Friday, October 17, 2014

Arrested Tenenbaum or The Royal Development: How Wes Anderson's most dysfunctional family influenced one of the funniest shows of all time.

Holy really long blogpost title Batman. If you had not guessed I recently watched Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums. As I watched it I began to notice a striking amount of similarities between the movie and Mitchell Hurwitz's series Arrested Development. In fact Arrested Development was described as Royal Tenenbaums shot like COPS. Hurwitz almost didn't pitch Arrested Development

     Let's start off with the heads of the family, with Wes Anderson we have the titular Royal Tenenbaum. Royal is rich, irresponsible and shows little affection for his family. His Arrested Development double would be none other than George Bluth. Like Royal, George is rich, a criminal, and a pretty terrible father. Both men are extremely selfish and irresponsible, forcing the responsibilities on his children. 

     The family's only daughter in both RT and AD is an adopted daughter who is unhappily married to their husbands. In both cases the husband is oblivious to their wifes dissatisfaction with the state of their marriage. Lindsay Bluth however is more of a step down from Margot. While Margot simply holds ill will towards her family, Lindsey takes after her father much more, as do most of the Bluth children. Margot also serves as the inspiration for Maeby Bluth, as both Maeby and Margot are adopted but also fall in love with a family member.
Last but not least is the overprotective son/father. Ben Stiller's Chas and Jason Bateman's Michael have a lot of similarities. Both are overprotective and have lost their respective wives.They both seem to think that they have control over a situation when in fact they do not. 
Both the show and the film use a similar style of narration to deliver backstory though AD's tends to editorialize more. 
Though not capturing his signature style (probably a good thing) Arrested Development takes a lot from The Royal Tenenbaums. Wes Anderson's film is like a father too the series, but a good father, not like the ones seen in both works.

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