Arrested Development: “It Gets Better”

George Michael… errr, George Maharis… got his start when George Michael Bluth began to insist on changing his name. Not only did the sexual arrest of George Michael bother him, but he begins to feel the pinch of having his grandfather and his father’s name, especially when his father decides to take up residence in his dorm. Also, the Star Wars video. But we’ll come to George Maharis later.

adev_pds_050_hA few months into his senior year in college, George Michael is trying to get into Julliard on the merits of his impressive internal clock and ability to keep perfect timing, facilitated by a machine we’ve seen a lot of in the past few seasons. He’s hoping they’ll start a new program because of him. But as he discovers that playing block with a band is tricky, he decides to work on building an app that will make the block sound as loud as an electronic guitar with his buddy P-Hound. He’s come a long way since graduating from high school. Starting out as the nerdy kid with the stair car, he learns to navigate the tricky terrain of college. But it is on his study abroad program in Spain where he becomes a man. When he has to take a tutoring job to help pay for his new FakeBlock software, he discovers that his cousin Maeby is still in high school. He offers to tutor her while having ulterior motives. He hopes to put the moves he learned in Spain on her, but his need to make sure she is properly educated and his father’s interruptions put a stop to his plans. It gets better, though, as George Michael gets the opportunity to accompany Maeby to her Opie Awards ceremony. Meanwhile, because he doesn’t want his dad to know of his musical aspirations, he tells Michael that FakeBlock is a privacy software. His lack of privacy causing him to start the lie. When Michael tells Maeby about the software, she is impressed. Even though the software is a wood block app, he continues the lie that it is privacy and anti-piracy software.

george-michael-maebyHe tried to get P-Hound, his other roommate, to help him write the software, but he can’t do it. However, it gets better when they find a way to vote Michael out of the dorm, though he does worry that his dad feels betrayed. When George Michael goes with Maeby to the Opie Awards, he gets a room to seduce her. When he goes to find her, he hears her talking about FakeBlock. He meets Rebel Alley and introduces himself as George Maharis, then blows her off because he’s upset that Maeby is dating someone who takes more risks than he does. When he takes a picture of someone at the Opies, the electricity went out and everyone thinks that George Maharis was engaging in cyber sabotage.

George Michael runs into Rebel Alley at a private club when he was supposed to meet his dad. He blows off his dad to spend time with her. Which is weird given that she seems ready to break up with him at the beginning of the episode.

Single Viewing Review: What’s up with the guys all over George Michael? Where is he? Do they work for FakeBlock? The best parts of this episode: The overly long narration that had the other characters waiting in confusion. The sound of the block playing with the background music, the phone conversation between George Michael and his dad… This whole episode was a case of “it gets better,” more as a joke than as his actual life getting better. It actually gets worse, especially as he has to deal with disappointing his dad and dealing with the crazy energy of FakeBlock, for which he is totally unprepared. My favorite point is when Maeby is driving George Michael around his new FakeBlock office and she tells him he’s giving the keynote at Cinco de Cuatro and he says FakeBlock isn’t “rea..dy,” I think about how he almost told the truth, but is going to end up getting into as much trouble as his family. Ironically, I think if Maeby knew he was making FakeBlock up and had gotten this far with it, then she might have found the inspiration to “solve for x” in their one man, one woman, alone in a bedroom situation. This is the Arrested Development we’ve come to know and love.

Binge Viewing Review: The first scene always cracks me up now, knowing that the guys are sex offenders. I think the setup for what’s happened to Michael’s real estate works very well. This episode, it gets better with each viewing. As you watch, you catch so many connecting storylines, including future ones. Its subtlety, especially considering where we are in the storyline, adds to the hilarity. Also, seeing the guilt that Michael has instilled in George Michael warring with the unremitting guiltlessness generally exhibited by the rest of the Bluths makes this story continue to be interesting.

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