What’s it all about?
Subtle comedy in which Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) has to take over the running of the family business after his dad is jailed.
What to say if you liked it
The true heir to the intellectual comedies of Larry Sanders and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
What to say if you didn’t like it
An indulgent atrocity that relies on in-jokes, snobbery and mockery of morons for its laughs.
What was good about it?
• The voice over by producer Ron Howard that quickly colours in biographical detail and amusing insights.
• Michael’s son, George Michael, and his repressed crush on spiky cousin Maeby, that begins when she suggests snogging to “freak out” their parents.
• The very sharp one liners such as when Michael’s vain sister Lindsay (Portia De Rossi) organises an anti-circumcision event Hands Off Our Penises. “Sounds like you’ve saved enough [skin] to make 10 new boys.” said Michael.
• Lindsay’s hapless husband Tobias (David Cross), an aspiring actor after he was struck off as a doctor (“Sleeping Tourist has Sternum Broken”), and his efforts to get a job that frequently end with him sobbing in the shower with the chord loosely about his neck.
• Michael’s elder brother Gob (Will Arnett), who is embittered that he isn’t given a larger role in running the firm, while trying to make it as a magician – a career his family don’t take seriously (“Magic is illusion, not tricks. Tricks are something a whore does for money.”)
• Lindsay trying to cry.
• When Gob attempted to hide his father from the police in his Aztec Tomb illusion. The arrest is later reported on the news where the secret of how the Aztec Tomb works is revealed, leading the Gob’s expulsion from his rather militant group of wizards who ostracise those who divulge how illusions are performed.
What was bad about it?
• It only lasted about 20 minutes.
• The swearing was beeped out, which seemed incongruous and unnecessary.
Buster, Michael’s panic stricken younger brother – it’s just one oddball too many.