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With Arrested Development returning in just seven weeks for its long-awaited fourth season (thank you, Netflix), it’s time to cue up “The Final Countdown” and consider the Top 10 reasons we miss the Bluths.
10. Gene Parmesan
The worst private eye in all of California, Gene Parmesan mucks up just about everything for the Bluths while trying to “investigate” on their behalf. It’s really Lucille’s unmitigated delight whenever he pops up behind her that makes Gene an irresistible, if useless, family friend.
9. George Michael’s romantic decisions
First he was in love with his cousin, and then he was fell for a dour Christian who ate mayoneggs, burned pop music, pressured him to get married, and ultimately slept with his uncle. George Michael just can’t catch a break. When he finally kissed cousin Maeby, the Bluth house literally crashed around him. Sad as it is to watch the kid’s heart break, it’s also pretty funny.
Although many of the Bluths suffer from mental quirks, Tobias Funke takes the cake. Unable to be totally naked, he takes the next logical step and wears cut-off shorts everywhere he goes (even in the shower). As for the consequences of never-nudity in his marriage … well, that’s a whole other story. Possibly the best scene in the entire series takes place when Tobias thinks his nephew George Michael might also be a never-nude, and tries to show him familial support.
7. Dr. Funke’s 100% Natural Good-Time Family Band Solution
Tobias has given humanity two great things: a word for people who can’t ever be naked, and the 100% Natural Good-Time Family Band Solution. The band was his method of “bonding” with Maeby and Lindsay through the magic of folk music and sketchy pharmaceuticals. What could be more wholesome?
6. Lucille II
Buster’s sometime-girlfriend, Lucille Bluth’s permanent enemy Lucille II is a dizzy ball of energy (when she’s not collapsing from vertigo). The role is the perfect vehicle for Liza Minnelli, who seems totally unafraid to make a fool out of herself for the sake of a good joke.
5. Loose seal
The writers of Arrested Development notoriously spent parts of the first two seasons leaving little clues that Buster Bluth was going to lose his hand to a seal in “Out on a Limb,” including Buster’s foreshadowing obsession with a claw-machine game and a stuffed seal. That insane dedication to making every minute of Arrested Development worth watching is what turned regular old fans into obsessive cultists.
4. Steve Holt!
Just try to say it without punching your fist in the air. Steve Holt! G.O.B.’s illegitimate son, Maeby’s crush, everyone’s favorite for class president, Steve Holt is the closest thing to a “winner” that we get to see in Arrested Development — and he’s just as messed up as everyone else.
3. Marry me!
In the 2006 series finale, Maeby Funke was scrambling to get the rights to her own life story for her employer Tantamount Studios, signaling that her days as a Hollywood producer aren’t over! However, after her coworkers found out she was only 16, her days of saying “marry me!” are done.
2. George Sr.’s religious advice
George Sr. is a crook, a thief, an impostor, a loving father — and a man of faith. Ever since he saw the light and started practicing Judaism (complete with a shoe for a kippah) his sage wisdom has gotten more attention, even if it hasn’t gotten any holier.
1. The stairs
Watch out for hop-ons! The stair car is a means of escape from prison, the first car George Michael gets to drive, and the last vestige of the Bluth family wealth (it used to go with a jet). Nothing symbolizes the weirdness and delight of this show more than a stair car to nowhere.