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Reimagining 'Arrested Development' as George Sr.'s mental breakdown on Death Row

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Arrested Development 650
Arrested Development 650

Arrested Development pushed the boundaries of the sitcom with exaggeratedly awkward characters, fourth-wall-breaking narration, and elaborate, multi-episode jokes and callbacks — but what if its increasingly surreal events were only the fantasies of a madman on Death Row? In Alex Schmidt's take on the series, George Bluth, Sr. really was arrested, but he was quickly sentenced to death for treason, and his family scattered instead of trying to stay together against all odds. His lawyer isn't Fonzie, his business doesn't improbably escape collapse season after season, and his twin brother — "an imaginary personification of everything Prisoner George Sr. wishes he had in his life — doesn't magically appear to be the father and husband he never was. The idea of a dying escape fantasy is at least as old as Ambrose Bierce, but it's an entertaining explanation, and a good way to go into the fourth season this May.