Arrested Development is also a refreshingly smart and wickedly funny television series that debuted in 2003 on the Fox network. Despite receiving lackluster ratings, the show earned five Emmy awards in 2004, including best comedy. The first season, now out on DVD, merits viewing, if not rote memorization.
The story revolves around the struggles of the formerly wealthy and largely unsympathetic Bluth family, who find themselves scrambling and scheming just to stay afloat after George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor), their staggeringly corrupt patriarch, is imprisoned for securities fraud. The middle son Michael, (Jason Bateman), whose honesty and dutiful service to the family business are considered quaint and naive by his mother and siblings, must rise to the occasion and snatch the once-mighty land development company out of the jaws of federal regulators, as well as find a way to get his dad out of prison.
The problem is that George Sr. is taking a liking to incarceration, and Michael is finding the challenge of protecting the Bluth company's finances from his family's greedy clutches to be a rather thankless task. It would be easy for the affable, practical, and employable Michael to walk away and wash his hands of the entire situation were it not for his 13-year-old son, George Michael Bluth (Michael Cera), who yearns for family ties more than ever since the recent death of his mother. This show is about the tragicomic path that Michael has undertaken in order to rescue his family from bankruptcy and themselves.