Written by Brian Gresko for Babble.com
The Bluths are back on May 26th! Fifteen new episodes of "Arrested Development" will be available to stream on Netflix all at once, so a sick day is in order, or, if you're home with the kids, you might have to hide with your laptop and a frozen banana daiquiri in the attic. (Just give the kids an air horn to blow if they're in need of help.)
In preparation, I've been re-watching old episodes to see how they've held up. "Arrested Development" ran for three seasons on Fox from 2003 to 2006. I've always raved about it, but I wondered, now that time has passed, did I make a huge mistake?
Come on! Of course not. Spending time with the Bluths is like hanging out with old friends. There's George Sr., the patriarch on the lam for his shady business dealings, his lovely lush of a wife Lucille, and their kids, George Oscar Bluth Jr. (GOB), the adopted Lindsay and her blowhard of a hubby Tobias, Michael, the only sane one in the bunch, kind of, and mamma's boy Buster. And of course there's the children, Lindsay and Tobais's daughter Maeby and Michael's son George Michael.
I watched "Arrested Development" in the years leading up to becoming a father, and going back has made me realize how much they've influenced my parenting. Even when I started writing about fatherhood, I referred to my son Felix as Mr. F, in a column called "For Daddy's Eyes Only." Actually, only one of those things describes my column.
So, without further ado...
<strong>George Michael:</strong> Breakfast! <strong>Michael:</strong> ....No. family. <strong>George Michael:</strong> Oh right! I thought you meant in the things you eat.
While Buster Bluth's eleven months in the womb may have predisposed him for toward being a mama's boy, Lucile certainly didn't help by keeping her hooks in him, encouraging him to stay in her penthouse in Balboa Towers, having him comb her hair every night, and taking him to Motherboy -- no, <a href="http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130123235105/arresteddevelopment/images/b/be/2x13_Motherboy_XXX_(52).png" target="_blank">not the 1970's hard rock band</a>, but the dance gala that celebrates boys' love for their mothers -- each year. You have to let go of your kids otherwise they'll never let go of being a kid.
Even though you're a parent, you're still a human being, with all the hopes, dreams, and desires for an open marriage that you had before you had a kid. When Lindsay and Tobias experiment with seeing other people, their daughter Maeby is oh-so-encouraging of the whole affair, probably because they raised her to see them as individuals. (No surprise -- remember, her dad was both a certified analyst and therapist.) When Lindsay tells her daughter she doesn't want to bring her to the company Christmas party because, “If I show up with you, it’ll just make me seem like I’m a mother,” Maeby says “I’ve never thought of you that way.” Sweet, right? Lindsay thought so too.
When Lucille says to Michael, “You're the only one who choose a spouse I liked and she had to die,” he replies, “I know, that's rough for you.” But Lucille always thinks of herself first, and look at how her children feel about her. Well, all of her children except for Buster, I guess.
Even though picking on your kids and watching them spar with one another can be funny, especially on a boring Sunday afternoon, it only ends up in hurt feelings. Remember how George Sr. used to egg the boys on when they were fighting, and then film them? (Films which he then sold as a series of videos called Boyfights (each of which came with a Baby Buster short!)) Michael confronted GOB about this once -- “I really think the only reason you and I ever fight is that since we were little kids, Dad's always played us off each other.” “Dad always said that was your fault,” GOB replied. See? Old habits die hard. So put aside your depraved desires for fun and be a good parent, eh?
<strong>Lucille:</strong> If you're saying I play favorites, you're wrong. I love all my children equally. [Flashback to that morning] <strong>Lucille:</strong> I don't care for GOB. No matter how mature, or accomplished a magician they are -- whether they're a Tony Wonder or a Poof Goof of the Year -- they all have something to offer. Even GOB was good for a laugh. Ok, so maybe you didn't laugh with him, but still...
George Sr. always told the family, “There is always money in the banana stand.” He just never mentioned it was literally lined with $250,000, all of which burned when Michael torched the stand in frustration.
When George Michael tried to tell his dad that had Pop-pop in the attic, Michael jumped to conclusions, thinking his son was talking about his new girlfriend, Egg, I mean, Ann. “The mere fact that you call making love "pop pop" tells me you're not ready,” Michael told him. But really, George Michael did have his Pop-pop hidden in the attic, as Michael would later learn.
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