Welcome to the “Arrested Development” Rewatch. Leading up to the release of Season 4, Zap2it
will be taking a look back at the 53 episodes that made the show one of our
most beloved TV comedies.Watch the first three seasons of “Arrested Development” on Netflix. We continue with episode 3 of Season 1, “Bringing Up Buster,” which first aired Nov. 16, 2003.
“Bringing Up Buster” establishes or deepens a couple of long-running “Arrested Development” themes, in particular Lucille and Buster’s unnaturally close relationship. Their dynamic was one of the most reliably hilarious (and creepy) comedic wells the show could turn to throughout its run, and the roots of all of that are here. It’s also a great showcase for the Bluth siblings, who have a rare moment of common ground in talking about Lucille.
Plot: George Michael doesn’t want to go on his weekly bike ride with Michael, who becomes convinced (thanks to Lindsay and Tobias) that his son is pulling away from him. In reality, George Michael is trying out for the school play so he has a chance to kiss Maeby on stage. Lucille, meanwhile, is growing weary of Buster constantly being underfoot and tries to get Michael to take him in and give him a job. Gob is on the outs with Marta and looks for a place to stay, first at the model home, then at Lucille’s, and finally at the Bluth Company offices.
Best line: “Everyone’s laughing and riding and corn-holing, except Buster.” — Lucille
Secondary characters introduced: Justin Grant Wade as Steve Holt. Steve Holt!
Recurring jokes worth remembering: The bleep button gets a great workout in this episode, establishing a pattern for the rest of the series.
Milestones: Introduction of the Corn Baller. Establishing shots of the model house frequently used. Lindsay uses the attic crawl space to hide her expensive dress.
Huge mistakes: Maeby is mortified after Tobias takes the job directing the school play, “Much Ado About Nothing.”
Best narrator commentary: “In fact, the Corn Baller wasn’t legal anywhere. But George Sr. continued to market it [in Mexico] successfully.”
Allusions to Tobias being gay: P.E. teacher, upon hearing Tobias wants to direct the play: “Sure, let the little fruit do it.” When George-Michael tells Maeby he thinks Tobias thinks he’s gay, she replies, “My dad thinks everyone’s gay.”
Next on “Arrested Development”: Tobias gets a review of his Shakespeare play — “I didn’t get into this business to please sophomore Tracy Schwartzman.” Buster is back where he belongs.