Arrested Development—Season 1

10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10




Annyong and welcome to Arrested Development!!!

The Bluths are making big news. George Bluth, Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) has been arrested and now is being investigated for possible treason while his wife Lucille (Jessica Walter) continues to drink and spend like crazy. Gob Bluth (Will Arnet) is a failed magician and his brother Buster Bluth (Tony Hale) is afraid of the world. Lindsay Fünke (Portia de Rossi) marriage to Tobias Fünke (David Cross) is falling apart and their daughter Maeby (Alia Shawkat) is forgotten. The only one who can save the family is Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman), but Michael wants to get himself and his son George-Michael (Michael Cera) away from the madness that is known as the Bluths.


What’s the most important thing? Breakfast

Arrested Development—Season 1 aired from November 2, 2003 to June 6, 2004 on the FOX Network to great reviews but poor ratings. The show quickly became one of the critically acclaimed comedies of all time. Season 1 was nominated for a number of Emmies and won for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing and Writing for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Casting for a Comedy, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing. Jeffrey Tambor was also nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor.


Work that shirt!!!

Arrested Development is one of those laugh-out-loud extremely smart series. What seems like casual mentions become important plot points and the series draws from tons of pop culture references. The series just goes for complete un-P.C. humor that still doesn’t feel wrong.

The show is aided by a great cast. Jason Bateman returned to fame after being a “child” star and really shot many of the other actors like and Michael Cera to other starring roles. The whole cast is one of those casts that just really work together and it is all gathered under the nice narration by Ron Howard. The show has tons of guest-stars like Heather Graham, Ed Helms, James Lipton, Jane Lynch, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Amy Poehler, Henry Winkler, and Carl Weathers to name a few.


One of the best moments in the season and the show

Arrested Development also has some of the best editing and a great look. The show is very smooth and the editing really helps tell the story and gets the jokes across with perfect timing. It also makes great use of handheld cameras and locations.

I can’t praise Arrested Development enough. The series just is great, and it is one of the all-time great comedies. It is a shame that it never caught on with the masses, but if it had, it could have been ruined. The series has the rare distinction of returning in 2013 for another season with plans for a major motion picture to follow…let’s hope that it keeps its style and class.

Arrested Development—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:



1.1        Pilot Airdate:  11/02/03

Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) prepares to take control of the Bluth Company from his father George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) and tries to deal with his obsessive compulsive brother Buster (Tony Hale), his shallow sister Lindsay (Portia de Rossi), Lindsay’s husband Tobias Funke (David Cross), their sarcastic daughter Maeby (Alia Shawkat), his magician brother Gob (Will Arnet), and his controlling mother Lucille (Jessica Walter).  When Michael learns that his father’s facing charges of corruption from the government, Michael and his son George-Michael (Michael Cera) try to get out of the family that keeps dragging them back in.


“Top Banana”

1.2       Top Banana Airdate:  11/09/03

George Michael tries to get over his feelings for his cousin Maeby by working more at the banana stand but his plans are thwarted when Michael makes her work there also.  Michael searches for the company records and where his father is hiding money while facing the threat of an arsonist.  Tobias sets out to start his career as an actor but finds himself competing with Lindsay for a role.


“Bringing Up Buster”

1.3       Bringing Up Buster Airdate:  11/16/03

Michael worries George-Michael is growing away from him George Michael is trying to get closer to Maeby by joining the school play.  Maeby joins the play to get closer to Steve Holt (Justin Grant Wade) but finds Tobias directing when he thinks Maeby is trying to get closer to him.  Lucille tries to get rid of Buster by having him work with Michael but discovers that Buster is turning on her with his new freedom.


“Key Decisions”

1.4       Key Decisions Airdate:  11/23/03

Michael decides to get rid of the car and the jet and finds the stair car is a good substitute for transportation.  Lindsay protests Michael’s plans to pull up trees in a development area but agrees to talk a protester (Clint Howard) out of the tree when she learns it can be worth something.  Gob decides to break into prison to impress his father and makes himself a target of White Power Bill (David Reynolds).  Michael is assigned to take Gob’s boyfriend Marta (Leonor Varela) to the Desi Mexican soap opera awards show and finds himself falling for her.  Maeby decides to rebel against her mother (with George-Michael’s help) by supporting the tree protestor.  Lucille decides to battle her neighbor Lucille Austero (Liza Minnelli) by going to the Desi Awards with Buster, but Lucille ends up picking up Buster.


“Charity Drive”

1.5       Charity Drive Airdate:  11/30/03

Michael decides he needs to have a car but learns that his family has been using his father’s car. Lucille faces off against Lucille Austero at a bachelorette auction for the wetlands, and Buster continues to hide from Lucille Austero. Michael learns that his father lied about building permits and is told that Gob has the power to fix the problem. Michael accuses Lindsay of being selfish and goes to clean up the wetlands to prove Michael wrong. Michael tries to give his mother’s maid Lupe (B.W. Gonzalez) a ride but accidentally picks up the wrong woman. When Job finds himself whistling due to a chipped tooth, Gob recruits George-Michael and Maeby to break into the office.


“Visiting Ours”

1.6       Visiting Ours Airdate:  12/07/03

Michael questions if George’s assistant Kitty Sanchez (Judy Greer) knows the information he needs to help the company and plans to have Gob seduce Kitty for information. Gob plans to go after the warden for not acknowledging he escaped by being stabbed. Tobias and Lindsay prepare for therapy and arouse the interest of Maeby with their secrecy. George-Michael lies to Maeby about visiting George Bluth, Sr. and forces Michael to take him to the prison to prove he can do it. A prison softball game gets out of control and makes George Sr. realize he needs to get out of prison. Michael learns his mother hasn’t visited the prison but a trip to the prison with her makes him realize he’s made a mistake.


“In God We Trust”

1.7       In God We Trust Airdate:  12/14/03

The family meets with George Bluth, Sr.’s lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn (Henry Winkler) and learn that George can get out of prison for a day to perform in the Living Classics Pageant. Lucille finds Michael and Lindsay are getting along and tries to find a way to split them up. Michael decides has to go and tries to hire Wayne Jarvis (John Michael Higgins). Buster tries to get out of the pageant with his father and forces George-Michael as a substitute. Maeby finds her parents ignoring her and tries to get their attention. Lindsay reveals his never-nude phobia to Michael, and Michael tells Lindsay his feelings for Marta (played now by Patricia Velásquez). When George-Michael begins wearing the muscle-suit to impress Maeby, Tobias thinks George-Michael is a never-nude. Gob suspects that Michael is plotting something when he learns he’s learning Spanish. Michael and Lindsay find a way to get even with their mother and get Barry fired.


“My Mother the Car”

1.8       My Mother, The Car Airdate:  12/21/03

Michael faces family problems when he tries to sell the yacht and continues to hide the fact that he’s become interested in Marta. Lucille tries to throw a party for herself and Michael agrees to drive his mother to the party. Lindsay worries that visiting prison might cause problems because of her looks but discovers the prisoners aren’t interested in her. When the party fails, Michael has to arrange another party to get his family to come. Buster decides to dump Lucille Austero but finds himself associating with her. When Lucille and Michael are in a wreck, Lucille frames Michael for the accident to keep herself out of trouble. As Gob decides to try to leave the country in the yacht, he realizes he might have to return when he suspects Lucille.


“Storming the Castle”

1.9       Storming the Castle Airdate:  01/04/04

Michael continues to want to see Marta and learns that men are searching for Gob. Lucille tries to break-up Buster and Lucille Austero, and Buster continues to defy Lucille by dating Lucille Austero. Gob tries to find magician work after being blackballed and tells Michael that Marta doesn’t respect his career. Maeby buys a leather outfit to spite her mother, and Tobias decides to go shopping for leather to connect with Maeby. When Michael learns Gob has used his advice to woo Marta, Michael decides to get revenge on Gob. George, Sr. discovers faith in prison and begins a new path.


“Pier Pressure”

1.10     Pier Pressure Airdate:  01/11/04

Michael and Lindsay debate how they raise their children and remember how George, Sr. use to teach lessons with one-armed J. Walter Weatherman (Steve Ryan). Lindsay decides to discipline Maeby by having her work with his grandmother, and Michael wonders if he should go easier on George-Michael. Buster tries to get marijuana for Lucille Austero’s vertigo and goes to George-Michael for help. Maeby spends time with her grandmother and finds a bond against Lindsay. When Gob discovers George-Michael trying to get drugs, Michael decides George-Michael has to be taught a lesson.


“Public Relations”

1.11     Public Relations Airdate:  01/25/04

Michael decides to hire a publicist named Jessie (Jill Ritchie) to improve the Bluth name and finds himself attracted to her. Tobias is assigned to get his doctorate degree back but encounters Carl Weathers on the trip to the airport. Gob is assigned to do charity work at a nursing home and accidentally loses one of the men there. Michael finds himself in a dating/business relationship with Jessie but questions if she can be the publicist if they are dating. When Michael scorns Jessie for George-Michael, Jessie decides to ruin Michael’s name.


“Marta Complex”

1.12     Marta Complex Airdate:  02/08/04

Michael’s speech at the Valentine’s Day and anniversary party causes everyone in the family to evaluate their situation. Michael tries to deal with his feelings for Marta, and Marta realizes she has feelings for Michael. Tobias’ continues to try to work with Carl Weathers on his acting but Lucille tries to set up Lucille Austero with Carl Weathers. Buster decides to leave Lucille for Lucille Austero, but learns Lucille Austero has other ideas. Michael learns from Gob that something is up with Marta, and Gob and Michael think Marta is having an affair. Lindsay decides to get a divorce from Tobias as Tobias goes for his first official acting audition.


“Beef Consomme”

1.13     Beef Consomme Airdate:  02/15/04

Michael and Marta find themselves questioning how to tell Gob about their new relationship as Gob searches for whoever Marta is cheating with. Buster celebrates his new freedom, and George-Michael questions if Maeby could be adopted. Tobias discovers a problem when he learns his role calls for nudity and Lindsay and Tobias try to deal with Tobias’ never nude problem. George Bluth, Sr. prepares to go to court and hears the charges against him.


“Shock and Aww”

1.14     Shock and Aww Airdate:  03/07/04

Michael finds himself sharing a room with Buster and tries to get rid of him.  Lucille discovers that an adoption she had agreed to for a boy named Annyong (Justin Lee) and wonders if she can get out of it.  Georg Bluth, Sr. finds he has a new admirer named Cindi Lightballoon (Jane Lynch) in his teachings, but doesn’t know Cindi’s keeping secrets.  George-Michael has a crush on his Ethics teacher Beth Baerly (Heather Graham), but Lindsay accidentally tries to set Michael up with her.  When Michael sleeps with Beth, Michael tells George-Michael that Gob did it when he learns George-Michael is in love with her.  Lucille decides to keep Annyong to make Buster jealous, and Maeby decides to take Annyong to the dance to make Steve Holt jealous.


“Staff Infection”

1.15     Staff Infection Airdate:  03/14/04

Michael learns that his family has been getting paid by the company and decides to cut them off. Tobias researches his role and gets assigned to George, Sr.’s cell by the new warden Stefan Gentles (James Lipton). Michael tries to employ Buster, Lindsay, and Gob. When Lindsay tells the employees that they are treated to lunch, they accidentally are sent to Catalina Island. George-Michael finds his father working too much and wonders if Michael still cares from him. Gob causes a work stoppage and ends up facing off with Buster.


“Altar Egos”

1.16     Altar Egos Airdate:  03/17/04

A plea comes in in for George, Sr., but George is encouraged not to take it by Cindi Lightballoon. Lindsay realizes she’s failing Maeby and decides to take a more active role in Maeby’s education. Challenged by Gob and under a false name, Michael meets a lawyer named Maggie Lizer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) for a one night stand without realizing she’s blind. Gob finds himself married when he meets a woman (Amy Poehler) who continuously dares him…but hides that he didn’t have sex with her. George-Michael is finds Maeby is making money and learns her secret for money. Michael is forced to keep seeing Maggie but realizes that it could be an advantage since she’s on his father’s case.


“Justice Is Blind”

1.17     Justice Is Blind Airdate:  03/21/04

Michael debates looking at Maggie’s evidence on her father but decides to tell Maggie the truth. Gob and Tobias go after the evidence at Maggie’s house as Michael discovers that Maggie can actually see. Buster tries to turn State’s evidence against his father to keep him away and get rid of Annyong. Lindsay sets out on a quest to get rid of the Ten Commandments from the courthouse when she runs into them, and George-Michael questions exposing Maeby’s lie that he’s handicapped. Michael’s attempt to prove Maggie can see backfires.


“Missing Kitty”

1.18     Missing Kitty Airdate:  03/28/04

It is Spring Break, and Gob has promised to make the Lucille disappear from Newport Beach. Kitty returns to work with a new boob job, and Michael fires her when she plans to go to Spring Break. George Bluth, Sr. reveals that Kitty has information that could hurt him and orders Michael to get Kitty back. Lucille hides that her mother died from the family and worries that they’ll come after the inheritance. Tobias’ attempt to talk to White Power Bill leads White Power Bill to kill himself and the inmates following him as “Dorothy” for killing him.


“The Best Man for the Gob”

1.19     Best Man for the Gob Airdate:  04/04/04

Michael decides to throw Gob a bachelor party for his new marriage but learns that George Bluth, Sr. advised him to get divorced. Tobias decides he needs to get Lindsay and Maeby back together as their band “Dr. Fünke’s 100% Natural Good-Time Family Band Solution”, and Maeby agrees to do it to keep her parents out of her life. When George, Sr. changes his mind on Gob’s wife, Gob discovers that George, Sr. wants the party as an excuse to blackmail the Bluth Company accountant Ira Gilligan (Michael Hitchcock). Michael learns Gob has dropped him because he isn’t fun and decides to take George-Michael fishing to prove he’s fun. Tobias finds himself with a new admirer.


“Whistler’s Mother”

1.20     Whistler’s Mother Airdate:  04/11/04

Michael finds the company has more financial backing and tries to find investments. Tobias tries to find a way to impress Lindsay, and Lindsay learns that there is a war going on when her stylist is called up. Michael tells his mother that she needs to sever her ties to Buster. Gob’s wife decides she wants to be with Tobias and tells Gob that she’s joining the army. George Bluth, Sr.’s twin brother Oscar (also played by Jeffrey Tambor) comes back to town, and Michael learns his uncle has land that could be developed. George-Michael and Maeby see Oscar and think George, Sr. has escaped prison. Gob and Tobias work to form a coffee shop, and Michael hides that he was tricked into buying bad land.


“Not Without My Daughter”

1.21     Not Without My Daughter Airdate:  04/25/04

Michael worries about George-Michael’s continuing involvement in “Take Your Daughter to Work” day and decides to take Maeby. Lindsay gets a job as a shop girl and lies to Michael about it by telling him that she shoplifted. George-Michael finds himself abandoned by Michael and decides to hang out with Gob. The police begin searching for Kitty, and Michael finds he’s the prime suspect. Buster finds Annyong is playing soccer, and George, Sr. learns that Oscar has been going to the games at Lucille’s request. Gob decides to shoplift since Lindsay can and uses George-Michael as a mule. Buster’s attempts to get rid of Oscar but finds a kinship with him. Michael discovers Kitty was on the boat when Gob blew it up but finds he cannot lie to keep a bet with Maeby.


“Let ‘Em Eat Cake”

1.22     Let ‘Em Eat Cake Airdate:  06/06/04

Michael discovers he has to face a polygraph test but discovers his honesty could be compromised when he is contacted by Kitty for money.  George-Michael meets a girl at the banana stand and tries to impress her with a TV interview.  Tobias finds his book “The Man Inside Me” is big inside the gay community, and Lindsay wonders if their relationship is over.  Michael learns that his father might have been working with Saddam Hussein and that the Bluth model homes were built in Iraq.  Kitty convinces Gob to make a power-play for the company but has to go to Buster when Gob backs out.  George, Sr. decides to take the polygraph himself but suffers a heart attack.  Michael decides that he is done with his family and tells George-Michael that he wants to leave.

Related Links:

Arrested Development—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Arrested Development—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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