31 PM on June 16, 2011


So when's the movie coming out?
posted by jpdoane at 12:36 PM on June 16, 2011


I've always loved the "listening devices" bit in season 3 -- the Bluths (including George Sr.'s surrogate) were sitting in the Bluth office's conference room on the phone with Bob Loblaw discussing information leaks and Bob warns the Bluths about the possibility of listening devices being present in the room. The camera quickly cuts to the surrogate (who has listening devices in his hat to let George Sr. see what's going on), followed by another cut to the deskphone that Bob is currently talking over, followed by a wide shot of the entire room, where you see the show's boom mike being quickly pulled out of shot. Ended up having to pause the DVD to give myself a chance to catch my breath. =)
posted by Hig Hurtenflurst at 12:36 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I still love the exchange early on when Michael returns Buster after a day away from Lucille (where they just blow through naptime):

MICHAEL: You were flying today, buddy.
BUSTER: Yes, I was flying, but a little too close to the sun.
LUCILLE: You let him go in the sun?!

Jessica Walter sells the hell out of that line, and I buy it every time.
posted by Spatch at 12:41 PM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


This thread's really got a stew goin'.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:45 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


and then later Barry Zuckercorn (Henry Winkler) is standing by the shark carcass and says he skipped breakfast so he's going to Burger King and then promptly jumps the shark

Adding another layer, it's especially awesome because Winkler's most famous sitcom character, Fonzie from Happy Days, is the character/show for which "jumping the shark" was coined... when he, literally, jumped over a shark with his motorcycle.

Also, loved the moment in one of the AD episodes where Zuckercorn, Michael and another character were talking in a bathroom at the courthouse. The other two leave, and Zuckercorn pulls a comb out of his pocket, is about to comb his hair, looks at his reflection, and with a Fonzie-gesture, realizes his hair doesn't need combing.
posted by annekenstein at 12:54 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another favorite:

Narrator: [about the Motherboy dance] Motherboy was also the name of a heavy metal band that used to rock pretty hard during the '70s. We are legally obligated to make this distinction.

Which of course was a reference to this.
posted by Rangeboy at 1:02 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, one other favorite moment is just a shot of Gob at work, in his bathrobe, communicating boredom with every nuance of posture, while he idly feeds slices of bread into the paper shredder.
posted by neuromodulator at 1:07 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Look at Banner, Michael!
posted by tristeza at 1:08 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


"I'll buy you a HUNDRED George Michaels you can teach to drive!"

"You're losing blood, aren't you."

"Probably. My socks are wet."
posted by haveanicesummer at 1:09 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, (and sorry for this), Gob being relieved that George Michael already has Monopoly because "I think this one is missing some pieces". And the call back to this when a shot shows three stacked Monopoly games.
posted by neuromodulator at 1:10 PM on June 16, 2011


"But where did the lighter fluid come from?"
posted by Rangeboy at 1:12 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


when he, literally, jumped over a shark with his motorcycle.

That would have been cool, but he was actually on water skis.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:15 PM on June 16, 2011


One joke I missed until the commentary pointed it out: Buster being alarmed that the refrigerator has been moved, and saying "If mother sees this she will blow a cow," right after the narration explains that it was moved by George to see if he could find a way to "slip past the sensors (censors)".
posted by neuromodulator at 1:22 PM on June 16, 2011 [12 favorites]


By the way shouldn't the title for this thread be 'And now the story of a wealthy family' etc.?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:22 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know she's a brownish area with points!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:24 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


THAT WHY YOU DON'T YELL.
posted by chugg at 1:28 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lindsay Funke: Bad news. Andy Griffith turned us down. He didn't like his trailer.
[the camera pans over to reveal the log cabin truck]
Lindsay Funke: He thought we were making fun of him.
Narrator: They were not making fun of Andy Griffith. This cannot be stressed enough.


The "no touching" from take your daughter to work day is another favorite.
posted by craven_morhead at 1:29 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, I'd like to announce my love for all of Gob's other bizarre, subtle movements: putting bread in the shredder, trying to eat raw spaghetti, not getting a high-five from Michael and turning it into some weird pointing action.

Also his "entry" from behind the open door. That one's brilliant.
posted by neuromodulator at 1:30 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Michael: (Into phone.) Really? And all the guys like her, huh? That is, that is, that is great. Uh, you mean “away,” though, right? Because otherwise it sounds a little different, but, uh, that’s, uh, that’s outstanding. You forgot to say “away” again. But listen, let me call you back in a bit, okay? Bye. (To Lindsay.) Nellie has blown them all away.
posted by Rangeboy at 1:30 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


(Full disclosure: I have been actually considering changing my legal name to "Jay Walter Weatherman", which I use as a username elsewhere. The only thing that really stops me is the idea of explaining it to my parents.)
posted by neuromodulator at 1:31 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Talk you off of what, Pop-pop?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:33 PM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


(Found the video link)
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:33 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm particularly fond of the name "Chareth Cutestory" and will likely use it for a future pet.
posted by wherever, whatever at 1:39 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Crindy!
posted by cmfletcher at 1:47 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


"And THAT'S why you leave a note (or insert similar task)" has become a part of our household lexicon.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 1:57 PM on June 16, 2011


One day, between classes at a middle school in Japan, a kid comes running up to me. He had taken the skeletons of several sheets of stickers and made one long sheet, which he stuck to his chest and ran up and over his head down to the middle of his back. I looked at him and said, "Hey, repeat:"

He nodded.

"I'm."

He repeated, "I'm."

"A."

"A."

"Monster."

"Monster."

And then I showed him how to do it correctly. "I'm a monster!" I said, flailing around. He repeated as best he could, flailing with me, "I'm a monster!" We practiced a few more times, flailing and shouting "I'm a monster!" before we were both off to our next classes.

I was back at that school a few weeks later, and passing through that section of school, when that kid ran up to me and said, "Grant-sensei! I'm a monster!" and flailed around.

He totally got a high-touch for that one.
posted by gc at 2:02 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


He totally got a high-touch for that one.

And now you have to tell all the neighbors you're moving in and can't go within 500 feet of a school.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:05 PM on June 16, 2011


My kids totally call my mom "Gangy". Neither she nor the kids are aware of the existence of Arrested Development.
posted by mattbucher at 2:13 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Douche-chill!"
posted by ColdChef at 2:14 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


And now you have to tell all the neighbors you're moving in and can't go within 500 feet of a school.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:05 PM on June 16 [+] [!]


*walks away to "Christmas Time Is Here" and eats a whole thing of Candy Beans*
posted by gc at 2:35 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


I just remembered how great it was when Buster joined Army. In fact, one day I hope join Army, and get so far in Army that I get promoted to Hero Squad, and receive a stuffed seal for marksmanship.
posted by mippy at 2:36 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Speaking of Buster:
http://fuckyeahbusterbluth.tumblr.com
posted by jnrussell at 2:41 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


In fact, one day I hope join Army, and get so far in Army that I get promoted to Hero Squad, and receive a stuffed seal for marksmanship.

Don't forget how great it is when Army has a half-day!
posted by Spatch at 2:43 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I never got the whole incest thing. Why so much emphasis on incest? Is it just funny because it's so awkward and weird? Of all the many themes in AD, that is the most consistent and (to me) inexplicable.


But then there's this: "I just blue myself."
posted by meese at 2:47 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


"She calls it a mayonegg. Are you okay?"
"I don't feel so good."
posted by neuromodulator at 2:50 PM on June 16, 2011


Michael, to himself: 'I screwed my brother-in-law.'
Maeby: 'Well, I'm all grown up now.'
posted by shakespeherian at 2:54 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Is this why you wanted to fight this thing, so you could run off with this great redwood of a whore?
posted by Naberius at 2:57 PM on June 16, 2011


The first (non-v.o.) line spoken in the first episode of the first season of the show is: "Look at me, Michael. Look at what the homosexuals have done to me."

That is mind-bogglingly weird and brilliant.

[Can't you just comb it out and reset it?]
posted by eugenen at 3:05 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you're in Australia ABC2 is showing it on Wednesdays. It's up to the third episode, and since I never watched it properly I'm catching up. I'm not finding it as funny as I should.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:24 PM on June 16, 2011


It's really the second season that becomes truly amazing. The first season sets the stage and then the second season is mind-blowing.
posted by neuromodulator at 3:29 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm not finding it as funny as I should.

It's one of those things that gets better as it goes. They set up jokes that don't pay off for episodes later.
posted by empath at 3:36 PM on June 16, 2011


If you're in Australia ABC2 is showing it on Wednesdays. It's up to the third episode, and since I never watched it properly I'm catching up. I'm not finding it as funny as I should.

In all honesty, it really works much, much better in larger doses. The whole series in one week or less is ideal.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:37 PM on June 16, 2011


Another thing extraordinary, and not mentioned here that I can see: they set up jokes that only become jokes on repeat viewings. Buster, recognizing his hand-chair: "I never thought I'd miss having a hand so much."
posted by neuromodulator at 3:37 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sorry, Thursday not Wednesday. It's like Community, where I know I need the time for a DVD binge to really love it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:54 PM on June 16, 2011


Yeah I remember catching the odd episode during the run and thinking it was clever but not hilarious....

Then I got the DVDs it turned into popcorn, ONE MORE EPISODE CMON.
posted by The Whelk at 3:56 PM on June 16, 2011


Michael: "Why don't you and Maeby camp out? You can pitch a tent in front!"
George Michael: "I'm not so sure she's into camping."
Michael: "Well, maybe you can rub off on her!"
posted by Gilbert at 4:10 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I fucked the business model.
posted by Exploding Gutbuster at 4:22 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Mayonegg.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 4:48 PM on June 16, 2011


"This goes for the guys, too. Because sometimes the guys are tapped out. But check your lease, man. Because you're living in [fuck city]!"

"You're fired"
posted by codacorolla at 4:50 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Annyong.

What do you expect, Mother? I'm half machine ... I'm a monster!
I Love Juice!
I was made to understand there would be grilled cheese sandwiches here.

Man, I loved this show - the intricacy of the writing and plotting and humor, the excellence of the cast in their roles (primary and ad hoc), the perfect pitch... I quote it a lot, often under my breath in resigned bitterness. I think I love the running gags the most - like the chicken imitations, even though, as Buster informs us, "Chickens don't clap!"

It's vodka. It goes bad once it's opened.
We're not the only ones who destroy trees. What about beavers? You call yourself an environmentalist? Why don't you go out and club some beavers?

Portia diRossi never gets enough respect for Lindsay. Hilarious and dead-on, surrounded by splashier roles, she nails it every time.
posted by julen at 4:57 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


everyone was hitting all the bulls-eyes on that show.

Two words:

Liza. Manelli.

"Everyone thinks they're Frank Sinatra"
posted by The Whelk at 5:01 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm an idea man, Michael! I think I proved that with Fuck Mountain!

Also his "entry" from behind the open door. That one's brilliant.

This is one of my absolute favorite moments of the series, and nobody else thinks it's as funny as I do. Not just that GOB was waiting patiently behind an open door eavesdropping, but the conversation immediately following:

GOB: I didn't even know we had a cabin.
MICHAEL: Well [shit].

Jason Bateman sells the motherfuck out of that line, as just the rock bottom of complete and total, unvarnished contempt for his brother. GOB hasn't even brought him a problem (yet) and in fact has a totally legitimate grievance there, that the family owns a cabin he's never been told about. No matter. His presence means that Michael's day is going to suck more, and Michael has lost all ability to hide that fact.

Other favorites, this one actually from the same episode:

(from memory)
Michael: This isn't a Volvo.
Lindsey: I was sitting on the copier.
(beat)
Michael: I'm glad we didn't spring for color.


Then, Michael reprimands Lindsay for only wanting what she can't have, and to prove the point, says that she SHOULD get the Volvo (while handing her back the photo from "sitting on the copier"

LINDSAY: I dunno. It's so boxy...

And finally, in a reference so extraordinarily obscure it may well exist only in my head, when Lindsay and the other war protestors are confined to the Free Speech Zone, and the rednecks start spraying the cage with water just for fun, and finally the protestor played by Dave "Gruber" Allen shouts out, "Forget it Lindsay! They've won!"

Which of course calls back to Allen's role in Freaks and Geeks, specifically the moment in "The Little Things" where he's breaking down over Lindsay Weir being beaten by Bush 1.

Brilliant.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:04 PM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


The Whelk, she says 'Everyone always thinks of Frank Sinatra,' because Liza Minelli sang New York, New York in Scorsese's movie, and she's lamenting that she isn't identified with the song.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:17 PM on June 16, 2011


SHUT YOUR STUPID FACE.
posted by The Whelk at 5:20 PM on June 16, 2011


So fun story apparently liza got on the show cause she was shooting something in the nearby lot and told her agent "That sounds like the funniest thing I heard in my life, you have to get me on this show."

And so she was.
posted by The Whelk at 5:24 PM on June 16, 2011


You're my third least favorite child.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:25 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


It makes sense either way, but I just checked the episode and she says "Everybody thinks they're Frank Sinatra."
posted by Knappster at 5:26 PM on June 16, 2011


Have you been eating cheese?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:28 PM on June 16, 2011


I've internalized Lucille's dictum that a bottle of vodka goes off after you open it.
posted by honey-barbara at 5:30 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's this diet! There's too much meat!
posted by The Whelk at 5:31 PM on June 16, 2011


What about macaroni - wait for it - salad?
posted by moxiedoll at 5:44 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, wine only turns into alcohol if you let it sit.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:50 PM on June 16, 2011


Okay, weird question:

"Let 'em Eat Cake," while very funny, is the only episode where, no matter how many times I watch it, I feel like I must be not getting something (or else that the central premise just didn't work very well.) Suddenly they're all religiously following Atkins, and then at the end decide to go off of Atkins. It seems like it has nothing to do with the plot surrounding the rest of the episode (aside from getting George Michael his interview) but is treated as a integral plot point, and gives the episode it's title.

Is there something I'm just not getting, or is it possible the writer's room dropped the ball a bit on this one?
posted by Navelgazer at 5:59 PM on June 16, 2011


God, so hard to choose a favorite, but one sequence I haven't seen mentioned yet is:

"Lucille was suffering from a hangover-related headache and sought her medication. That's when she mistook the red eye alcohol warning for a winking-eye alcohol suggestion."
posted by rollbiz at 6:18 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


[SexyGobVoice]...with club sauce...[/SexyGobVoice]
posted by rollbiz at 6:20 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, and if you need me, I'll be at the hospital bar.
posted by rollbiz at 6:20 PM on June 16, 2011


Hospitals don't have bars.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:21 PM on June 16, 2011


That's why people hate hospitals!
posted by rollbiz at 6:22 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there something I'm just not getting, or is it possible the writer's room dropped the ball a bit on this one?

Would have to listen to the commentary to verify this, but Wikipedia mentions it is a reference to the fact so many of the actors were on Atkins and spitting out carb-laden food between takes.
posted by Lorin at 6:24 PM on June 16, 2011


I can't find a clip of it, but the sound George Michael makes when Anne breaks up with him kills me every time.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 6:28 PM on June 16, 2011


I forget, is it in this show that they show Andy Richter with a sandwich falling apart and he angrily kicks at it? I love that shot.
posted by neuromodulator at 6:31 PM on June 16, 2011


I forget, is it in this show that they show Andy Richter with a sandwich falling apart and he angrily kicks at it? I love that shot.

Yes. He's a pig.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:33 PM on June 16, 2011


Has no one mentioned:

"Good. I was hoping he'd be gifted, sexually. What a fun sexy time for you!"
posted by Navelgazer at 6:34 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I always loved the almost-choreographed nature of the cops on the show. Four or five times in the series someone is on the ground getting surrounded by the cops, and it always ends with one of the cops raising his baton to strike... and cut. Makes me lol every time.
posted by rosswald at 6:34 PM on June 16, 2011


I love how no one knew the Spanish word for brother except Buster. Hey hermano!

George Michael: I have Pop Pop in the attic.
Micheal: The mere fact that you call making love "Pop Pop" tells me that you're not ready.

Lucile's total ignorance of the "real world" cracks me up: "How much can a banana cost? Ten dollars?"

Also, Buster mistaking a box of wine for a juice box is full of win. I love juice!
posted by littlesq at 6:39 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wonder where he is...
posted by milestogo at 6:40 PM on June 16, 2011


When I lent an roommate my DVDs it wasn't until he gave me back Season 3 that he learned that the "On the next..." sequences were not actually previews of the following episode. I wonder how many people missed that?

My favorite line: "Here's some money. Go see a Star War."
posted by estherbester at 6:42 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


AD Alignment Chart
posted by The Whelk at 6:47 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, Buster mistaking a box of wine for a juice box is full of win.

Ron Howard's line on that bit KILLS:



"It was the first time Buster had tasted alcohol since he'd finished nursing."
posted by Ndwright at 7:19 PM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


MICHAEL: I'm not going to lie to your son.
GOB: C'mon! I lie to yours all the time!
posted by Navelgazer at 7:30 PM on June 16, 2011


Unlimited juice? This party is gonna be off the hook!
posted by killdevil at 7:32 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh man, perfect timing. I just started re-watching AD while nursing my son. I can only hope that he learns from it and remembers to always retain animation rights.
posted by sonika at 7:33 PM on June 16, 2011


"Yeah, I'm gonna need a leather jacket for when I'm on my hog and need to go into a controlled slide."
posted by haveanicesummer at 7:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there something I'm just not getting, or is it possible the writer's room dropped the ball a bit on this one?

I always figured it was a crack at sitcoms trying to be topical while only actually giving lip-service to the topic in a way that impacts the overall plot or continuity not a whit. Basically, it was making fun of writers dropping the ball in the way you describe.
posted by griphus at 7:59 PM on June 16, 2011


OMG OMG OMG I just remembered my favorite thing from this whole show ever:

TOBIAS' HAIR PLUGS.

Holy shit, I thought I might end up in the hospital the first time I saw that.

(Started from Season 1 tonight on Netflix, thank you MeFi!)
posted by tristeza at 8:03 PM on June 16, 2011


"Alias is a show about spies!"
posted by neuromodulator at 8:05 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


neuromodulator: I just watched that bit a moment ago. One of Tony Hale's all-time best readings.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:06 PM on June 16, 2011


In regard to the Atkins diet part, the Bluths don't strike me as the type to stick to things very long. Most people can only stick to diets for like a week. The Bluths? Two days.

Also what griphus said works too.
posted by littlesq at 8:07 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm actually really glad that they ended up on a network

Me too, since the inspiration for Pier Pressure came from a network note suggesting an episode in which Michael teaches his son a good lesson.

It's my favorite AD ep ever. I've seen it so many times, and it continues to amaze me how well they handle multiple interlocking storylines and terrific jokes piled upon even more terrific jokes.

"NO, THESE ARE JUST STRIPPERS! LOOK HOW HOT THEY ARE!"
posted by creepygirl at 8:14 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, one more thing: Anyone else bothered by the way that they keep insisting that there are three houses of Parliament in "The Ocean Walker" (otherwise one of my very favorite episodes)?
posted by Navelgazer at 8:29 PM on June 16, 2011


HOT COPS: : "Stop him! He's ruining his life!
GOB: " Oh no, it's the cops... and a construction worker.

LUCILLE: "Buster, what happened to your head?"
BUSTER: "Nothing. Gob was just teaching me how to hit it with a hammer."
posted by zinc saucier at 8:33 PM on June 16, 2011


*Tobias to George Michael, thinking he's a Never-Nude*

Tobias: You mean I'll *opens robes* NEVER know?
posted by gc at 8:36 PM on June 16, 2011


I can't believe no one has mentioned the chicken dance yet.

I can't decide what's funnier, the time everyone ganged up on Michael with their own variations on the chicken dance, or the time Lucille was all pilled up and doing the chicken dance at a board meeting (in the scene right after the one rollbiz mentioned), and as the camera cut away to someone leaving the room you hear the THUD of Lucille passing out. Just hearing "A coodle-doodle-doo! A-coodleTHUD" is enough to make me nearly wet myself.
posted by palomar at 8:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Sorry to correct (from memory) but I believe it's, "I understand more than you'll (beat) NEVER know..."
posted by Navelgazer at 8:40 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry to correct (from memory) but I believe it's, "I understand more than you'll (beat) NEVER know..."
posted by Navelgazer at 8:40 PM on June 16 [+] [!]


*cries in the shower*
posted by gc at 8:44 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Cheer up, gc! you didn't get into this business to impress Tracy Swartzman.
posted by moxiedoll at 8:45 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I adore how often the shower crying came up before we were even given the slightest explanation for the cut-offs.

(and also that the cut-offs are assumed within the universe to make sense at all.)
posted by Navelgazer at 8:47 PM on June 16, 2011


Lucille: (to the hot sailors) You boys know how to shovel coal?
Narrator: I don't even want to tell you what these guys thought that meant.
posted by schmod at 8:51 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


There are dozens of us! Dozens!
posted by gc at 9:05 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


George Sr: Hey, by the way, I broke this thing. What the hell is it, anyway?
Michael: That's a breast pump, Dad.
George Sr: Oh. Well, I did not use it for that.
posted by littlesq at 9:09 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I call her "Annabelle" 'cause she's shaped like -- she's the belle of the ball!
posted by en forme de poire at 9:16 PM on June 16, 2011


Michael finds Barry Zuckerkorn at the Blueman show while looking for his father.

BARRY: Hi, Mikey! So, how much do you know?
MICHAEL: I know that Oscar is in prison, and that my dad is a Blueman, and that you are clearly in cahoots with him.
BARRY: Ooohoohoo! A lot!

(in which Henry Winkler absolutely sells that line reading.)
posted by gc at 9:16 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lucille has an emotional moment with George Sr. in one of the prison's conjugal visit cabins:

"I'd tear up, but I need to conserve moisture."
posted by sapere aude at 9:23 PM on June 16, 2011


"Tea for dong!"
posted by palomar at 9:36 PM on June 16, 2011


"Like anyone would want to R her!"
posted by just_ducky at 9:40 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to articulate why this show makes me so genuinely happy, even when the characters are so hilariously unsympathetic. I think it's that it feels like such a labor of love. In so much television you can really feel that people are phoning it in; but here you have an all-star cast with great chemistry, defying you to pick a favorite, with writing that sets up jokes with the careful deliberateness of a Rube Goldberg machine (BUSTER'S HAND OMG). Most sitcoms treat the audience as marks or demographics, but Arrested Development seemed to treat the viewers with nothing but respect.

OK, I realize I'm sort of sailing this thread into the Tunnel of Love, Indubitably but I had to get that off my chest!
posted by en forme de poire at 9:47 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


CHICKENS DON'T CLAP
posted by en forme de poire at 9:48 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


SPOILER ALERT!

Maeby and George Michael are still married at the end of the series.

Just Sayin'
posted by Navelgazer at 10:01 PM on June 16, 2011


with club sauce
posted by neuromodulator at 10:06 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm trying to articulate why this show makes me so genuinely happy, even when the characters are so hilariously unsympathetic. I think it's that it feels like such a labor of love.

That's how I feel. I've got a friend who says he dislikes Arrested Development because he doesn't find it uplifting, and he feels that all art should be about raising mankind up or some pretentious bullshit, but I can't see Arrested Development without being blown away by the utter perfection of its writing, its editing, and especially its acting. Every single person in Arrested Development turns in a killer performance. It's a delight. I wasn't even aware of disliking any of the characters until my fifth or sixth watch through. I loved them all and sympathized with all of them because they were just so good.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:14 PM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Another fun fact: apparently Alia Shawkat was the first one cast, and the rest of the enemble built around her. Which is awesome, but bizarre.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:29 PM on June 16, 2011


Sorry if it has already been mentioned, but my favorite "not paying attention so I missed it" joke is the re-casting of Marta in the first season. When the "new" Marta arrives at the door, Michael says, "hey, Marta! It's Marta everyone!" it seems like it is because he has a crush on her, but it's really because it's a different actress.
posted by King Bee at 10:50 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Jason Batement is an absolute MASTER of the pregnant pause...

"Looks like you're looking for dragons... in the future..."
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:43 PM on June 16, 2011


Bateman, even.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:44 PM on June 16, 2011


That's it. I'm calling him Jason Batman, from now on.
posted by aubilenon at 11:56 PM on June 16, 2011


G.O.B., releasing the seal to the wild: "you'll never be hand-fed again"
posted by russm at 1:32 AM on June 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


George Michael: Hey Uncle GOB, has Aunt Lindsay ever been pregnant?
GOB: Oh yeah, dozens of times.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 4:04 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favourite Atkins line was 'I want everyone off that diet. All of you. [points at Lindsay] Except you.'

The day before this thread I remembered Lindsay's Shemalè tee.
posted by mippy at 4:19 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Too many to count, but I always get a chuckle when George Michael answers the phone and says 'Hello George Michael speaking, yes that is my real name'

oh and 'Maybe I'll put it in her brownie'
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 6:23 AM on June 17, 2011


AD and Freaks and Geeks are my go to shows whenever I feel society has abandoned culture and comedy. Not a false moment in either show. Modern classics both...
posted by judson at 7:09 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't know why this tiny scene cracks me up so much, but I almost pissed myself when a bird gets in the apartment and you hear Buster squeal "it walked on my pillow!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkxg8v9gaKc

My dad actually was laughing so hard at some scene in Arrested Development, that he had a vasovagal reaction, fainted and had be taken to the hospital. I need to call him and find our what scene it was.
posted by Falconetti at 7:30 AM on June 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


The best parts about Arrested Development:
1. They got cancelled but still wrapped up most of the story-lines, unlike most shows.
2. They ended before they started to go downhill. It's all good stuff.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:40 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Falconetti, you have to let us know what scene it is when you find out.
posted by neuromodulator at 8:19 AM on June 17, 2011


This brief flashback scene of the Bluth's "best" party always brings me to my knees.

Fun fact (well, fun for me): They used my high school for the exterior shots of the high school on the show.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:29 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Michael: It's like we finish each other's --
Lindsay: Sandwiches?
Michael: Sentences. Why would I say --
Lindsay: Sandwiches?
Michael: ...That time I was going to say sandwiches.

Kills me EVERY TIME.
posted by Judith Butlerian Jihad at 11:33 AM on June 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the episode with GOB's bachelor party and Ira Gilligan, the nosy accountant, was written solely for the payoff of "Gilligan killed the Skipper! Uh, stripper!"

Which I can barely even type without bursting into hysterics.
posted by Zozo at 12:29 PM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


OH MY GOD i totally forgot from that episode:

"I'm a failure. I can't even fake the death of a stripper." holy shit that's the best
posted by neuromodulator at 1:01 PM on June 17, 2011


Well, that was a freebie.
posted by gc at 9:16 PM on June 17, 2011


G.O.B.: I don’t see you crying, robot. You taste these tears. Taste my sad, Michael.
Michael: I am not going to lick your eye, okay?
posted by littlesq at 11:03 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


It tastes kind of like sad.
posted by shadytrees at 8:30 AM on June 18, 2011


I had a (mind-)blowing moment while watching the episode in, I think, the second season where Michael rallies the Bluths to build a new home so as to jolt the business back into motion. G.O.B. hijacks the effort and turns it into (more of) a farce which results in a highly sub-standard, bare shell of a house being erected. Buster is aware this, because he helped build it.

At the grand opening of the house, all hell breaks loose for several reasons and the house starts to collapse. Buster is distraught about something (either Army, or Lucille...or both) and has been searching for a way to hurt himself so as to "show them" or create sympathy or something. Seeing that one of the walls is tipping away from the house, he sprints over and places himself in its path. The wall hits the ground, but he has positioned himself exactly where an (open) window is, so he ends up unharmed.

Only after seeing it two or three times did I make the connection between Buster Bluth in this scene and Buster Keaton doing the exact same gag, 70-odd years earlier.
posted by speedo at 9:04 AM on June 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


Holy crap! It turns out that that whole episode goes a little deeper into the Buster Keaton connection than I thought, because another of Keaton's movies is entitled "One Week". It's about him building a home in one week's time, shoddily. When G.O.B. steals the house-building project from Michael, he turns it into a we'll-build-this-house-in-one-week showy sort of affair with similar results.

Wheels within wheels, people!
posted by speedo at 9:12 AM on June 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just watched the season finale of Season 1 and on the white board behind the family as George Sr. is in the hospital you can see at the bottom "RN: Ratchet."

I nearly died.
posted by sonika at 4:02 PM on June 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


If we're ever surprised by something, Mrs A and I will scream "Gene Parmesan!". Best show EVAR.
posted by arcticseal at 7:28 PM on June 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm in the middle of watching my way through The Larry Sanders Show (which, jesus, that's funny, how have I never seen it before?), and kind of planning on going back and rewatching Arrested Development some time later this summer. And I'm weirdly excited about the cognitive dissonance I know I'll feel now every time Jeffrey Tambor's onscreen.

I just did the same thing with Larry Sanders. Hey now! (And now I will have to re-watch AD to see if there are any Hank Kingsley references.)

(And I found that Artie's character has made my speech much more profane, of late. This compilation ends well.)
posted by gjc at 8:56 PM on June 18, 2011


OK, I'm coming late to this party because I have only started watching the show since reading this thread, but I can't believe nobody has mentioned either of these two:

George Michael: Say what you will about America, but $13 can still buy a heckuva lot of mice.

And, at the Church and State Fair:

George Michael: I'm going to go get one of those cross-shaped corn dogs.

Michael: With all the crucifixins?
posted by not that girl at 10:33 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another fun fact: apparently Alia Shawkat was the first one cast, and the rest of the enemble built around her. Which is awesome, but bizarre.

posted by Navelgazer at 10:29 PM on June 16 [+] [!]


The whole concept falls apart if they didn't cast Maeby correctly. They had to find an actress who was able to look simultaneously like a kid and a grown up.

In fact, that's the key to the whole show. It is a ridiculous and cartoon like proposition, but at the same time, there isn't a whole lot of suspension of disbelief going on. You can see how a family like that would evolve into those characters. And so if they couldn't find a Maeby that fit the role of the "worldly" daughter of two self-absorbed twits who has physically and mentally matured early, you can't make the George Michael character work. The viewer has to be able to admit to themselves that they can understand how a George Michael would get confused by her introduction into his life. Almost any other actress would ruin that razor's edge of discomfort, and George Michael would come off as silly, or creepy(er).
posted by gjc at 7:45 AM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maeby is the only character who sees everything going on and exploits it. She would have to be cast very carefully to avoid coming off as smug.
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 AM on June 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


OK, I'm coming late to this party because I have only started watching the show since reading this thread, but I can't believe nobody has mentioned either of these two:

I started watching this year due to the universal praise and constant references in a lot of sites I visit. A few minutes into the first episode I knew I was on to a winner.
Gob: Are those police boats? No seriously I think those are police boats.

George Sr.: That's the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Buster: They have boats?
In Rory Marinich's A. V. Club link, I believe they missed one of the "obvious" jokes in the clip. When they're giving speeches at the wake George Sr is listening attentively from his hiding spot, even whispering encouragement.

After Michael starts his heart felt speech it cuts back to George Sr and he's lying on his back with his eyes closed as if he's trying to get some shut eye. It's only when Michael mentions smoothies that he perks up.

posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:14 AM on June 19, 2011


This post inspired me to watch the series again this weekend. In the "Family Ties" episode, where they introduce Nellie, Michael is slowly getting a dot matrix printout of George Sr.'s file on her. Her title is given as "Nellie -- Conslutant". Now there's an obscure typo joke. Awesome.
posted by Errant at 10:45 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ok, I have a new hobby. Half-way through season 1, only 8 years behind. It's so good!
posted by bquarters at 7:54 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh, if you wanted to, and with the HORDE of political reference inside the show, you could make a case that it's a cosmic burlesque on morality within society.

Micheal wants to be moral and obey the rules and is always setting down rules and lessons but he's stopped at every turn by an amoral world and his own myopia.

George Micheal just wants to please his father and not get into trouble.

Bluth Sr. is a man who wants what he wants, namely to go up in the world. he doesn't actively try to crush or hurt people, but he's not to worried if they are. He has no moral code, but he tries to save his skin and protect the people around him. His wife, Lucille, is vastly more cruel and striving, she wants to and goes out of her way to damage people to ensure her position. She is completely amoral and without pretense.

GOB-Lindsey-Tobias are amoral narcissists, convincing themselves they aren't in various ways ..with GOB the purest expression of blind privilege who, because of the world they live in, keeps coming out ahead.

Maeby is the only character who both realizes what an absurd universe she lives in and uses the absurdity to her advantage WITHOUT deliberaity trying to harm other people. She's the only neutral character on the show and the only one who's morality is without question.

And Buster is anyone who lost their hand.
posted by The Whelk at 8:44 PM on June 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


I can't think of a week where my wife and I didn't say "Army had a half-day!" to one another, apropos of anything or not.
posted by gern at 11:33 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


She's the only neutral character on the show and the only one who's morality is without question.

when GOB admits to her that he's responsible for giving the seal a taste for mammal blood and then releasing it, she convinces him to come clean with buster and that people will respect his honesty. after he leaves, she walks off and says to herself "OK, now I'm just lying for no reason at all"...
posted by russm at 3:16 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love that Lucille and Buster both sing the same song when they are home alone: Rose's Turn from Gypsy:
"Mama's all alone.
Mama doesn't care.
Mama's lettin' loose.
Mama's got the stuff.
Mama's lettin' go."

Even better is the fact that Gypsy is, according to Wikipedia, the story of Rose, "the ultimate show business mother. It follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life."

A fitting subject for Lucille and Buster, the ultimate showbiz Motherboy.

(Not the heavy metal band that rocked pretty hard in the '70s)
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:53 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


The first time I watched Arrested Development, I thought Michael was kind of a dip - a real Lawful Good type.

But after multiple viewings I'm not sure that's true. Michael wants to look like he's good - he's very concerned about the optics of his decisions - but I'm undecided if he actually wants to be moral, or if his actions stem more from wanting to distance himself from his family, and from a reflexive fear of negative consequences ("You taught me a lesson about not teaching lessons?" "That was my last lesson.")

I think one of the great things about this show is the simultaneous simplicity and complexity of the characters - they can be summed up in one line and yet never fully understood.
posted by muddgirl at 9:09 AM on June 21, 2011


The first time I watched Arrested Development, I thought Michael was kind of a dip - a real Lawful Good type.

Her?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:22 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Michael: What's this? What's happening?
Lucille: It's going to be all right.
Michael: Why are you squeezing me with your body?
posted by tristeza at 6:29 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


That feeling that you're feeling is what we call ... a feeling.
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:31 PM on June 21, 2011


I've still got 10 or so episodes to go, but my favorite running joke was when Gob was screwing EVERYTHING. Screwing women just to spite his brother. Heinously ugly women that he mistakenly thought Michael was interested in.

And when the elderly Japanese couple came to look at the boat and he mistook them for the prostitutes he just ordered……
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:00 PM on June 21, 2011


Way late to the party, after 2 minutes I couldn't even pretend to myself that I was doing anything else tonight but read through the whole thread.

The ONE mention of Michael's wife dying of ovarian cancer, is from G.O.B. making fun of her for dying from such a "pussy" disease. Awesome.
posted by stratastar at 1:14 AM on June 22, 2011


stratastar: I think that they mention it in the Prison Break/TBA episode ("Prison Break-in"). There's a flashback to the family trying to decide on diseases to sponsor for their annual charity. George Sr. is pulling the suggestions out of a hat. Lindsay suggests herpes, Buster and Lucille both suggest "neckflap," GOB suggests shrinkage, to which George Sr. laughs and says "someone saw Seinfeld last night." When George Sr. reads "Ovarian Cancer" he says snidely, "Gee, I wonder whose that is" and the camera cuts to a very sad looking Michael.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:07 AM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know what an erection feels like, Michael!
posted by Zozo at 8:40 AM on June 22, 2011


Saxon, you're correct, my memory is not.
posted by stratastar at 10:47 AM on June 22, 2011


I can't believe no one has quoted: "I'm on mushrooms....bad...mushrooms."
posted by neuromodulator at 10:49 PM on June 23, 2011


My system's not used to curly fries.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:01 PM on June 23, 2011


Gob's delivery of these lines is extraordinary:

Wife of Gob: I'm in love with your brother-in-law.
Gob: You're in love with your own brother, the one in the army.
Wife of Gob: No, your sister's husband.
Gob: Michael? Michael!
Wife of Gob: No, that's your sister's brother.
Gob: No, I'm my sister's brother. You're in love with me. Me.
Wife of Gob: I'm in love with Tobias.
Gob: My brother-in-law?
Wife of Gob: I know it can never be. So I'm leaving and enlisting in the army.
Gob: To be with your brother.
posted by neuromodulator at 11:14 PM on June 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


The Stair Car (Lego)
posted by OmieWise at 6:09 AM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Michael: You seem more villainous than usual, Mom; are you sober?
Lucille: Michael, it's eight a.m.
Michael: So, it's not that.
Lucille: I don't know. Maybe it's because I went off my post-partum medication.
Michael: You were still taking that? You had Buster thirty-two years ago.
Lucille: And that's how long I've been depressed about him.
Lucille: Well, apparently, mood-altering medication leads to street drugs. That's what this very handsome young doctor said on the Today Show.
Michael: That was Tom Cruise, the actor.
Lucille: They said he was some kind of scientist.
posted by stoneweaver at 12:01 PM on July 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


> And when the elderly Japanese couple came to look at the boat and he mistook them for the prostitutes he just ordered

Don't call my escorts prostitutes!
posted by russm at 9:22 PM on July 15, 2011


« Older Here's a couple of kids covering the Foo Fighters....  |  Russian Video from Russia does... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments