For many, the Bluth family is as important and recognizable of a family as the Simpsons, the Jeffersons or that family from Dallas (I never watched it nor intend to). Either way, my point is that "Arrested Development," in just three seasons and fifty-three episodes, became one of the most well-loved and respected shows of all time. It's a shame that Mitchell Hurwitz hasn't been able to put out anything else nearly as important as this show in the wake of its cancellation. His new shows simply illuminate how amazing "Arrested Development" was.
The pilot does everything a good pilot should do, and maybe a little more. Right off the bat, we jump into the thick of everything and meet the main characters: The Bluth's. There's Michael Bluth, the most normal of the group and the one who basically, as the credits will eventually explain) holds everyone together. He has a son named George Michael who has a crush on his cousin Maeby and a child-like sense of wonder about him (Jason Bateman and Michael Cera play the roles respectively). There's Gob (a.k.a George Oscar Bluth, pronounced "jobe," played hilariously by Will Arnett)the oldest son and aspiring magician. Next is Lindsey Bluth, now Lindsey Funke (Portia de Rossi), an arrogant woman who is married to a psychiatrist turned actor, Tobias Funke (David Cross in his best role to date). Their daughter is Maeby, George Michael's crush, and is also disgusted with her parents. The youngest Bluth is Buster (Tony Hale), a panic attack prone mama's boy who takes useless classes. Then there's the mother and father: Lucille, whoi drinks a lot and sort of dislikes her children and George Bluth, father and CEO of Bluth company, which in thepilot, is caught by the S.E.C for an unknown crime.
For any big fans of the show, the above premise is likely old news and pointless to read, but for newbies, it's a sign of how intricate the family tree is and how closely they pay attention to each and every character, joke and plot point. The pilot, perhaps not the funniest episode the show has ever done, is certainly a perfect indication of what to expect from the show. In a very Curb Your Enthusiasm-ish way, each plot point has a savvy way of tying together in the end. The pilot focuses mainly on the Bluth company holding a party on their yacht to celebrate George Bluth's retirement and announcement of a new boss. Michael Bluth believes he'll get the job because he's proven himself to be the most loyal (him and his son live in one of the model homes they're selling, where everything is fake and falls apart easy). Meanwhile, Maeby feels isolated and ignored by her family, and in a ploy to get their attenion, makes out with George Michael, her cousin, which makes George Michael go insane. Gob wants to impress a magic group , the Alliance of Magicians, so he prepares a trick (scratch that.. an illusion!) to perform. Tobias has been fired as a psychiatrist and accidently ends up on a gay pride boat, where he realizes that he wants to pursue an acting career. Every single character is given a background, a unique personality with unique traits and ends up having a huge impact on the outcome of the episode.
Here, we're seeing the Bluths for the first time and it's a fantastic way to begin the show. Season 2 is still my favorite, but then again, I don't think there's really a bad episode of "Arrested Development."