It’s the holidays…again…and in the midst of all the typical crap like breaking out the decorations for the house and erecting the false trees or buying the real ones and scrambling to get out the Christmas cards to people we don’t ever talk to anymore, we here at the Sewer are once again taking stock of the many gifts we’ve gotten from the movies over the years and celebrating them in the form of our own demented little Christmas carol we like to call the 12 Days of CHUDmas.
Over the next 12 days we’re going to be counting down – in reverse order, cause screw the original carol, counting up sucks – these gifts and tying in the entries with some gift ideas to help take the sting out of that last minute trip to the store to snag something for that cousin who decided to be a considerate douche and send you a present after five years of non-communication.
On the ninth day of CHUDmas my true CHUD sent to me…
Nine Bluths Arrested
Film: Arrested Development (2003–2006)
Director: Mitchell Hurwitz
On November 2, 2003, we first heard child-actor-turned-good-director-turned-bad-director Ron Howard’s delightful narration waft from our television sets, letting us know that we were about to see “the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.” And life suddenly became a minimum of 14% better in every way for everyone watching.
Mining entertainment, both comic and dramatic, from the dynamics and infighting of dysfunctional families was nothing new in 2003. Not even the infighting of wealthy dysfunctional families. But the Bluth family was really something else. Using Howard’s meta narration and a cheekily inconsistent and implausible “documentary” format, Hurwitz was able to pace his show at a breakneck speed, which allowed him to cram in an almost dizzying amount of farce and other shenanigans into each episode, which in turn allowed the Bluths to cycle through more backstabbing in one episode than most shows could get through in four. These people were awful selfish stupid disasters, on a varying scale of competency. And mesmerizing; most lovable when at their worst. In fact, the key to the show’s tone was that our “moral center,” Michael (Jason Bateman), only thought he was better than his petty family, even though episode after episode saw him compromise, lie and screw-up for his own selfish reasons. Only perpetually unfortunate George Michael (Michael Cera) could hold his head high with any semblance of good intentions.
The show’s influence runs deep in the industry, its quotes and memes are part of our daily lives, and the majority of the cast has become ever-present in films and on TV. Some may bemoan Michale Cera’s existence now, but all can agree that the world is a better place with Will Arnett in it and with Jason Bateman finally getting his due. I am of the small camp that think three seasons was an ideal number for the show, going out on top and now existing as a perfect capsule of flawless comedy television. But those who disagree with me have the upcoming Netflix original run of a fourth season to look forward to (full details still pending) and the increasingly real reality of a movie adaptation. To those who somehow still haven’t experienced the brilliance of the Bluths, I say…
CHUDmas Gift Ideas