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Arrested Development Still Growing

Molly Griffin | Tuesday, October 11, 2005

“Arrested Development,” a critical darling that spent its first two years as a show one step away from cancellation, has made it to its third season. While its precarious renewal status still remains, the quality of the show has not diminished. Continually proving itself as one of the funniest and best-written shows on television, the show’s third season looks to potentially be one of its best.

The show follows the adventures of the Bluth family, a self-indulgent, wealthy family whose fortunes take a downward turn after their company is busted for questionable accounting practices. Michael (Jason Bateman) is the only responsible family member who not only must pick up the shattered pieces of the business, but also has to hold together the eccentric who make up his family. These include his spoiled sister Lindsay (Portia de Rossi), his incompetent magician brother Gob (Will Arnett), his sheltered brother Buster (Tony Hale), his frigid mother Lucille (Jessica Walter) and his imprisoned father George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor), all while raising his clueless son George Michael (Michael Cera.)

The third season looks to be highly entertaining, if its first three episodes are any indication. The first episode of the season, “The Cabin Show,” finds Michael Bluth back in charge of the Bluth company.

Things seem to be going smoothly, which is usually just a set up for more insane events on “Arrested Development.” He gets news that the company’s stock has been upgraded from “Sell! Sell! Sell!” to “Don’t Buy” by financial advisor Jim Cramer. He attempts to take his son to the family cabin and somehow ends up in Reno, Nev. George Michael and Maeby, who are cousins, are reeling from the kiss they shared last season, and Lindsay searches for Tobias. Gob discovers that he has a long-lost son, Steve Holt. Proving that some things never change, Lucille and Buster are at odds with each other, and George Sr. and his twin brother Oscar have switched places in prison.

In the next episode, “The British Bombshell,” Michael asks his father to plead guilty to save money on attorney fees, but his father instead proclaims his innocence and declares that he was set up by an underground British group. To ameliorate this situation, Michael goes to Britain and meets a woman, Rita, whom he asks on a date. Lindsay gets charged for her time when she flirts with the family’s attorney, and Gob uses his magic in a bold attempt to get out of spending time with is newfound son.

“Forget Me Now” finds Michael lying to Rita about having a family, a fib that blows up on him when the rest of the family brings her to a party in an attempt to surprise him. Their ineptitude leads to such things as giving Rita a “forget me now,” a pill that magicians use when someone learns how a trick is done, which is also known as a “roofie.” Lindsay works as a nanny for the attorney on whom she has a crush, and George Sr. tries to escape from prison.

If the plotlines introduced in these three shows continue, and if the show continues what was started in the first two seasons, this season should prove to be just as wacky and well-written as anything else on TV.

The show can seem complicated because it references past episodes and switches between characters quickly, but after a few episodes it makes perfect sense, regardless of the irrational behavior of the characters.

“Arrested Development” can be seen on Fox every Monday at 8 p.m.