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  • Warning: Spoilers
    What can I say about this episode? There are several continuity errors about whether it's night or day, and at times it gets cheesy with its anti-drug message and the characters' imitations of drug dealers and buyers... but this episode still rocks. Cheesiness may be a part of that. Other bits of the episode are edgy. It's all hilarious.

    Pier Pressure starts by opening a window into the family's insanity- flashbacks to the Bluths' childhoods when their father George would teach them lessons by having a one-armed man act out being injured by the children's mistakes. For dysfunctional family humour, this was inspired and original. The episode then goes on to toy with Michael and Lindsay Bluth's different parenting strategies- Michael's pushing and Lindsay's hands-off approach- and which is superior. This gives us a great scene when Michael discovers how stressed his son is. A great portrait of stress. But Michael soon becomes afraid that his son's stress could lead to drugs, and arranges for the kind of lesson he went through when he was young to turn his son off drugs. This is a fantastic portrait of Michael- flawed, stubborn to recognize a bad idea, but still caring and concerned for his child. Michael recruits the help of his brother GOB, an unlikely ally in an anti-drug mission.

    Meanwhile, Lindsay's daughter Maeby is sent to her grandmother Lucille's apartment. Lucille, known for her biting comments, is great in this episode.

    Right down to the music- a main original song called I Get Up is played at the end, and a new song, The Big Yellow Joint, debuts- Pier Pressure is a masterpiece episode. It's not only irreverent, it's important for establishing characterization.
  • "Pier Pressure" is the tenth episode of Arrested Development and may be the best episode of the entire series. This is one of those episodes that is instantly rewatchable and also propelled the entire series to comedic greatness although the show never got the necessary viewers to be labeled as a smash hit. But that is a story for another day. The episode has it all. Excellent writing, capable direction from Joe Russo, fantastic acting, biting dialogue, an anti-drug message, and the introduction of a one-armed man named J. Walter Weatherman (love that name!).

    The episode basically begins with a flashback. If any of the Bluth children did something wrong, George Sr would use the one-armed man to teach them lessons. This parenting technique was quite gruesome and...perhaps just a tad immoral. But this flashback explains the awkward parenting techniques of Michael and Lindsay. You can see these techniques in this scenario. George-Michael gets an A- on a test, but his father is disappointed. He says, "I'm proud of you.....minus." When Maeby gets a C-, Lindsay is all excited for her daughter. So you can see how George Sr laid the stones for such family dysentery.

    What happens next is hilarious. Lindsay, in an attempt to punish Maeby to make herself look good in the front of the family, has her daughter help Lucille go through receipts. Of course, now we see "Gangy" as Maeby calls her grandmother, use her sharp tongue to rolling laughs. As for George-Michael, Michael believes his son is stressed and is on drugs. In reality, Buster came to George-Michael to ask GOB for marijuana for Lucille Austero, but he is afraid to ask GOB himself. Michael decides to take a page from his father's parenting handbook to use the one-armed man on George-Michael. But little did he know what the actual outcome will be. Just be warned that strippers will be involved.

    This episode is a laugh riot and the best episode of the season. The anti-drug message is clear and the main focus, but it's really funny to see the elaborate scenario play itself out. Although Michael's plan may be flawed, at least he shows concern for his son. This episode is also important in terms of characterization, especially for Michael and his son. The one-armed man funny!

    My Grade: A+
  • Arrested Development

    Arrested Development is another take on dysfunctional family; created by Mitchell Hurwitz, with lots of twists and turns and mystery that helps kick the series into another level and stand alone. The narration by Ron Howard that guides the viewers is actually a smarter concept that it actually seems, since the makers doesn't feel the need to explain the situation and momentum through cheesy and additional dialogues; a slick move.

    It is short on technical aspects like cinematography, background score and art design although the camera work is plausible and is shot beautifully with pleasing, light and breezy environment.

    The writing is strong in terms of the material offered especially since it doesn't feel the urge to push boundaries just to crack a smile, and instead focuses on the irony of it and lets it flow fluently with well barred structure. The amusing concept, enfolding tricks, gripping screenplay, parallel sub-plots that are well edited which later merges in brilliantly are some of the high points of the series.

    There is also a lot of going on in mere 20 minutes for the audience to let it sink in which may seem overstuffed at times but it does the work which is to keep the audience tangled into it. The characters are more mature and pragmatic than the audience usually gets in a sitcom where they might not be lovable or even likable at times, but their humane-ness keeps the viewers rooting for them.

    The performance is somewhat fragile in here since the protagonist Jason Bateman is in his A game but unfortunately isn't supported to that extent by its supporting cast (Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi and David Cross).

    Season 01

    The first act in here is somewhat of an introductory section for the character development is handled well enough if not evolved entirely (there is no need to grab the whole bite too). It is also fast paced and evenly distributive among the characters that shares their screen time and factors in with a greater impact than the protagonist.

    Pier Pressure

    An excellent work by the writing proving once again their keen knowledge on sensibility and magnitude of the emotions of the characters that is not only supported but celebrated by the twist and turns that they deliver every now and then