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15Arrested Development

GOB in Arrested Development

Arrested Development can be hard to watch. Part of that’s intentional. The show is designed to make the viewer feel as uncomfortable as possible, and it pushes the boundaries of comfort in that pursuit. None of its characters are really likable people. The show’s aware of

this, and actively works to make the characters more loathsome for audiences.

Because the characters tend to be fairly awful people, they regularly break many of the taboos and social norms that govern polite society. Like Seinfeld, the show derives much of its humor from watching these awful people be awful.

At least in Arrested Development’s case, the show feels self-aware. It knows that these people are rude and vulgar, but it also asks us to laugh at them. In some ways, these rude characters are pitiful, and the fact that the show forces us to laugh at them suggests a reliance on humor at the expense of human beings, even if they are awful.

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