Last night’s episode of Arrested Development “Save Our Bluths” was the most brilliantly self-referential comedy I’ve seen since the last episode of Strangers with Candy (which saw Flatpoint High nearly replaced with a Strip Mall). References included winks to Showtime saving them, to the common complaint that the characters aren’t “sympathetic and relatable” and, of course, to the “Save Our Bluths” campaign, unfortunately ending the url with .org, which is currently unoccupied, rather than the real renewal drive’s .com.
Though the episode played with a ton of gimmicky twists TV shows attempt for viewers, including 3-D, broadcasting live, and teasing a death that later turns out to be one of an inconsequential character, the refutation of such desperate ploys in the coda was so perfect. The Bluths were rescued from their financial troubles because they weren’t desperate, almost a promise from the show writers were not going to compromise in these potentially final episodes. They’ll keep making the wonderfully and playful layered stories they’ve been doing since the beginning. They aren’t going to flail for an audience. They’re going to enjoy the one they got, even if it’s only for the four episodes remaining in their order. “Save Our Bluths” was the perfect argument for why that enjoyment shouldn’t stop now.
Arrested Development airs Mondays at 8PM on Fox, except for the next two weeks, when Fox preempts it for other shows. Sigh.