Bluth Family Values

The Bluth family gathers, circa 2013, for the Netflix version of “Arrested Development.” It stars, clockwise from left: Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, Jeffrey Tambor, Alia Shawkat, David Cross, Jessica Walter, Tony Hale, Will Arnett and Jason Bateman.

The Bluth family gathers, circa 2013, for the Netflix version of “Arrested Development.” It stars, clockwise from left: Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, Jeffrey Tambor, Alia Shawkat, David Cross, Jessica Walter, Tony Hale, Will Arnett and Jason Bateman.

Whether you’ve seen “Arrested Development” before or not, YOU CANNOT JUST RANDOMLY START WATCHING. First: Read all the obsessive fan guides. (Kudos to NPR, which has lived up to its mission to create “a more informed public” by compiling an online graphic with an OCD-worthy breakdown of running gags.) Second: Obey the tweet of series creator Mitch Hurwitz: “You gotta watch them in order.” Third: To truly relate to the extreme dysfunctionality of the conniving Bluth family, attempt to live their vida loca.

Make your child feel inferior.
Then you will understand the dynamic between Bluth matriarch Lucille (Jessica Walter) and her offspring, which dates to the very first episode. Daughter Lindsay spies a gay protester wearing the same blouse she owns. Lucille notes, “He wears it better.”

Become a never nude.
Bluth son-in-law and self-proclaimed “analrapist” — that’s an analyst/therapist — Tobias Funke (David Cross) is afraid to be seen fully nude. This irrational fear is a real psychological condition known as gymnophobia. It even has its own Wikipedia listing, which does not mention “Arrested Development.” To walk a mile in the shorts of a “never nude,” purchase jeans. Cut off at the groinal area. Next time you go to the gym, shower in those cut-offs.

Utter Bluth catchphrases.
These include: “Yikes,” “Marry me,” “I like the way you think,” “I’ve made a huge mistake” and “Good grief” (an homage to the comic strip “Peanuts”).

Do the Chicken Dance.
Famously performed by many Bluths, the “Chicken Dance” is based on a 1950s Swiss song called the “Duck Dance,” which crossed the Atlantic, changed its bird reference and conquered America. Don’t be shy; you can do it! Make the beaks by stretching out hands and pressing thumb and fingers together. For wings, tuck fingers under armpits, flap arms. Dip and shimmy your posterior to suggest tail feathers. Clap four times. Repeat. A tip o’ the drumstick to “Bobby and the kids” from “The Lawrence Welk Show” for these helpful instructions, available on YouTube.

Drink juice from a juice box.
Now you’re just like youngest son (and momma’s boy) Buster.

Drink wine from a wine box as if it were a juice box.
Buster did that, too, only he didn’t realize it was wine.

Finish your cottage cheese.
When Buster did not finish his cottage cheese, his mother, Lucille, adopted a Korean boy out of spite and named him “Annyong,” the first word he spoke, which is Korean for “hello.”

Freeze a banana.
The Bluth family owns a frozen banana stand, which seems rife with potential symbolism. Let’s get experiential to figure it out. Take a banana. Peel it. Wrap it in foil. Place in freezer until frozen solid. Consume. It will have the texture of ice cream. Then you will understand: Sometimes a frozen banana is just a frozen banana. Plus: It’s an excellent source of potassium.

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