Dear Arrested Development,
Oh, how I’ve missed you. The last time I experienced the joy of one of your absurdly hilarious episodes was back in 2005, during your third and seemingly final season. It was a lifetime ago. The world was a much different place. Michael Cera was a prepubescent boy, Portia de Rossi was living life WITHOUT Ellen (how is that even possible…?) and Jason Bateman had yet to claim his role as one of the comedy kings of Hollywood. However, much to my excitement and utter disbelief, you’re back in action with a fourth season! Check out the chill-inducing preview here:
In preparation for your momentous return (May 26th, exclusively on Netflix), I figured it would be fitting to take a trip down memory lane. Let’s reminisce on each character’s role and shining moments.
Michael, your sanity and general sense of responsibility provided a breath of fresh air on the show. You continuously brought us back to the real world, outside of the Bluth family, where moral people actually exist.
HOWEVER, let’s not forget that you have some Bluth-nuttiness in you as well. Let me bring your attention to the Rita Leeds incident. Drawing a blank? It was that time you fell in love with a mentally disabled girl and didn’t even realize it. Yep, you convinced yourself that she, indeed, was an Olympic Silver Medalist and that she was a kindergarten teacher instead of a kindergarten student herself.
We forgive you because: 1) A British accent does make everything sound intelligent (even “Boo-boo man”) 2) Charlize Theron is beautiful 3) Some might classify her style as quirky or an attempt to be original (especially in these modern times). And of course, we are proud of you because it was one of the first real moments that you were forced to accept your Bluthdom.
Nevertheless, did it really have to come to George Michael showing you the Rita-eating-plastic-fruit video? Come on Michael, don’t let this happen again. We’re hoping for some mentally able women in your future.
Lindsay Bluth Fünke:
Lindsay, I’ve truly missed your interesting charity events, questionable fashion choices and hands-off approach to parenting.
One of your greatest philanthropic endeavors was the H.O.O.P. (Hands Off Our Penises) anti-circumcision movement that you led. Your hard work and dedication for this cause really exhibited your strong sense of morality and selflessness. This was, by no means, an attempt to raise your social standings. You really know how to get to the root of some of society's greatest problems.
ALSO, I want to commend you for having my most favorite “chicken sound”…in the world. Gob ain’t got nothing on you.
I can’t wait to see what your charitable heart and great motherly instincts will bring us this season.
*Cue Final Countdown instrumental* Gob Bluth—the man, the myth, the (ever-failing) magician. You’ve never failed to disappoint, and I mean that as a compliment. You’re hated by your mother, completely ignored by your father, and continuously scorned by your brother. You’re probably the outcast of the family, although the term doesn’t mean much in the Bluth household. Oh Gob, you want to be the best even though you are clearly the worst. And for that, we can't help but love you. Even Buster might be more capable than you.
Your never-ending slew of magic tricks gone terribly wrong was one of my favorite parts of the show. But I must say, it was your attempts at puppeteering that really won my heart. Franklin Buth, your black ventriloquist doll, was the best friend you’ve ever had. The world just wasn’t ready for his edgy “racial humor”…maybe someday they’ll appreciate you, Gob.
Buster Bluth, the token deranged, mother-obsessed, hook-handed member of the family. You’re a sensitive and loving “guy,” Buster…and that is more than can be said for the rest of your family. At the end of the day, you’re the only family member who has never tried to sabotage a fellow Bluth through elaborate scheming and investigation (mainly because you don’t have the mental capacity to do so).
That being said, you’ve provided us with a fair share of entertaining moments. One of the most traumatic experiences of your life was one of the most hilarious moments on the show. That’s right, I’m talking about your transformation into hook-handed Buster (far superior to the original Buster, in my opinion). The horrific SEAL ATTACK. As if you didn’t feel rejected enough…now you have a metal hook for a left hand.
I get the feeling you were slowly starting to embrace your new metal-appendage:
You are a monster Buster, the very best kind.
George Bluth Sr:
The man behind the calamitous Bluth empire. Your dabblings in treason and innovative accounting techniques created the starting point for the entire show, and for that we are very thankful. I’ll try to forget the fact that you built houses in Iraq for Sadam Hussein…a small price to pay to support the Bluth family. Also, I’d like to take a moment and praise you for continuously working the system. I don’t know how many times you escaped prison and switched places with your brother Oscar but PROPS. The Bluths' fighting spirit had to originate somewhere.
Somehow, my favorite George Bluth moment came before you’d even created the Bluth Empire. I’m talking about your “Cornballer” invention. It was extremely dangerous, and illegal everywhere...but being the innovator that you are, you made it work.
ALSO, I will give you second place for your “chicken sound”…it is pretty epic.
Lucille Bluth, also known as the sassy, quite possibly alcoholic, matriarch of the Bluth family. Everything you say is just slightly passive aggressive. You don’t tolerate anything but luxury and around the clock attention (and access to alcohol). Some may call you the source of the Bluth corruption.
My favorite thing about you, Lucille, is your unwavering and stubborn sense of self. You have an interesting approach to the world. Instead of embracing foreign concepts and ideas, you simply ignore them. Hence, your favorite line: “I won’t hear it and I wont respond to it.” This line is often used as a response to any criticism directed at you. BUT one of my favorite moments is when you’re forced to interact with the proletariat during a fine dining experience at Klimpy’s. Instead of trying to understand this working-class world, you drop your favorite line:
You’re a wise woman, Lucille — (Faking) Ignorance is bliss.
George-Michael, you, much like your father, are as close as it gets to normal in the Bluth family. You live to please those around you…mainly Maeby. From the first episode, your outwardly creepy crush on your cousin Maeby was made clear. Even before you realized that you weren’t related — so, yeah, normal-ness is quite relative in this family.
Thus, your best moments are the ones spent with Maeby (mainly trying to impress her). Awkwardness ensues as you try to cope with the fact that she is dating other people who might be “gifted sexually," and you attempt to impress her through a not-so-subtle muscle suit.
I’m sincerely hoping you’ve stepped up your game since the third season, and that your family isn’t too shocked by this semi-incestuous love affair.
Maeby Funke, the successful movie executive, love-struck cousin and infamous con-artist. Unlike George-Michael, you are by no means obedient or striving to please the family.
Your most hilarious moments are usually involving some con-artist schemes or interactions with your incapable parents. Honestly, most of the time you’re doing the parenting. But if there is anything you have inherited from your mother, it is your charitable heart. You create an alter ego — Surely Funke (yep, I’m serious) — who is suffering from a terminal disease called “B.S.” It is an elaborate scheme to scam your classmates out of money, and it works wonderfully. George-Michael even, unintentionally, helps your cause.
I wonder what the diabolical mind of Maeby Funke will bring forth in the new season…?
Tobias Funke, I thought I’d save the very best for last. You are, I'll admit, my absolute favorite character on the show. Aspiring actor, analyst, therapist, analrapist…you do it all, don’t you Tobias? How do I even put my love for you into words…? Whether you’re playing “Frightened Inmate #2,” coping with your never-nude insecurities, or taking on the role of Mrs.Featherbottom… you never cease to amaze me.
It is hard to choose my favorite Tobias moments with your never-ending displays of genius — but the episode when you attempt to join the Blue Man Group might just be my favorite EVER. Firstly, you paint your entire body blue and attempt to camouflage with various objects. And secondly, you’ve forever justified my use of the (questionable) phrase “I’m afraid I just blue myself.”
ALSO, let’s not forget the debilitating hair transplants you received during season 3. You might’ve ended up on a wheelchair, with no feeling in your arm or leg — but it was totally worth it, right? Tobias, I hope you continue to raise awareness for the closeted-never-nude-aspiring-blue-men of the world.
I'll see you all Sunday!