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Customer Review

270 of 277 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Funniest TV Comedies (Complete), November 8, 2006
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This review is from: Arrested Development: The Complete Series (Seasons 1-3 Bundle) (DVD)
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT's rocky history is well known. Loved by critics and its fans, it fought to find an audience, and its final season was a short affair. However, the ride from the shows premier (included uncensored and expanded along with the aired version) to its conclusion (and, YES, it has a conclusion) is hilarious and worth many returns. There are so many jokes and resonating gags that multiple viewings are REQUIRED, but your first visit to the world of the spoiled Bluth family will be a reward for unfamiliar viewers.

Here are three seasons of laughs. The series begins with the arrest of the Bluth patriarch and continues as the clan's only responsible member, Michael (portrayed by Jason Bateman), tries to keep the family's business afloat while his mother, siblings, and other family members selfishly grab for every freebie and dollar. His mother, Lucille, is a cold, controlling alcoholic whose loyalty to her family keeps her one step from pure villainy. His siblings include an older brother, Gob, a magician (of little skill), a younger brother, Buster, a mama's boy who eventually loses a body part to a nasty seal, and a sister whose marriage is ... complicated. Throw in a long-suffering son infatuated with his cousin and an uncle who is the twin of his father, and you can see how complicated Michael's life becomes.

Not your average family, not your average TV comedy (this is NOT a sitcom performed live in front of a studio audience but is filmed more like a documentary with the camera floating around like an unseen voyeur -- think the old comedy series SOAP updated a la THE OFFICE). The jokes come fast and furious. It's all absurd and incredibly entertaining.

For the record, the series is presented widescreen, and there are deleted scenes and audio commentaries for selected episodes. To tell you the truth, I haven't even skimmed these extras, but I have watched the series in its entirety far too many times to disclose without embarrassing myself. It's too bad that ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT didn't achieve the ratings necessary to keep it afloat, but it has more laughs than comedies that lasted twice as long.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 26, 2010 5:34:38 AM PDT
M. D. Hakimi says:
This show is the best!

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 10:54:02 AM PST
SunDevilZac says:
Well said. Hilarious show. I sometimes think the comedy was too sophisticated for most viewers, as they probably were looking for something more lowbrow.

Posted on Dec 24, 2010 12:07:49 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 24, 2010 12:08:47 AM PST
T. Catlin says:
You mention that the jokes come fast and furious, but I want to add that they also come deep. Sometimes jokes are funny for the moment, but another layer of the joke is funny because it is the punchline of a joke set up 3 or 4 episodes prior and still the same joke may be a set-up for a punchline a few episodes in the future. Setups, executions, and punchlines in this fashion are commonplace for this show. It may have died young, but it will have doubtlessly have inspired future generations of comedy. Don't miss this, satisfying laughs like this show provides are worth their weight in gold.

Posted on Jul 20, 2012 7:31:40 AM PDT
Sharklady says:
You gave an excellent review of this show; however, I am now watching season 3 and can barely get through it. The jokes have become old, stale and repetitive. It "jumped the shark" when Buster lost his hand. It's sad, too, because this show started off great, but I see why it was cancelled. Justin Bateman and the rest of the cast were incredible but the writing got too stupid to be funny.

Posted on May 25, 2013 2:01:16 PM PDT
R. Scott says:
One of the greatest shows of all time; I definitely liked the "SOAP a la THE OFFICE" analogy (well put, citing two other benchmarks of high-quality TV series)
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