Why are we still bananas for 'Arrested Development'?

Banana-stand_l Two recent college grads in Austin, Texas opened their very own frozen banana stand, inspired by the Bluth family. (Theirs is called Bananarchy. Cute.) Two obsessed fans made a documentary about the show (so far, no distributor, alas). And it seems like we're never more than a few days away from gossip and wishful thinking about an Arrested Development movie.

I say this as a huge fan of the show, as someone who's seen every episode multiple times and profoundly admires the series: Why is this the enduring, ever-prominent cult series of the decade? The show went off the air three years ago, and even when it aired, was an abject ratings failure. Though popular on DVD and online, it's not the most popular — heck, Planet Earth has been on Amazon's best-seller list for over two years; Family Guy and American Dad are both more popular on Hulu. And yet it's the Bluths we come back to time and again.

There are other shows that got canceled before their time, other instances of brilliance, other comedic gems. But Arrested Development is in a pop culture category all its own. What is it that keeps this show in the zeitgeist, PopWatchers?

addCredit("Cera: Peter Iovino/Fox; Anderson: Savannah Red")

Comments (72 total) Add your comment
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  • Natalie

    Because it’s all about the fantabulous cast and the stories! What other show had such wacky characters played by an amazingly talented group of actors?

  • Victoria

    Arrested Development is one of those shows you can watch over and over again and find a new joke every time. No matter how many times I see an episode I always catch something I didn’t notice before. And for some reason the humor is so different from anything else that’s ever been on TV. What a gem. Please let there be an AD movie!

  • Dominick

    Not only do I watch the DVDs all the time, yesterday, I started watching it on Hulu while I work. Makes the day go by MUCH faster!

  • Ceballos

    It’s because there’s always money in the banana stand.

  • Thomas

    Three Words:
    Spicy Club Sauce.

  • Jeremy

    I have never seen a sitcom with more inside jokes, and winks to previous episodes than AD. It keeps me coming back for more and more!

  • swss

    I’m with Victoria – I buy other DVDs of shows thinking I’ll watch them multiple times, but I actually watch Arrested Development over and over again, catching new stuff each time – I also just marvel at the writers’ faith in the viewers to have jokes that expand over several episodes.

  • erin p.s.

    Because it is awesome.

  • Catherine

    Come on!

  • Rahul

    This was one of the funniest shows ever; that’s why it remains in the zeitgeist.

  • Mr. Manager

    I totally agree with Victoria. Every time I re-watch an episode I see or hear something new. Excuse me, do these effectively hide my thunder?

  • kar

    I’m guessing two reasons:
    The cr*p that’s followed it has been dismal. A few have been close but none quite have the same chemistry, timing or ability to sell the implausible as plausible. Their use of topical items in the plot were unsurpassed.
    The high profile projects of the alumni and the almost constant undercurrent of a follow up movie. Not to mention the use of stars that were apparently about to have career “come backs” or new directions such as Liza or Ed Begly Jr. Even strange ones like Scott Baio or James Lipton as the prison warden I’d most want locking me down at night.

  • ET

    “I don’t understand the question, and I won’t respond to it!”

  • Lindsay

    Unlike most shows (I’m looking at you Family Guy) Arrested Development was intelligently written, witty and fresh. The brilliance of the writing allows the show to be viewed multiple times, and always deliveres.

  • Liddy

    It’s hysterical, well-written, with a superb bunch of actors who nail their characters in every scene. It’s stands up very well to repeated viewings and I always catch something I miss every time. And of course, it’s oh-so-quotable. Come on!

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