Flawless TV episodes: Pilot, Arrested Development

Muslim Taseer talks us through his pick of a perfect TV show episode

Muslim Taseer
3rd May 2020
This is my second attempt at the flawless episodes article, after me and another writer unknowingly picked the same episode, 'Ozymandias', so make sure to read Tom Moorcroft's take on it, as it is no doubt a flawless episode.

My second choice would have to be the Pilot for Arrested Development. Arrested Development is without a doubt one of the best American comedies ever made, and its pilot is flawless in how it sets up the series. It does this by introducing us to all the characters in the amazingly dysfunctional Bluth family, a wealthy, Royal-Tenenbaums-esque family of businessmen and socialites, showcasing the quirks that will get us to love them as characters later on.

You've got Micheal Bluth, the straight man, constantly let down by a family he works tirelessly for. His father, George Bluth, the domineering businessman patriarch of the family who may have committed some *light* treason. His mother, Lucille Bluth, the cold, unlovingly narcissistic alcoholic matriarch. Then you've got the siblings, His twin sister Lindsay, an "activist" who is really just incredibly vain, Her husband Tobias Funke, an unwitting doctor who has recently lost his medical license. Their elder brother GOB, a dimwit magician constantly in the shadow of his younger brother, like Fredo from The Godfather, and lastly the literal baby of the family, Buster, a perpetual Mother-boy who just isn't... right. Oh and there's also George Micheal, Micheal's son who is in love with his cousin, Lindsay's daughter Maeby.

It's perfectly well written and acted, squeezing in comedic material in every possible second

This wide cast of characters centers around Micheal who is perhaps the only "normal" person in the family, the straight man who reacts to the utter selfishness and stupidity exhibited by the members of the Bluth family. The episode does a perfect job of introducing everyone and showcasing the character traits that fuel the humorous situations they find themselves in. It's perfectly well written and acted, squeezing in comedic material in every possible second. This dense writing is a hallmark of the series, and lends it unending rewatch-ability , since you always miss a few jokes the first time.

The direction is remarkable too, with the episode being directed by the Russo Brothers of MCU fame. It won 2 Emmy's for outstanding comedy and writing, and was critically acclaimed by critics. The perfect setup for one of the cleverest, best-written comedy series ever, which was sadly cancelled after its first 3 seasons due to low ratings, which is honestly a better piece of evidence for the theory that the average American is a dullard than anything else I've heard.

Featured image: YouTube

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