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Arrested Development: Season 1

495 customer reviews

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(Oct 19, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

22 episodes on 3 DVDs. 2003/color/8 hrs., 11 min/NR/widescreen. In this critically acclaimed hit sitcom, you'll meet the suddenly penniless, and equally clueless, Bluth family. Accustomed to their wildly affluent lifestyle, they can't seem to grasp the fact that now the head of the family (Jeffrey Tambor) is in the slammer for shifty accounting practices - and he's loving every minute of it. Even worse, since the family assets have been frozen, they may actually have to go out and get jobs! The only one who understands the seriousness of their predicament is Michael (Jason Bateman), who realizes it's up to him to guide his eccentric family into this new chapter of their lives: Chapter 11.

Winner of the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy its first year out, Arrested Development is the kind of sitcom that gives you hope for television. A mockumentary-style exploration of the beleaguered Bluth family, it's one of those idiosyncratic shows that doesn't rely on a laugh track or a studio audience; it's shot more like a TV drama, albeit with an omniscient narrator (executive producer Ron Howard) overseeing the proceedings. Holding the Bluths together just barely is son Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman), the only normal guy in a family that's chock full of nuts. Hardworking and sensible, Michael's certain he's going to be given control of his family's Enron-style corporation upon the retirement of his father (Jeffrey Tambor). The fact that he's passed over instead for his mother (Jessica Walter) is only a blip when compared to his father's immediate arrest for dubious accounting practices, and the resulting freeze on the family's previously limitless wealth.

Bereft of money, and even less family love, the Bluths have to band together in their moment of need--not easy when everyone's looking out for number 1. In addition to his scabrous parents, Michael has to contend with his lothario older brother (Will Arnett), his basically useless younger brother (Tony Hale), his greedy twin sister (Portia DeRossi), and her sexually ambiguous husband (David Cross). Michael's only comrade in sanity is his son George Michael (Michael Cera), but then again, the teenage boy harbors a secret crush on his cousin (Alia Shawkat). A peerless ensemble led by the brilliant Bateman (who ever knew he could be this good?), all the actors are pitch-perfect in their roles, delivering the dryly funny, sometimes absurdist dialogue with the speed and flair of classic farce. The unusual tone of Arrested Development takes a bit of getting used to--it's far different from anything you'll see on TV, even HBO--but once you buy in to the Bluths' innumerable dysfunctions, you'll be laughing your head off for hours.--Mark Englehart

Special Features

  • 22 season 1 episodes, plus the never-aired extended pilot
  • "Breaking Ground: Behind the Scenes of Arrested Development" featurette
  • Ron Howard's inside look at Arrested Development
  • Deleted/extended scenes
  • The Museum of Television & Radio cast panel discussion
  • Original songs by David Schwarz
  • "Arrested Development: The Making of a Future Classic" TV Land featurette
  • "TV Land Awards: The Future Classic Award" featurette
  • Promo spot

Product Details

  • Actors: Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Alia Shawkat
  • Directors: Anthony Russo, Greg Mottola, Jay Chandrasekhar, Joe Russo, John Fortenberry
  • Writers: Abraham Higginbotham
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Widescreen, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 491 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (495 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002PYS7Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,696 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Arrested Development: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

313 of 335 people found the following review helpful By A Fan on November 8, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I arrived late to this dance. I don't really have any structure to my TV viewing, other than Sunday nights on HBO. Despite reading positive reviews and hearing accolades for this show I missed the entire broadcast season. What that means to me is that I've just immersed myself in probably the funniest 22 episodes of broadcast comedy ever (that includes Seinfeld and the old Dick Van Dyke show). This first season is chock full of running gags, absurd situations and some of the funniest deadpan dialog deliveries ever recorded on video. It's impossible to single out a cast member because they all make important contributions, even the guys who walk on for a line or two. Watching them in sequence does maintain some continuity of narrative but you'll find yourself returning to some special favorites. The bring your daughter to work episode brings out the absurdity of the whole practice while delivering some of the best laughs of the whole series. BUY THIS!!!
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61 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Burnsy on September 22, 2004
Format: DVD
Simply put: The best new sitcom to hit the small screen since Curb Your Enthusiasm. This is clearly the best that network television has to offer, a refreshing change from the cookie-cutter "dysfunctional family" or "oversexed pals" sitcoms that have been shoved down our throats for the last decade.

AD features what is, far and away, the most original and imaginiative group of characters in TV history. While credit goes to the creators for that, it is the actors that truly make these characters work. The show is perfectly casted, with Will Arnett (GOB) and David Cross (Tobias) particularly shining. Jason Bateman has revived his career as Michael, best described as the least crazy one.

The poster who compared AD to Malcom in the Middle is off his/her rocker, and those who compare this show to Scrubs do it a great disservice. Scrubs, which I love, doesn't have the same creativity behind its plots; it's also much more jokey. AD is much more subtle and creative - and, in the ultimate compliment to a sitcom - even has shades of Seinfeld, where several plot lines will tie in at the end. Still, the show maintains its own identity, mixing original characters, witty dialogue and sometimes outrageous stories to perfection.

Through only one season, AD has quickly become one of my three favorite shows ever. The DVD is a no-brainer, day-of-release purchase that may even force me to use a vacation day...
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By David on August 31, 2004
Format: DVD
There isn't a series on television (comedy or drama) that surpasses the consistent level of quality achieved by "Arrested Development." A casual viewer can enjoy an episode as a standalone presentation, but loyal (and attentive) fans are rewarded with astoundingly funny story arcs and inside jokes.

For the price, even a simple compilation of the first 22 episodes (without any bonus material) would be a bargain. Instead, we're being treated to a top-notch assortment (16:9 aspect ratio, deleted/extended segments, interviews, commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage and even the ability to listen to 29 original songs by David Schwartz).

For established fans, this is a dream collection. For the uninitiated, this is a golden opportunity to see what you've been missing. Either way, the decision to purchase this DVD set should be a no-brainer.
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56 of 64 people found the following review helpful By J. Allen on August 3, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Fox finally gets it right for the first time in years and renews a show that deserves all the support it can get. This show can be considered an acquired taste initially, but one could say the same for other classic shows such as Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. The pacing and narrative are different from what is typically served up on TV, so it may take some time to adjust to the quirkiness of the show...let it sneak up on you as the episodes progress, and you will be genuinely surprised at how clever and laugh-out-loud funny this show truly is. I just wish Jason Bateman had made the cut for a Best Comedic Actor Emmy, as his work is surprisingly excellent and crucial towards grounding the rest of the loopy family members (all of them great as well) in something resembling reality, unlike the Jack & Karen slapstick nonsense in Will & Grace. Great stuff!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Aaron on September 16, 2004
Format: DVD
Arrested Development is currently THE funniest and smartest show on television. The writing is razor sharp, the pacing just perfect and the cast!! Perfectly cast and brillianly acted, this show is just to good for regular television which may explain the lackluster ratings. It's too cool and smart for average viewers weened on formulaic pap usually found on sitcoms. BUT-kudos to FOX for renewing the program for another season. If you have'nt seen it, pick up this set and immerse yourself in it. Then start watching and supporting this great show. I have neglected to describe the show's premise because one of the joys of it is to become acquainted with the large ensemble cast and get hooked on the show, and you will. This show will become a classic!
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Wheelchair Assassin on January 3, 2005
Format: DVD
As reality TV continues rearing its ugly head on every major network, Arrested Development has arrived at just the right time for those of us itching for something intelligent to come over the airwaves. With corporate malfeasance (rightly or wrongly) assuming so much of the public spotlight over the past several years, Arrested Development casts a light on the people behind such shady goings on, and in this case the picture is not pretty. It's loosely classifiable as a sitcom, but Arrested Development is shot with more of a documentary/reality show style, giving it a distinctive look and feel that you just won't find in most of network TV's decidedly formulaic fare. Not since The Simpsons was in its prime about a decade or so has a show so effortlessly balanced wit, randomness, and unapologetic vulgarity (as of this writing, rumors that The Simpsons is still on have yet to be substantiated).

At the center of everything is Jason Bateman as genial widower Michael Bluth, the one sane member of a wealthy but deeply dysfunctional family, charged with holding it together after his corrupt father's incarceration. It's not easy, as Michael is surrounded by a collection of screwballs the likes of which you can scarcely imagine. Fortunately, the characters on Arrested Development are far more than just zany caricatures; they're all brilliantly drawn and distinctive, aided by some masterful performances from the show's cast. Yes, they're all isolated from reality and toxically self-absorbed, but the Bluth family still manages to come across as sympathetic. Michael's twin sister Lindsay (Portia de Rossi, who rarely fails to make my eyeballs bulge) is a pretentious "liberal activist" whose advocacy of fashionable causes is in sharp contrast to her vanity and terrible parenting.
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are this the old box sets or the new ones
So the new "sets" are simply 3 separate clear cases for each season? That's what I received in the mail today, and I was curious whether this is how it's supposed to look. Usually when you buy a complete set of something, there's at least a cardboard sleeve or something to keep the 3... Read More
Dec 9, 2009 by Mama Bear |  See all 6 posts
29.99 Today?
The Gold Box deal in December 2007 for the "Arrested Development - The Complete Seasons" set was $29.99. The Gold Box deal on December 16, 2008, was for $28.99, but it sold out early, which was predictable.

If you saw other Amazon prices/deals for $29.99, please do post a link here,... Read More
Dec 17, 2008 by John Williamson |  See all 5 posts
price went up?!?!
It's amazing to me that you can buy all 3 seasons individually for $61--Amazon even recommends this when you look at an individual season--but the price for the set is currently $67.99. What the heck?!?!?!
Mar 3, 2009 by Ted |  See all 12 posts
This deal is incredible.
I had a quick question. Does this deal send all three seasons in one box set or each individual season?
Dec 1, 2007 by Kosta |  See all 7 posts
Arrested Development: CC or HOH?
Inventor, thank you for the info. I'm not HOH but I use CC because sometimes I don't understand a word or two - CC is very helpful.
Nov 1, 2011 by dee |  See all 7 posts
Warring not from children under 10 Be the first to reply
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