InsidePulse DVD Review – Arrested Development – Season Two


Credit: Amazon.com

Arrested Development – Season 2.

With Arrested Development always on shaky legs, somehow the show maintained the highest level of quality, comedy, and acting in season two. Often, with the sophomore season, television shows lose something. In the case of Arrested, the second season was ‘full steam’ ahead, and brilliantly funny. Maybe the only problem was the lack of prison scenes, but that was quickly fixed by placing George Sr. in the attic.

Arrested has many levels, one of which is the confinement of characters. Every character is in some way confined, no one has complete freedom, and this confinement is what causes the characters to development. Whenever a character goes outside their arch, we are amazed and humored. This is just one of the endless themes in Arrested, which is truly a reason to tune in every week.

And now, onto the cast:

Jason Bateman …. Michael Bluth
Portia de Rossi …. Lindsay Bluth Fünke
Will Arnett …. George “Gob” Bluth II
Michael Cera …. George-Michael Bluth
Alia Shawkat …. Mae “Maeby” Fünke
Tony Hale …. Byron “Buster” Bluth
David Cross …. Tobias Fünke
Jeffrey Tambor …. George Bluth Sr./Oscar Bluth
Jessica Walter …. Lucille Bluth

Plus, the guest stars:

Henry Winkler …. Barry Zuckerkorn
Tom Jane …. Himself (as Eddy Yablans)
Ben Stiller …. Tony Wonder
Mae Whitman …. Ann Veal
Andy Richter …. Himself
Liza Minnelli …. Lucille Austero
Julia Louis-Dreyfus …. Maggie Lizer
Dave Attell …. Himself
Dan Castellaneta …. Dr. Stein
Zach Braff …. Phillip Litt
Judy Greer …. Kitty Sanchez

Honestly, its impossible for me to mention all the great moments in every episode of Arrested Development, so I will try to recap the overarching storyline of each episode and the Best Moment, in my opinion.

Disk One:

The One Where Michael Leaves: Season Two begins with the father, Michael, and son, George Michael, driving to Phoenix. Fresh start, that’s the idea! Yet, Michael is morbidly curious about his family. Michael wants his family to fail. Still, he also needs them. This episodes is all about establishing the family and Michael’s unity, no matter how shaky it is. Also, Lindsay and Tobias agree to an open marriage. Best Moment: Lucille signing Buster up for the army, a shot at Michael Moore.

The One Where They Build A House: Michael’s in legal hot water, and the company is in even more trouble. Michael has a plan to jump start the company, and GOB takes all the credit for it. This climaxes with Lucille and Oscar getting hot and heavy in the frame of a house which is supposed to be ‘solid as a rock.’ Best Moment: George Sr. being Arrested in Mexico for a crime his twin brother Oscar committed… Any idea which crime? Puff Puff.

Amigos: Somehow, the staircar ends up Mexico. This causes Michael to plan a road trip to Mexico, and he invites George Michael, who in turn invites Ann (Bland… Bland girl). All this causes GOB to hire a bounty hunted, Ice. Lindsay, hoping to take Ice for a ride, follows him to Mexico. Best Moment: Mexican’s using the staircar to jump the boarder! This episode is very funny!

Good Grief: An entire episode devoted to referencing Charlie Brown! This is what makes Arrested great! We find out George Sr. is dead (!), but really he is hiding in a hole near the model home. Words cannot describe how funny Good Grief is, and it is probably the best way to introduce someone to Arrested! Best Moment: Using Vince Guaraldi’s piano tune, “The frozen banana maker is OUT,” and the sad walk… Brilliant! Simply brilliant!

Sad Sack: The payoff in this episode is worth the mediocrity leading up to it. The majority of this episode is spent focusing on George Sr. and his obsession with getting Lucille back, in addition to Michael trying to stay out of jail. Best Moment: Tobias’ Sad Sack.

Afternoon Delight: An uncomfortable episode, but still funny! Both times ‘Afternoon Delight’ is sung, I laughed my ass off. GOB, unable to take a joke, fires the entire staff of The Bluff Company, during the annual Christmas Party. Michael has to wow them back, and Lucille gets high, very high. Best Moment: Oscar thinking Afternoon ‘Deelite’ is a rare strand of marijuana, not sex. Trust me guys, Deelite is quality weed. 

Disk Two:

Switch Hitter: The season stuffers a little here. This episode revolves around a company baseball game, and GOB leaving the Bluff Company for Sitwell Housing Inc. Lindsay begins to use anti-depressant, which evokes a strong sense of team spirit. Best Moment: GOB once again having a guy in his lap.

Queen for a Day: Another so-so episode. Lucille two returns, but Buster is taken. The Bluff Company stock becomes unfrozen, and everyone, including Michael, sell their stock. This causes Lucille two to become the majority owner of the company. Best Moment: Tobias buying a gay bar! Very funny!

Burning Love: Once again, a weak episode. Revolves around Michael’s new love interest: Sally Sitwell. GOB falls for Lucille two, and once again, Lucille one wants someone to buy her at the bachelorette auction. I disliked this episode, as it lacked focus and was not that funny. Still, a poor episode of Arrested Development is better then 95% of television.

Ready, Aim, Marry Me: Continuing the tend of mediocrity, this episode is simply below the standard Arrested has set. “Uncle Jack” appears, to save the company, but this episode is just poorly paced and really annoying. The “Uncle Jack” character is terrible, and really too over the top, even for Arrested. Flame me now! Best Moment: On the Next…Tobias listens to a day’s worth of his own words, to see what Michael was referring to, and he realized there is something distinct about the way he speaks… Pretty funny, I guess.

Out on a Limb: This episode gets the show back on track. Maggie Lizer’s return is both brilliant, and touching, as Michael is split between the selfish choice and the right choice. Maggie looks pregnancy, but we all know she lied before. Seeing the family rally behind Michael is interesting, and unique, as it rarely happens. Plus, Buster is nearly deployed to Iraq. Best Moment: An amazon.com search for child rearing yields 1,519 results. Really funny.

Hand to God: Primarily focused on Buster and his missing hand. The Seal, which ate Buster’s hand, was a side note in the previous episode. Meanwhile, Michael is searching out the truth about Maggie Lizer, Maeby continues struggling at the movie studio, and the cast members takes various shots at the Simpson’s. Best Moment: Buster’s welcome home sign is actually is the “You’re killing me, Buster” sign from the Amigos episode.

Disk Three:

Motherboy XXX: One of this seasons standout episodes. When Lucille feels ashamed of Buster, she recruits George Michael to attend Motherboy 30 (XXX). Motherboy is the annual mother-son dance, which Buster and Lucille are one of the legendary couples. Michael sees this a problem in this, and in a truly touching moment, Lucille gets past her prejudices about Buster’s deformity. Best Moment: Buster’s hand chair reminding him of something he just can’t put his finger on…

The Immaculate Election: Ann convinces George Michael to run for student council, and Michael asks his brother GOB to give George Michael a hand. GOB takes this chance to film a political propaganda video for George Michael’s campaign, and Ann quits George Michael’s campaign team and teams with Steve Holt! Best Moment: Tobias, debuting as Mrs. Featherbottom, singing: “When you put a squirt of frosting down your throat, before we take our medications.”

Sword of Destiny: GOB, trying to rebuild his shattered magicians career, invents a new illusion – The SWORD OF DESTINY. This trick just happens to involve Buster… well, his hand. Meanwhile, Tony Wonder, mentors GOB. Michael ends up in hospital, and Lindsay teaches George Michael to drive the staircar. Very funny Episode. Best Moment: A reference to Fox’s cutback of Arrest Development’s season two order, from 22 to 18 episodes.

Meet and Veals: An episode coated in social satire, with a pinch of religious humor. Ann becomes a main focus of this episode, as George Michael wants to give her a pre-engagement ring. Michael sees this as moving too fast (secretly, he hates Ann) and tries to use his family to scare away Ann and her family. A side plot involves George Sr. trying to kidnap Lucille, in order to renew their wedding vows. Best Moment: Tobias, as Mrs. Featherbottom, wearing a Bush/Cheney 2000 sweatshirt.

Spring Breakout: Lucille drinking is out of control, GOB is chasing the producer of “Girls with Low Self Esteem,” Kitty kidnaps George Sr., and Franklin makes an appearance. Probably one of the best Arrested episodes ever, and features sides stories with nearly every character. Absolutely brilliant! Best Moment: Lucille breaking ice with Buster’s hand.

Righteous Brothers: The final episode of season 2. Moreless everything leads to George Sr. getting loose. Tobias runs off with Kitty, and George Michael gets some skin from Ann. The season ends on a high note, and this episode is rather enjoyable. Best Moment: Referencing the “good grief” episode once more, with the sad Charile Brown music. I love that sad walk!

In total: 396 min of arrested action!

Best Episode: Good Grief

Worst Episode: Ready, Aim, Marry Me… It’s good, if you like physical comedy…

The Video:

Some problems reading disk two in my DVD player. Not sure if this is an isolated case, or if this is a common problem. Besides that, the show looks fine on DVD.

The Sound:

Sounds great! Nuff said. Oh yeah, three commentary tracks.

Bonus Material:

Over thirty deleted scenes. The three campaign videos from The Immaculate Election episode (Easter Eggs). A featurette called ‘Blooper Reel,’ which highlites the best moments of the show. This is one of the funniest featurettes ever, and really worth checking out. David Cross has an awesome monologue at the end of this feature that has to been seen.