:: Friday, February 10, 2006 ::
Bye bye, Bluths
The cast of 'Arrested Development'
Tonight, while many of you will be watching the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics, I'll be bidding a sad farewell to my favorite dysfunctional TV family ever, the Bluths. Tonight, Fox will air the final four episodes of its critically acclaimed sitcom Arrested Development. After tonight, the three-year-old saga of the Bluth family will go into TV oblivion, or to Showtime, which is about the same thing.

I know that some of the episodes this year have been a bit off the mark. But not many. The love story between Michael Bluth and the Charlize Theron character was classic comedy of errors stuff, and the family's antics with Bob Loblaw (played by Scott Baio -- yes, I said Scott Baio) also rate high on the funny meter. The wordplay and clever writing on this show have made it so great. But even with the additions of Charlize Theron and Scott Baio, season three just hasn't had the same mojo as the first two seasons. (Part of that may have to do with Fox's jerking it around so much, pulling it for some other asinine series, "Prison Break," that stuck around about as long as NBC's Book of Daniel.) Even so, according to this, tonight's four episodes -- back to back beginning at 7 p.m. CST on Fox -- should be worth watching.

Here's a little sneak preview (spoiler alert):
Frankly, the mind boggles at what the creators of "Arrested" could get away with on pay cable. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

As it is, Friday's episodes, in which Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) continues to try to get his father, George, out of his many legal troubles, offer a truly twisted array of comedic gems. Reinhold appears in the first episode as the host of a syndicated courtroom show, and "American Idol's" Hung performs the music on Reinhold's program, as part of the Hung Jury band.

In the second episode, Justine Bateman, sister of Jason, plays a woman who could be a long-lost Bluth family member, and longtime Chicago actor Gary Cole turns up later as a CIA officer tracking the activities of the Bluths in Iraq. The best cameo comes from, no joke, one of the stars of a Dick Wolf procedural drama. It'd be churlish to ruin that surprise, but I can say this: It involves scrapbooking.

Procedural dramas themselves come in for some needling: Bluth's clueless brother-in-law, Tobias Funke (David Cross), an aspiring actor, thinks he has gotten an audition for a crime show when "the prosecution" calls him for an interview.

Told of the lawyers' attempt to lure in Tobias, Michael mutters, "These guys will bend the law to uphold the law."

"Tell me that's not a CBS franchise," Tobias replies.

I'm really, really going to miss this show.

, , , ,

:: Andrew 07:12 + ::

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