Arrested Development Season Two
Starring: Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter
Series Creator: Mitchell Hurwitz
I finally, FINALLY got around to seeing the second season of Arrested Development, after falling in love with the first. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to watch it, it’s just that after it was cancelled, catching up on season two became less of a priority. As it stands, I finished just in time to catch season three on DVD.
When it comes to Arrested Development, I objectively believe it had too short a run to truly call it the Best TV Show EVER. However, after having seen 44 episodes of it, I’m starting to think that if it had the been given the chance, the potential was certainly there. Because I can’t think of another show I’ve ever watched that was consistently this laugh-out-loud funny. The entire cast is brilliant, the humour relentless, and the set up and scenarios as fresh and original as anything I can remember from network sitcoms.
As with the first season, the standout in the cast is Will Arnett as the deliciously thick GOB. Manipulative, greedy, needy, and completely clueless, GOB is the butt of the majority of the jokes, yet plays it straight-faced and eager. The Emmy folks have one last chance to reward him for his comedic brilliance, which means that they won’t. Someone get this guy a new TV show, stat! If for no other reason than providing him a venue for his chicken dance.
I think the biggest differences between season two and one were the roles of Jason Bateman‘s Michael Bluth and Jeffrey Tambor‘s dual roles of George Sr and Oscar. Tambor’s change is the most obvious, not only having to play the Bluth twin brothers for most of the season (as opposed to a couple episodes of season one), but was also no longer in prison. Which I think was a minus for the show. There was some funny bits with George Sr this season, but nothing like his bits at the Orange County Prison.
Michael’s change was a little more subtle, but more effective comedy-wise. In the first season, Michael was the island of sanity in the sea of crazy known as the Bluth family. He was the good son in this family of terrors, selflessly putting aside his desires to do right by the family and his son George Michael (the note-perfect Michael Cera). This season, Michael is more distracted, less virtuous, and, thus, more funny. I’d say my favourite recurring bit of the season was Michaels’ treatment of George Michael’s relationship with Ann (Mae Whitman), because my sense of humour is just twisted enough to find endless amusement in the idea of making fun of a teenaged girl for being plain. You don’t really get that enough from the supposedly likable protagonists of shows anymore (it’s usually reserved for meanies).
I will admit that not all the jokes work, particularly in the case of David Cross‘ Tobias Fünke who is hit-or-miss throughout the season. Still, I’d rather watch this show more than almost any other sitcom I can think of, and if I didn’t already think so little about the tastes of the television-viewing masses (c’mon people, how many shows do we need about crime fighting specialists collecting evidence?), I’d wonder what the hell was wrong with people who didn’t watch this show.