Dan’s Top 100 Everything: #70 Arrested Development

arresteddevI am a mid-twenties white male who reads about TV online, so I think it is assumed that I love Arrested Development. Certainly most of my friends do. My wife does. The entire freaking internet does. And I do, too.

There have been times in my life where I would have put Arrested D a little bit higher on the list, but I’ve grown fatigued on the show the past couple years, and the fourth season didn’t exactly fire me up.

But it’s still an incredible, ingenious show on a comedy level, worthy of at least a large percentage of the unprecedented hype and devotion it receives.

I would rank this right up there with Doctor Who in terms of “everything has been said before” territory. Trying to find Arrested Development quotes or clips or gifs or reviews online is like trying to get sunburned at the beach: I’d actually be impressed if you AVOIDED it.

So here are some assorted thoughts on one of the essential TV comedies:

  • Michael Cera will always be my favorite actor from AD. In many ways, he’s gone on to the biggest career of the main cast (unless you count Ron Howard). But this will always be his signature role. Nobody plays awkward and gawky like him. I also feel like he had one of the highest difficulty curves, or at least the greatness of George Michael as a comedy vehicle seems a higher ratio of performance to writing than any other character.
  • Speaking of post-AD careers, when does it officially become “a thing” that the cast struggles to do well in any other role — like Seinfeld pre-Veep? What’s the best movie or show starring a non-Cera actor? Better Off Ted?
  • The many, many gags are chronicled many, many places, but here are a few of my all-time favorites: Buster’s hook arm, Ann and her many names, anything Tony Wonder, that one episode with Gene Parmesan, and, in general, anything involving George Michael talking about dating or love or sex.
  • My favorite episode would have to be “Good Grief” though there are a bunch of others that are in the same league. Honestly, I don’t think of the show in episodes as much as I do the specific gags or runners.
  • I personally think the third season is good. I don’t mind the Rita stuff, although it loses a lot on re-watch. But the fourth season? Meh. Some episodes were great (the Tony Wonder-Gob episode is probably in my top five AD episodes) while others were Ann. I’d watch a fifth.
  • I would 100% watch a George Michael at College spinoff. Just for my post-Office awkward fix.
  • Most enduring thing from AD in my mind: The chicken dance. Yes, I know everyone loves it, but it’s the best. I use Lindsay’s chicken noise (“cha-CHEE-cha”) as a taunting noise all the time.

Sorry this is so short, but I don’t really feel like writing much about Arrested Development at this point, great though it is. If you want more detail, definitely hit up AVClub’s recaps. I read those the last time I re-watched the show with my wife and agree with them most of the time.

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Dan S.

Dan is the editor of Earn This. He co-founded the site in 2009.

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