Arrested Development: Borderline Personalities

"You're welcome to my friends, brother."
"I don't want these."

AD is, in many ways, a soap opera parody. Think about the wealthy family, the rivalry between siblings, the secret adoptions, the love between cousins, etc. But it's never more so than when Oscar is featured.

Whenever Oscar is on screen, George Sr. shows his worst side, which, fortunately, is his funniest. Oscar's naivete is his biggest flaw, and the farce ensued by one brother taking the place of the other always happens to George's advantage... or it used to.

After a really weird prophecy, Oscar finally started taking control of the relationship, and seems to be absorbing some of his brother's most dominating qualities. But not before George has found a way to grab quick cash by means of extortion, making Oscar sweat for it, literally. (I wonder how long could a person pull off the "sweat and squeeze" maneuver on CEOs in real life. A long time, probably.) He also took Oscar's colorful friends for himself.

This episode felt a lot like a "part one", and it didn't provide a lot of laughs either. It's a pity, considering George is one of the funniest Bluths. More on this storyline on following episodes.

Bits and pieces

- Great title!

- The actor who plays a young Barry Zuckerkorn is Henry Winkler's son. It fit. It's also interesting that Barry's father was a serious lawyer, but the Bluths liked the "Better call Saul" type son.

- Joke you just notice if you've watched more episodes: when Heartfire was "somethinging" for large mud huts, the "something" logo is blurred.

- For this episode, I agree with what freeman said last week: Seth Rogen is not a good Younger George Sr.

- Mary Lynn Rajskub needs to keep doing whatever it is she's doing. She looks much better now than 12 years ago. I also like that they didn't do the "somehow everybody understands her" sitcom routine. She's just a weirdo, really. But less than China Garden and Roger Sterling's son.

A few funny lines

Stan Sitwell: "And believe me, I lost more than just the 50 grand on that sale. I also lost a perfectly good pair of human chest hair nipple tufts when we hit the water."

Barry: "I just pooped in a hole and covered it up. I hope I did the right thing."
Oscar: "There's a commode. It's, it's directly uphill from the maca root."

We12's retraction: "WE was wrong. 'Father B's 'hot retreat' delivers like warm inspiration, lemonade'"

Two out of four monuments to George W Bush


sunbunny said...

One of the problems with this season's format is that several of the episodes are heavy on the setup and light on the funny. Sadly, this was one of them. There's a lot in this episode that eventually gets paid off, but as a single episode, "Borderline Personalities" is a little empty.

I did like the sweat and squeeze. How very George Bluth.

I think they really underutilized Oscar. That goes for this episode and the entire season as a whole. During the initial run, he was one of the funniest characters but now he's become a less funny version of his brother.

Henry Winkler's son looks exactly like him!

celticmarc said...

Gus ! Typo !

Where's the O ?

"The actor wh plays a young Barry..."

Really ??? COOL !

This season's format is quite unique and different from the first 3 seasons.

Gus Brunetti said...

Thanks for pointing out, celticmarc. I think Billie or Josie heave got to it before I did, because it was good when I saw it. Thank you, whoever it was.

I like the new format, though it leads to unfunny setup episodes. It's very LOSTy

sunbunny said...

I thought it was an interesting choice and I'm certainly impressed at the way they managed to weave storylines through the episodes, but it does have its issues. It was an interesting adaptation to the 'release all at once' online format.