Arrested Development: Peter Iovino/Fox
EW Staff
June 06, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Missed ”Arrested Development”? Here’s how to catch up

WHY YOU MISSED IT Maybe you were hooked on NBC’s ”Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” or maybe ”Development”’s tired lead-in, ”Malcolm in the Middle,” scared you off.

WHAT YOU MISSED Widower Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman, pictured) struggles, during the hilarious first season of this unconventional comedy, to keep the family business (which is a frozen banana stand) afloat after his father is thrown into jail. Meanwhile, his insane family does its best to distract him with botched magic tricks, pathological lying, and constant demands for money.

WHO TO WATCH FOR Incarcerated-and-loving-it businessman George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor), who gets the silliest story lines, ranging from joining a gang to a woefully mishandled conjugal visit.

WE TOLD YOU SO ”The new Fox comedy is gloriously atypical, most notably for how it elicits deep, involuntary diaphragmatic convulsions. I don’t know about you, but I’m not used to laughing out loud alone in front of the TV.” — Carina Chocano, Nov. 7, 2003

WHY WATCH NOW Usually a show this edgy and offbeat would only find a home on cable, but you can get this one for free.

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