Arrested Development: Season 1 vs. Season 3

Many have failed to pick up on the major qualitative distinctions between these seasons. In fairness, it was rarely clear when the show was even on, let alone what season it was.

Michael Bluth: tenderhearted and ethical to a fault
Season 1: Bumbling courtship of Marta. Hilarious.
Season 3: Finds out he is the father of Julia Louis-Dreyfuss’ child. Grossly out of character, terribly unfunny, and a serious continuity error even for a show that wasn’t strict on continuity.

Maeby: unmotivated and bland high-school student
Season 1: Tries out for school play to be near a dumb jock she thinks is cute. Genius.
Season 3: Randomly ends up as the director of some giant Hollywood film. Grossly out of character, unfunny, and nonsensical.

Gob: narcissistic, scheming, incompetent brother
Season 1: Does not know the meaning of hermano despite having taken Spanish in school. Brilliant.
Season 3: Randomly ends up dating one of the Abu Ghraib perpetrators. Way beyond unfunny – this sequence made my skin crawl.

Winner: Season 1. Once you create a fictional world, you are obligated to abide by the rules governing your fictional world.

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