Your Arrested Development Brushup Guide
The cast and crew of Arrested Development—the cancelled-too-young ensemble comedy which, by some grace of God (Gob?), is returning for a new season to be dropped on Netflix in one 10-episode behemoth of an installment, reported to begin shooting the episodes recently. In honor of the fact that Arrested is actually for real this time coming back, we thought we’d revisit the show’s 10 primary characters and figure out what the actors have been doing since the show’s demise.
Michael Bluth in Two Sentences: Michael Bluth is the Straight Man, the Family Man, the Every Man, and the Man Who Might Think a Bit Too Much of Himself for His Own Good, all at the same time. He’s also simultaneously a good father and an image of his own mediocre father, the only glue holding the family together (or maybe not), and comfortable enough with his image to routinely drive the Bluth Stair Car around town (though one must watch out for hop-ons, obviously).
Since the End of AD: Jason Bateman has enjoyed Hollywood success aplenty, including last year’s Horrible Bosses and its just-announced sequel. He was also super-creepy in Juno alongside Michael Cera.
Michael’s Best Moment came early in the show’s run when he was ending a relationship. As the girl turns and walks away he calls her name longingly (Jessie …), but when she turns and responds, he simply says he was just, you know, kind of saying her name as she walked away. Classic Michael in every sense.
George Michael in Two Sentences: George Michael loves his family, especially his cousin. George Michael also rooms with Tobias for a while and sees more of Tobias than even Tobias is comfortable seeing.
Since the End of AD: Michael Cera’s probably been the busiest of the bunch, from appearing in 2007’s Superbad and Juno and 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World to starting something of a music career. Also he looks more or less the same as George Michael did eight years ago (OK, he’s a bit cooler now).
George Michael’s Best Moment is simply the best way to sum up his entire character (in only several seconds and without words).
Buster in Two Sentences: Buster is the youngest Bluth sibling and has something of an Oedipus-type thing going on with his mother, Lucille. He also has a brief stint with the Army, alludes to his less-than-normal private parts regularly, has a romantic relationship with another old woman named Lucille, and loses his hand to a loose seal (not to be confused with Lucille or Lucille 2).
Since the End of AD: Tony Hale currently appears on HBO’s Veep (along with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who appeared in several episodes of Arrested).
Buster’s Best Moment: Hey, brother!
George Bluth Sr.
George Sr. in Two Sentences: George Senior is the sometimes-incarcerated patriarch of the Bluth family, guilty of some “light treason” as well as being a pretty lousy father and producing and selling a deathtrap of a deep-frying contraption called “The Cornballer.” George Sr. undergoes several religious awakenings while in prison and ends up in Cabo with Michael and George Michael at the series’ conclusion.
Since the End of AD: Jeffrey Tambor has been doing the “small roles in pretty much every movie” thing, but the only essential viewing is his turn in Hellboy II: The Golden Army. It’s a great movie, and his small performance is a real treat.
George Sr.’s Best Moment is in a first-season conversation with Buster in which we find out how the family patriarch really feels about his youngest son (who, spoiler alert, is actually his twin brother Oscar’s son, but we all kind of knew that anyway). The ultimate AD put-down, and one of the more heavily recycled lines since the show’s conclusion.
Maeby in Two Sentences: Maeby is the test-tube daughter of Tobias and Lindsay and earned a “Crocodile” in spelling at a progressive Boston school. She generally goes as far out of her way as possible to do the opposite of what her parents are doing (going as far as to plant a fat smooch on a stunned George Michael’s lips, which they both secretly enjoy anyway).
Since the End of AD: Alia Shawkat has been relatively quiet with a few appearances in film here and there and is talking to HBO about potential show-writing opportunities.
Maeby’s Best Moment was a doozy: In an effort to pocket some extra dough, Maeby creates a twin alter ego who suffers from some disorder called BS and wheels herself around her school asking for donations. As far as morally corrupt Bluth family members go, Maeby’s pretty high up on the list.
Tobias in Two Sentences: Tobias is, without a shred of doubt, the best character on Arrested Development. Also, he’s a “Never Nude,” which is exactly what it sounds like.
Since the End of AD: David Cross has done a little bit of everything. He released his third comedy special, Bigger and Blackerer, a few years back, appeared in all three of the live-action Alvin and the Chipmunks movies (unabashedly for the scratch, though he’d chalk up the third movie [Chipwrecked] as one of his worst life experiences), and even enjoyed a bump of coke at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (just to “say that I did it”).
Tobias’s Best Moment is, not surprisingly, the hardest one to pick. Every second spent with Tobias during the show’s run is a gem, whether as a member of the Blue Man Group (kind of), pretending to be a cat to sneak around in someone’s house, or accidentally becoming a best-selling gay author. As for the best, though, it’s a simple physical gag that’s probably my favorite scene in the entire show: Tobias, as Mrs. Featherbottom, takes a tumble.
Lucille in Two Sentences: Lucille is the brains behind every misdoing and infraction throughout the Bluth Company, and is by and large the craziest nut in the bunch. She’s got something of a heart in her chest, it seems, but from blaming the near-murder of one son (GOB) on another (Michael) to regularly calling her daughter variations of “fat,” that something of a heart might be strictly utilitarian.
Since the End of AD: Jessica Walter has voiced Malory Archer on FX’s Archer as well as appearing as an attorney in an SVU ep.
Lucille’s another tough character to pick a best scene for, but I think her Best Moments are whenever she finds herself in the same room as family private dick Gene Parmesan. I wish anything in life made me squeal like this.
Lindsay in Two Sentences: Lindsay is the (adopted!) sister of GOB, Michael, and Buster, and has largely succeeded in life on her charm and looks (or so she says). She also thinks she’s an activist but has a penchant for acting on both sides of heated issues, and once tried to date a homeless man who turned out to be an actor playing a homeless man while her husband was covered in diamond paint (or something like that).
Since the End of AD: Portia de Rossi got married to Ellen DeGeneres in California and it was really nice and the world didn’t stop spinning yet. Just saying.
Lindsay’s Best Moment is more of a defining moment for her character: In the series’ pilot episode, Lindsay attempts to show emotion and shed tears, and the results are outrageous. Such a difficulty with standard emotions and societal convention will continue to be the name of the Bluth sister’s game.
GOB in Two Sentences: GOB is the oldest Bluth sibling, rides around on a Segway, and is regularly both a sleaze and a pretty decent guy. He used to work for a male stripper troupe called Hot Cops and is a fantastically bad magician (though he’s blacklisted from the Alliance of Magicians so the point is moot anyway).
Since the End of AD: Will Arnett has become a dad (twice!) with Amy Poehler as well as appearing in several smaller movie roles and NBC’s Up All Night.
Are we really going to debate the Best Moment of the guy wearing the $9,000 dollar suit? COME ON!