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Arrested Development (S2)
DVD disk
11.10.2005 By: Jason Adams
Arrested Development (S2) order
Director:
Various

Actors:
Jason Bateman
Portia De Rossi
Will Arnett

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Michael Bluth is just your average guy, trying to run the family company while raising his teenage son. Unfortunately, the rest of his family is balls-out crazy, dragging him down into various schemes and misadventures, including business deals with Saddam Hussein, life-threatening magic tricks, and even [gulp] Liza Minneli.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT is without a doubt one of the smartest and funniest shows currently on TV, winning multiple Emmies over the last two years, and yet it still seems to be unjustly flying under the collective radar. (When I told my dad I’d be reviewing this, his response was, “You mean that early 90’s rap group?”) Which is sad, because it’s staggeringly clever, well-written, self-referential (look for Henry Winkler’s jab at The Fonz), and most importantly, mess-your-pants hilarious.

The element that makes ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT something truly special is the cast and their incredible chemistry together. The dysfunctional family premise has dug its own grave, especially on TV, but the Bluths take it to a whole new level of unbridled insanity. The highly-underrated Jason Batemen (hell yes, Teen Wolf Too!) has the tough job of playing it straight within a group of outlandishly memorable characters. Nevertheless, he pulls it off with a sarcasm and likeability that keeps Michael grounded as the anchor of the show, and never relegated to the background. Jeffery Tambor and Jessica Walters both consistently shine as Michael’s miserable, conniving parents (and uncle), as do Tony Hale and Portia De Rossi as some seriously disturbed siblings. (Although it’s mind-blowingly unrealistic that Lindsay would have trouble picking up guys. Inconceivable!) With the asexual Tobias Fünke, David Cross has finally found a role that actually utilizes his talents, something that hasn’t happened since MR. SHOW ended. However, in the end, it’s scheming, pseudo-magician Gob, played by Will Arnett, who steals the show with his quick, heinous wit and under-his-breath one liners.

The second season picks up directly where the first one left off, with Michael, and the police, searching for his father, all the while keeping his family from killing each other and keeping their company from collapsing. (That’s basically the crux of every episode.) I really feel that the second season is just as strong and funny as the first, with all the actors falling in stride with their characters and an uninhibited mocking of current events (i.e. George Sr. hiding in a spider hole). A slew of guest appearances also sweeten the deal, including the aforementioned Henry Winkler, Martin Short, Thomas Jane, Ben Stiller and the incomparable Andy Richter. Even the cameo from Liza Minnelli didn’t make me feel the need to pour fresh bleach in my eyes. That’s quite a remarkable feat from a pretty remarkable show.
THE EXTRAS
All 18 episodes are split on to three DVDs, each disc with its own special features, including:

Commentary on three episodes: Running comments from series creator Mitchell Hurwitz and assorted members of the cast, including Will Arnett, David Cross and Jessica Walter. The chemistry and hilarious banter between everyone makes each track a must-listen. Between making fun of each other and talking in-depth about David Cross’ nipples, you just might learn something too. I only wish they had done more than three commentaries. It sounds like everyone was having a good time; why not take potshots at each other for the remaining 15 eps?

Deleted/Extended Scenes: Each disc has it’s own set of extra footage, broken up by episode. Most of them are just as funny as the stuff that made it in to the show; but with a 22 minute runtime, I’m guessing things had to be cut out that weren’t completely necessary to the plot.

Season One In Three Minutes: Basically a commercial to promote the second season, but definitely helpful for those who haven’t seen the first. (Although if you didn’t watch the first season, you really won’t enjoy the second one any less. Each episode works on its own and Ron Howard’s spot-on narration will remind you of important things you might have missed.)

Blooper Reel (8:35): A very funny assortment of botched interviews, flubbed lines, spouts of laughter, and more cursing than an R. Lee Ermey boot camp.

"The Immaculate Election" campaign videos: Full versions of the embarrassing campaign videos. So wrong is so many ways, yet so funny.

There’s enough stuff on here to make fans of the show happy. Although I desperately want more commentaries. And more Portia De Rossi.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you enjoy constantly laughing, even to the point of shooting beverages out of your nose (which is what I did when Tobias, having just prepared the makeup for his Blue Man Group audition tells Michael with a straight face, “I just ‘blue’ myself.”), and you still aren’t watching ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT; for the love of Brian Grazer…what are you waiting for? This second season DVD set is no doubt worth your time (and money).
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