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Friday, January 18, 2013

"Once you realize that Annyong is Smerdyakov, everything else falls into place"

Posted by on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Helen Rittelmeyer at First Things has written my favorite blog post of the day. It floats the theory that Arrested Development is a loose-ish retelling of The Brothers Karamazov.

Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, unless the family consists of a morally depraved patriarch and three highly differentiated siblings who, after years out of contact with each other, convene at the family home for a slowly escalating mess made inevitable by their respective and collective dysfunctions, in which case that family is unhappy in the same way as the Karamazovs.

If the same family is subjected to a criminal prosecution after being set up by a conniving quasi-sibling, if the brothers keep trying to mooch money off the family, and if the eldest brother is brash, the middle one smart, and the youngest one saintly, then we have to consider the possibility that this family actually is the Karamazovs, even if they call themselves the Bluths and they appear in an early 2000s Fox sitcom and not a nineteenth-century Russian novel. In which case Mitch Hurwitz (who has a degree in theology from Georgetown) is Dostoevsky. That’s probably the most farfetched parallel in this comparison. The rest are uncanny.

Go read the whole marvelous post and prepare yourself for the overwhelming desire to take on a close re-watch of Arrested Development and a close re-read of Karamazov by the end.


Comments (4) RSS

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Father Zosima = George Sr? Aloof leader who inspires jealousy and jockeying for position amongst his followers/children.
I would say Buster is actually Ilyusha. Which would leave George Michael to be Alyosha... he's more innocent and saintly than Buster anyhow.
Posted by DVNODVNO on January 18, 2013 at 2:34 PM · Report this
Olo 2
I don't think I've ever seen Jason Bateman juggle.
Posted by Olo on January 18, 2013 at 2:39 PM · Report this
I feel like I dreamt this in a despairing fever dream when the show first went off the air.
Posted by tkc on January 18, 2013 at 2:53 PM · Report this
I mostly take offense to this because she starts off with a reference to Tolstoy, while her article references a work by the middling author Dostoevsky.
Posted by sloggerette on January 18, 2013 at 7:56 PM · Report this

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