Arrested Development (season 1)

Arrested Development (season 1)

DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Original network Fox
Original release November 2, 2003 (2003-11-02) – June 6, 2004 (2004-06-06)

The first season of the television comedy series Arrested Development aired between November 2, 2003 and June 6, 2004, on Fox in the United States. It consisted of 22 episodes, each running approximately 22 minutes in length. The first season was released on DVD in region 1 on October 19, 2004, in region 2 on March 21, 2005 and in region 4 on February 23, 2005.

The show's storyline centers on the Bluth family, a formerly wealthy, habitually dysfunctional family and is presented in a continuous format, incorporating hand-held camera work, narration, archival photos, and historical footage.


George Bluth Sr., patriarch of the Bluth family, is the founder and former CEO of the Bluth Company, which markets and builds mini-mansions, among other activities. His son Michael serves as manager of the company, and, after being passed over for a promotion, decides to leave both the company and his family. Just as he makes this decision, however, George Sr. is arrested by the Securities and Exchange Commission for defrauding investors and gross spending of the company's money for "personal expenses". His wife Lucille becomes CEO, and immediately names as the new president her extremely sheltered youngest son Buster, who proves ill-equipped, as his only experience with business is a class he took concerning 18th century agrarian business. Furious at being passed over again, Michael secures another job with a rival company and plans on leaving his family behind for good. Realizing that they need Michael, the family asks him to come back and run the company, which Michael scoffs at until he sees how much the family means to his teenaged son George Michael. To keep the family together, Michael asks his self-centered twin sister Lindsay, her husband Tobias and their daughter Maeby to live together in the Bluth model home with him and George Michael.

Throughout the first season, different characters struggle to change their identities. Buster works to escape from his mother's control through brotherly bonding and love interests such as Lucille Austero, Lucille Bluth's neighbor and chief social rival. George Michael nurses a forbidden crush on his cousin Maeby, while continually trying to meet his father's expectations. Lindsay's husband Tobias, a psychiatrist who lost his medical license, searches for work as an actor, with the aid of Carl Weathers. Michael falls in love with his screw-up older brother Gob's neglected girlfriend Marta, and is torn between being with her and putting "family first". After seeing Michael physically fight with Gob, Marta realizes that they do not share the same family values and she leaves them both. To spite Buster, Lucille adopts a Korean son whom she calls "Annyong" after she mistakes the Korean word for "hello" as his name. Through an escalating series of dares, Gob gets married to a woman he just met, played by real-life wife Amy Poehler, but cannot get an annulment because he refuses to admit that he did not consummate the marriage. Kitty, George Sr.'s former assistant and mistress, tries to blackmail the company. She is caught in the Bluth family yacht's explosion, as used in one of Gob's magic acts, but survives with a cooler full of damning evidence labeled "H Maddas". After previous failed attempts, and a brief religious stint in Judaism, George Sr. finally escapes from prison by faking a heart attack. It is also revealed that George committed "light treason" by using the company to build mini-palaces for Saddam Hussein in Iraq.



The episode list below is ordered the same as on the season 1 DVD collection and not in their original broadcast order.

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
U.S. viewers
11"Pilot"Anthony Russo & Joe RussoMitchell HurwitzNovember 2, 2003 (2003-11-02)1AJD797.98[2]
Michael anticipates becoming the new president of his father's homebuilding company, having put up with his family for years in order to achieve it. Instead, the position is given to his mother, Lucille–just before his father George Sr. is arrested by the SEC. When his family proves unable to run the company, Michael reluctantly returns to help. Meanwhile, Gob's magic career is derailed and George Michael develops a crush on his cousin Maeby.
22"Top Banana"Anthony RussoMitchell Hurwitz & John LevensteinNovember 9, 2003 (2003-11-09)1AJD016.70[3]
The banana stand has burned down and flashbacks reveal the events that led to its destruction: Michael tries to get George Sr. to let him run the company himself. Maeby begins working at the banana stand. Tobias auditions for a commercial. Gob deals with feeling unneeded.
33"Bringing Up Buster"Joe RussoMitchell Hurwitz & Richard RosenstockNovember 16, 2003 (2003-11-16)1AJD025.78[4]
Lucille grows annoyed with Buster and forces Michael to take him to work for a day. Meanwhile, George Michael auditions for the school play in an attempt to kiss Maeby, but Tobias' ineptitude as a director ruins his chances.
44"Key Decisions"Anthony RussoBrad CopelandNovember 23, 2003 (2003-11-23)1AJD046.26[5]
Gob attempts to break out of prison in a publicity stunt to further his magic career. While Gob is locked up, Michael agrees to accompany Gob's girlfriend Marta to an awards show, where he begins to fall for her. Meanwhile, Lindsay attempts to save an old tree from being demolished by the Bluth Company.
55"Visiting Ours"Greg MottolaJohn Levenstein & Richard RosenstockDecember 7, 2003 (2003-12-07)1AJD036.31[6]
Needing information from George Sr.'s secretary Kitty, Michael attempts to use her crush on Gob to get it. Meanwhile, Tobias and Lindsay attend couples therapy and George Michael attempts to conquer his fear of visiting George Sr. in prison.
66"Charity Drive"Greg MottolaBarbie Feldman AdlerNovember 30, 2003 (2003-11-30)1AJD056.77[7]
Lucille and Buster prepare for a charity bachelorette auction. Meanwhile, Michael and Lindsay try to prove to each other that they are not selfish, and Gob convinces George Michael to break into the permit office.
77"My Mother, the Car"Jay ChandrasekharChuck MartinDecember 21, 2003 (2003-12-21)1AJD076.42[8]
Lucille feels unloved by her children and attempts to pin her car accident on an amnesiac Michael. Buster begins a relationship with Lucille Austero, and Lindsay is unpleasantly surprised when she finally visits her father in prison.
88"In God We Trust"Joe RussoAbraham HigginbothamDecember 14, 2003 (2003-12-14)1AJD066.11[9]
George Sr. is to be released for an afternoon to take part in a pageant of living art representations, playing God in Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam". The role of Adam is sought by George Michael, Buster, and Tobias, who all have different motivations.
99"Storming the Castle"Greg MottolaBrad CopelandJanuary 4, 2004 (2004-01-04)1AJD085.72[10]
After Lindsay says that Michael is too much of a "good guy" to make a move on Marta, he devises a plan to have Marta meet Gob's second lover during his magic act. George Sr. discovers Judaism.
1010"Pier Pressure"Joe RussoMitchell Hurwitz & Jim VallelyJanuary 11, 2004 (2004-01-11)1AJD097.21[11]
Michael thinks George Michael has started using marijuana, but Buster asked George Michael for it to treat Lucille Austero's vertigo. Maeby spends time with grandmother Lucille, but Lindsay resents their bond.
1111"Public Relations"Lee Shallat-ChemelCourtney LillyJanuary 25, 2004 (2004-01-25)1AJD106.37[12]
After a series of negative publicity, Michael hires a female publicist for the family, but she turns against them when he decides they shouldn't date in the interest of George Michael.
1212"Marta Complex"Joe RussoJohn Levenstein & Jim VallelyFebruary 8, 2004 (2004-02-08)1AJD114.89[13]
On Valentine's Day, Marta begins to fall for Michael, to his and Gob's misunderstanding. George Michael investigates his cousin's parentage for validation of his crush. Buster moves out of his mother's apartment. Lindsay wants a divorce from Tobias.
1313"Beef Consommé"Jay ChandrasekharChuck Martin & Richard RosenstockFebruary 15, 2004 (2004-02-15)1AJD125.21[14]
The family must appear at George Sr.'s arraignment hearing, but proceedings are jeopardized by Michael and Marta's relationship guilt and Gob's hunt for his unknown rival for Marta.
1414"Shock and Aww"Joe RussoChuck Martin & Jim VallelyMarch 7, 2004 (2004-03-07)1AJD136.42[15]
Michael moves on to George Michael's ethics teacher before realizing he and his son share an attraction to her. Lucille's newly adopted Korean son Annyong arrives.
1515"Staff Infection"John FortenberryBrad CopelandMarch 14, 2004 (2004-03-14)1AJD145.37[16]
Michael discovers that the family had all been on the company payroll for doing nothing, so he forces them to work. Gob and Buster join a construction crew. Lindsay becomes Michael's receptionist. Annyong works at the banana stand. Tobias joins George Sr.'s prison to research an acting role.
1616"Missing Kitty"Joe RussoMitchell Hurwitz & John LevensteinMarch 28, 2004 (2004-03-28)1AJD155.51[17]
Michael and George Sr. argue over the firing of Kitty–Michael's assistant and George's mistress. Gob announces his intentions to sink the company yacht in a magic act on the beach, inspiring George Michael's admiration.
1717"Altar Egos"Jay ChandrasekharBarbie Feldman AdlerMarch 17, 2004 (2004-03-17)1AJD169.62[18]
Michael has a deceitful one-night stand with Maggie, a blind prosecutor who is arguing against his father. Meanwhile, George Sr. uses an undercover FBI agent who has fallen for him for information on the case.
1818"Justice Is Blind"Jay ChandrasekharAbraham HigginbothamMarch 21, 2004 (2004-03-21)1AJD177.02[18]
George Sr. wants Gob to sneak into Maggie's house for evidence, but he instead sends Tobias, who breaks in while Maggie is still home, hoping to sneak around her. Michael finds out her seeing-eye dog is blind, so Maggie must have been able to see all this time. George Michael confronts Maeby for posing as a terminally ill twin sister Surely.
1919"Best Man for the Gob"Lee Shallat-ChemelMitchell Hurwitz & Richard RosenstockApril 4, 2004 (2004-04-04)1AJD185.51[19]
Michael offers to plan Gob a bachelor party after his drunken wedding appears to have stuck. Gob refuses, saying George Sr. is his best man, so Michael tries to plan a fishing trip with George Michael for the same weekend. George Sr. plans to use the party in an elaborate attempt to scare an accountant out of testifying against him. Tobias tries to convince Lindsay to re-form a pharmaceutical-jingle-based family band.
2020"Whistler's Mother"Paul FeigJohn Levenstein & Jim VallelyApril 11, 2004 (2004-04-11)1AJD195.39[20]
The family each beg money of Michael when the company funds become unfrozen. George Sr.'s twin brother Oscar shows up to attempt an affair with Lucille, and Michael makes a bad business deal with him. Lindsay protests the Iraq War after her stylist is deployed.
2121"Not Without My Daughter"Lee Shallat-ChemelMitchell Hurwitz & Richard RosenstockApril 25, 2004 (2004-04-25)1AJD205.66[21]
Michael breaks with tradition and takes his niece Maeby to Take Your Daughter to Work Day, but he partly regrets this when he's questioned by police investigating Kitty's disappearance. Lindsay, embarrassed to be working at a clothing store, claims that she's shoplifting. This becomes a personal challenge for magician Gob.
2222"Let 'Em Eat Cake"Paul FeigMitchell Hurwitz & Jim VallelyJune 6, 2004 (2004-06-06)1AJD215.08[22]
Michael and George Sr. prepare for a polygraph test on the company's business dealings. Kitty attempts to blackmail the company with information against George Sr. George Michael gets a new girlfriend, Ann. Maeby is jealous. Lindsay and Tobias enjoy new success when a book Tobias had written years earlier gains an audience. George Sr. escapes from prison.


Critical reception

In its first season, Arrested Development was met with widespread critical acclaim. On the review aggregator website Metacritic, the first season scored 89 out of 100, based on 24 reviews, indicating "Universal acclaim".[23]

Awards and nominations

In 2004, the first season received seven Emmy Award nominations with five wins.[24] It won for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing and Writing for a Comedy Series for the pilot episode written by Mitchell Hurwitz and directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series. Jeffrey Tambor was nominated that year for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.[25]

Home media releases

The first season was released on DVD in region 1 on October 19, 2004,[26] in region 2 on March 21, 2005[27] and in region 4 on February 23, 2005.[28] Special features on the sets include the unaired and uncensored full-length pilot episode; commentary by creator Mitchell Hurwitz and cast members on the extended pilot, "Beef Consomme" and "Let 'Em Eat Cake"; deleted and extended scenes; "Breaking Ground: Behind the Scenes of Arrested Development" featurette; The Museum of Television & Radio: Q&A with Creator Mitchell Hurwitz and the cast of Arrested Development; TV Land – "Arrested Development: The Making of a Future Classic"; TV Land Awards — The Future Classic Award; Ron Howard Sneak Peek at Season 2; Arrested Development Promo – "Blind"; Easter Egg — Tobias Outtake.[29]


  1. "Arrested Development". Fox in Flight. Fox Broadcasting Company. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  2. Kissell, Rick (November 4, 2003). "B'casters' post-baseball blues". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  3. Kissell, Rick (November 10, 2003). "The rescue squad". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  4. Kissell, Rick (November 17, 2003). "Listen to the 'Music'". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  5. "Nielsen report: total viewers: November 17–23, 2003". Variety. November 26, 2003. Retrieved August 31, 2012.   via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  6. "Nielsen report: December 1–7, 2003". Variety. December 10, 2003. Retrieved September 3, 2012.   via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  7. Kissell, Rick (December 1, 2003). "Fox takes 'Mac' tack". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  8. "Nielsen report: December 15–21, 2003". Variety. December 24, 2003. Retrieved August 31, 2012.   via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  9. "Nielsen report: December 8–14, 2003". Variety. December 17, 2003. Retrieved August 31, 2012.   via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  10. "Nielsen report: December 29, 2003 – January 4, 2004". Variety. January 7, 2004. Retrieved September 3, 2012.   via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  11. "Nielsen report: January 5–11, 2004". Variety. January 14, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2012.   via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  12. "Nielsen report: January 19–25, 2004". Variety. January 28, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2012.   via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  13. "Nielsen report: February 2–8, 2004". Variety. February 11, 2004. Retrieved September 3, 2012.   via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  14. "Nielsen report: February 9–15, 2003". Variety. February 19, 2004. Retrieved September 3, 2012.   via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  15. "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. March 9, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  16. "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. March 16, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  17. "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. March 30, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  18. 1 2 "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. March 23, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  19. "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. April 6, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  20. "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. April 13, 2004. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  21. "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. April 27, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  22. "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. June 8, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  23. "Critic Reviews for Arrested Development Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  24. "2003–2004 Primetime Emmys for Programs and Individual Achievements at the 56th Annual Emmy Awards" (Press release). The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. September 19, 2004. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  25. "56th Annual Primetime Emmy Award Nominations" (Press release). The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. July 15, 2004. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  26. "Arrested Development – Season One (2003)". Retrieved January 12, 2010.
  27. "Arrested Development – Season 1". Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  28. "Arrested Development – Season 1". Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  29. "Arrested Development: Season One". DVD Talk. October 13, 2004. Retrieved July 29, 2011.

External links

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