Four Arrested Development Bits That Just Don't Work

by Jason Toon

Is Arrested Development one of the funniest, weirdest, best TV shows ever made? No question. Am I eagerly awaiting the return of Arrested Development on Netflix this weekend? You know it, bro. Can Arrested Development sometimes drop a miserable crud-bomb of a joke that makes me squirm with embarrassment for everyone involved? Emphatically, yes.

Here are four Arrested Development bits I've been trying really hard to forget. Let's hope Mitchell Hurwitz et al. don't force me to remember.

The chicken thing. Never before in history have so many funny performers made such great efforts to be funny for a bit that was so unfunny. And then did it again, and again, and again. As commentary on chicken issues goes, it's only slightly less painful than Morrissey comparing the Norway mass shootings to KFC.

"Big Yellow Joint". The '60s version is just kind of limp and dull, but the "punk" version is absolutely unendurable. The problem isn't that it's obnoxious; it's obnoxious in exactly the wrong way, like what a sexagenarian TV writer with a grey ponytail might imagine a punk band sounds like.

Motherboy, the band. Another deeply stupid stab at pop-culture satire. Motherboy doesn't sound like an '80s metal band's name, the photo is a '70s glam-prog kind of thing, and none of is remotely funny. Another case of grey-ponytail syndrome?

"Marry me." Mildly cute once, sort of. Not so adorable the 73rd time. I guess I just don't get it, especially as a way of deflecting further scrutiny. Wouldn't you consider someone who just blurted out "marry me" mentally ill? Wouldn't it make you a little more concerned?

If it seems unfair to the show's creators to dwell on a couple of lousy minutes from 53 otherwise brilliant episodes, believe me, writing this piece has hurt me more than I could possibly hurt them. And I'll still be bouncing up and down on my couch with glee when the first new episode rolls.