Arrested Development is a television sitcom produced in America which was created by Mitchell Hurwitz. The first three seasons of the series were broadcast on Fox network (2003-2006) but, due to lowered ratings – in spite of its cult following among fans – they decided to cancel it. The actors starring in the series tried to prevent the sitcom’s canceling, but to no avail. However, to everyone’s surprise and pleasure, the series’ creators announced that new episodes of Arrested Development are in production for 2013, to air on Netflix. A film starring the characters from the sitcom was also reportedly in production yet, due to the lack of finance and the actors’ other engagements the project is indeterminately shelved.
Arrested Development presents the lives and comical life situations of the Bluth family, a dysfunctional family made up of quirky, even deranged members. Formerly wealthy and famous, the Bluth family now struggles with a collapsing business that the only seemingly normal member, Michael Bluth, tries to keep afloat. Other member include his son George (Michael Cera) and Michael’s own brothers and sisters Gob (Will Arnett), Lindsay Funke (Portia de Rossi) and her husband Tobias Funke (David Cross), brother Byron “Buster” Bluth (Tony Hale) and their respective parents, George Bluth Sr. (Jeffery Tambor) and Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter).
While it received critical approval and a cult following, the poor ratings led Fox to the decision of canceling the show. Apparently, the idea of the show came to Ron Howard, who imagined a comedy series in the style of a reality show. Later on he met with other writers and producers, including Mitchell Hurwitz. Ron Howard would subsequently take on the part of the narrator for the series, setting up events and character focus. An interesting aspect of the sitcom’s producing is the use of several techniques that are used in reality television, though even there rarely. Cutaway gags, on-location shooting, videotaping with multiple cameras, website screenshots and flashbacks were all used to parody American reality TV but also to create the feeling of actual events and people appearing in the series.
With quirky, daring and even exaggerated humor, Arrested Development managed to be a fresh comedy that parodied a ”riches to rags” American family who struggle to manage living with a lot less than what they were used to, which, of course, leads to comical situations and, most of all, embarrassing for those involved.