Arrested Development is one of the funniest television shows that has ever been made. It’s also insanely well-written, intelligent, full of oblique pop culture references, and eminently worthy of repeated viewing. Unfortunately, while it was lauded by the critics and fans, the viewing figures never rose like they should have done. What could have been the next Seinfeld was cancelled after just three seasons.
Thankfully, Arrested Development is back, with Netflix having given the show a lifeline by commissioning new episodes. Here’s hoping that this time Arrested Development is watched by the size of audience it deserves. To give the show the best chance of succeeding it’s a good idea to educate those who previously missed out on the goodness. And also to remind those who watched the show during its original run of the brilliance of the show.
What follows is a list of eight essential Web resources for both existing and potential Arrested Development fans to enjoy. There are also several YouTube videos embedded throughout, just to provide a visual reminder of the level of awesome Arrested Development has exhibited over the years.
As with most wikis, the Arrested Development wiki is a rather epic resource for fans of the show. It features information on all of the characters and episodes, and features transcripts, the most quotables quotes, and top 10 lists galore. Helpfully there is even a first time viewer’s guide to the show that is designed to give newcomers a simple entry point into the show.
Wikipedia is a great place to go for information related to Arrested Development. There is a detailed outline of how the show came to be made in the first place, synopses for each season, a look at the ratings vs. the critical reception, and even the story of how the rap group Arrested Development sued over the name. As always with Wikipedia, follow the links and check the references for a wealth of additional information.
IMDb is the first place I head to after watching a movie or television show. It’s the simplest way of putting a name to random cast members, learning throwaway tidbits of trivia, and getting an idea of what other people think of the show. The message boards are particularly amusing, and those attached to the Arrested Development entry are no exception.
The video embedded below runs through 200 of the best quotes uttered on the show. There are many more that desrve attention but these are arguably the cream of the crop.
If IMDb is the best resource for learning about the cast and what else they have been up to, then TV.com is the best resource for keeping track of a television show one episode at a time. You get a short synopsis of each one, an average viewer rating, and even the date the episode originally aired on. TV.com augments the experience with cast and crew facts, trivia and quotes, and fan reviews.
This is the official Twitter feed for the show in its guise as a Netflix Original. They retweet the cast and crew occasionally, but the bulk of the tweets are references to the promotional push for the show. It’s unclear how active this account will be in the future, but at the time of writing it’s definitely worth following.
If Reddit wasn’t already an essential part of the Web, the subreddit dedicated to all things Arrested Development make it so. At the time of writing more than 80,000 fans are subscribing to the subreddit, for which they receive news about the future of the show, videos showing classic scenes from the show, and the best memes made from stills.
The video embedded below features a rundown of 10 of the best running gags that feature throughout the whole original run of the show. Is Tobias gay? And what kind of chicken makes those noises?
There are several Tumblr sites dedicated to Arrested Development, but none that particularly stand out from the crowd. It doesn’t matter. Thanks to the power of tags, we can see all of the content related to Arrested development on one page. If you click on the content that interests you, you’ll end up on the Tumblr of another Arrested Development fan. Which can’t be bad.
Several of the sites on this list make reference to the running gags that made/make the show more fun for the dedicated fans that have watched every episode. This site, cleverly titled Recurring Developments, tracks all of those running gags, detailing each one and revealing which episodes they appear in. This should help make Arrested Development less clique to those on the outside looking in.
The video embedded above features what is one of the funniest running gags in Arrested Development… the chicken impressions that start with Gob and end up being emulated across the whole Bluth clan.
Hopefully you’re now more aware of what Arrested Development is all about: its beginnings, its endings, its cast and crew, the recurring jokes, and the meme-worthy content that emerged from the show. I heartily recommend everybody with a sense of humor to watch the old and new episodes of the show. Those without a sense of humor, well, they can stick to Game Of Thrones.
What do you think of Arrested Development? Were you a fan from the start, someone who discovered the show after it went off the air, or a total n00b only now looking to climb aboard the Bluth bandwagon? Are there any other Web resources related to the show you’d like to offer up for appraisal? Let us know your thoughts on Arrested Development in the comments section below.