Season 1, Episode 11: Public Relations


Original airdate January 25, 2004
Written by Courtney Lilly
Directed by Lee Shallat-Chemel
Production Code #1AJD10


“Michael discovers his new crush, Jessie Bowers, is a publicist, and hires her to manage the Bluth family’s image after a recent public spectacle involving Lindsay and Lucille. Under Jessie’s guidance, Gob undertakes an ill-fated charity performance and Lindsay gets a covert marketing job, while Buster is banished into hiding. Tobias is also tasked with renewing his medical license, only to have a chance encounter put him on a new path, just as things with Jessie start moving a little too fast for Michael.”

NOTE: Deconstructing Arrested Development openly discusses spoilers when relevant (which can include episodes that come later in the series). Readers who have not seen the series in its entirety are advised to proceed at their own discretion.


When thinking of Arrested Development’s more satirical qualites, one’s mind likely goes straight to thoughts of George W. Bush and the Iraq war. It’s understandable – the phrase “mission accomplished” is almost as synonymous with the show as it is with the Bush administration – but political satire is just one such form the show dabbles in. Arrested Development’s premise allows the show to function as a scathing commentary of the rich elite whenever it sees fit. And while the Bluths may not get recognized by strangers all that often, there’s no denying that they are public figures within the Arrested Development universe. Looking back to the time of its release, Public Relations is arguably one of the show’s most topical installments, considering it was a time when Paris Hilton was dominating the tabloids (this episode actually aired less than 2 months after the premiere of her reality show). Celebrity gossip was popular long before Hilton came to prominence, but she was a different breed of celebrity; one whose claim to fame was not the result of a skill or talent, but rather, status. And while the Kardashians and Twitter wouldn’t come into the picture until after the show’s initial cancellation, the concept of celebrity voyeurism was evolving significantly.


In that sense, Public Relations is a perfect encapsulation of what tabloid news looked like at the time. It really taps into the public’s obsession with celebrity (and, more importantly, celebrity scandals), putting the Bluth family’s notoriety at the forefront in a way the show rarely does. Which isn’t to say that this episode feels different from the others – it’s a downright archetypal installment, actually – though most of the events that transpire are the direct result of a single plot point: The Bluths hiring a publicist to manage their bad press. It’s an organic idea for a show about socialites, and I’d imagine it was likely the one of the earliest stories pitched in the writers’ room (what’s surprising is that the episode’s titular subject doesn’t come up more often in the series, since the family’s tendency to wind up in the news is hardly confined to this episode). The premise even unfolds in an uncharacteristically simple manner, with publicist Jessie showing up and essentially telling the characters – and the viewers – what their storylines will entail. There are no contrived misunderstandings fueling the story, and almost all the subplots are born out of the same scene (despite the twists and turns the narrative eventually takes).

Much focus has been given to the satirical side of Public Relations so far, but the premise also works on a meta level, with Jessie serving as an interloper in more way than one. Many of the things she says to and about the Bluths are genuine complaints the writers had received from Fox executives and test audiences alike; Lucille coming off as cold, Gob being unlikable, etc. Supposedly, Jessie’s comments about Buster being odd, alienating and making people uncomfortable were taken almost verbatim from a network note! Comparisons could easily be made to season 3’s meta extravaganza, S.O.B.s, which also sees the family making efforts to be more relatable (hell, it even contains another storyline about Michael enrolling George Michael in a school he doesn’t want to attend). While the self-referential qualities of the latter episode are much more overt, both episodes see the writers responding directly to the show’s criticisms, acknowledging complaints about the characters’ likability, before gleefully throwing those complaints back in the critics’ faces.


There’s never quite been another scene like the one in the model home. For starters, it’s the only time in season 1 we see entire family in one place (and George Sr. is really only included on technicality); they’ve all been present in the same location before – ie. the boat party and the Living Classics pageant – but to have all 9 main characters in a confined space interacting with one another is a rarity. It’s also one of the most uproarious scenes in the series, running long without ever overstaying its welcome, and giving each character a chance to shine in the process (I don’t think you could cite a single scene that does a better job conveying the personalities of each Bluth family member). From this point, Public Relations almost plays like a backdoor pilot for season 4, either pairing the Bluths up or sending them off solo into the real world. Just about every character gets a storyline of sorts in this episode (save from Maeby, who is unfortunately sidelined again, though it makes sense that the kids wouldn’t be a part of the family’s public image management). The episode does a fine job making the Arrested Development universe feel more expansive, fitting an impressive number of location shoots into 20 minutes. It’s something that really distinguished the show from other tv comedies at the time, which were mostly multi-camera sit-coms that cycled through the same handful of sets each episode.


The comparisons between the “characters out in the real world” segments and season 4 are more than just conceptual, and they apply to Tobias more than any other character. Despite the overwhelming dysfunction of the Fünke family – a group of people who couldn’t be less interested in each other – their collective obligation to maintain, at least, the illusion of being together, actually does keep each of them from going off the deep end. And there is no better example than Tobias, who is guaranteed to make the worst possible decision in any situation when left to his own devices. Here, we see what a sheer force of destruction Tobias can be when no one’s around to save him from himself, with his subplot playing like a precursor to his season 4 story arc (which sees him teaming up with someone who’s hit absolute rock bottom, and somehow dragging them down even further, tossing back every life preserver the universe throws their way in the process).

The concept of an unbelievably bad actor determined to make a career in acting is pure tragicomedy. But up until now, Tobias’s commitment to the craft has either been used as the catalyst for minor subplots, or a way to work him into other characters’ storylines. This is the first time we see Tobias confronted with a genuine opportunity to get his old career back, only to squander it in pursuit of his dream. Tobias remains so adamant that universe will guide him in the direction he wants, yet he rejects everything that could be interpreted as a sign otherwise (such as the name Universal Shuttle) until he finds one that suits him. Not only does this lead Tobias to wholeheartedly place his trust in a stranger who, moments earlier, openly admitted to being a conman, but in doing so, he manages to cost the Bluth Company even more money (I’ve not been keeping count of how much the family’s lost so far, but if anyone is, this episode brings the total up by $1,100). With no one around to save him from himself, Tobias eagerly trades the only cow he has for magic beans at the mere mention of acting.


One would be remiss to talk about the Tobias subplot without also giving the appropriate acknowledgement to Carl Weathers, another of the show’s most beloved recurring characters. Arrested Development isn’t the only comedy to have a guest star play an outlandish fictionalized version of themselves (some shows have even taken the concept and made it an essential component of their DNA; Big Time in Hollywood FL, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23, Episodes and Extras all spring to mind as examples here), but as always, the real difference is how Arrested Development executes the joke. Carl Weathers’ defining traits – his cheapness, his propensity for scams – are as weird and specific as they are funny, and they’re present in just about every line of dialogue and on-screen interaction his character has. It’s a gag the show commits to just as fervently as the actor himself. And as is often the case with Arrested Development, Carl Weathers’ best lines aren’t just memorable and quotable, they also communicate a great deal about him as a character.


The black comedy isn’t exclusive to the Tobias subplot, as Public Relations also takes Gob down some very dark paths. As with most of the other subplots, Jessie targets a specific character trait (Gob’s magic career) and assigns him an objective (performing a charity magic show for Earl Milford’s nursing home, to assist with George Michael’s Milford School application), only for Gob to screw everything up (losing Earl Milford, thus ruining George Michael’s chances of getting in). When we eventually get to the act break where Gob says he needs Jessie to put “the right spin” on something, and then reveals that thing is “murder,” it’s equal parts shocking and hysterical. And while it initially turns out Earl Milford was not dead, but rather, hiding, the “On the next” manages to get another laugh out of the same dark punchline. It’s a bold gag for a show just halfway through its first season, but when one considers the aforementioned meta elements of the episode, it plays like the show gleefully doubling down on its more potentially off-putting qualities.


Comparatively, Buster’s role in the episode is minor (the very concept of his subplot precludes him from speaking beyond the episode’s first act), but perhaps the most memorable. It’s a great example of how the show builds on a gag, initially introduced in the form of the Milford School, which takes the long-outdated adage “children should be neither seen nor heard” to a comical extreme. From there, the joke evolves with each new instance it’s deployed, eventually leading to a hilariously inconsequential storyline: Buster spending most of the episode hiding from… no one in particular. It would’ve been amusing enough juxtaposing the “seen and not heard” ethos against the family’s public scandals, and that aspect of the joke is very much present beneath the surface. But rather, the joke keeps gaining new layers, offering no shortage of highlights in the process; from the delightfully condescending way Jessie addresses Buster at the family gathering, to the inspired visual gag of Buster’s clothes blending with the penthouse wallpaper, this absurd “subplot” is the gift that keeps on giving.


There is a reason so many sit-coms utilize a 3 act structure, and it goes beyond the number of commercial breaks in a half-hour show. Traditionally, sit-coms are driven by conflict, yet they adhere to formulas and maintain a status quo, requiring all such conflict to be resolved in 20-something minutes. This type of storytelling lends itself well to the natural simplicity of a 3 act narrative; establishing the conflict in act 1, escalating it in act 2 and resolving it in act 3. Our brains are practically hardwired to think of stories this way (the “beginning, middle and end,” if you will). Structurally, Public Relations fits perfectly into this mold; the episode uses its opening minutes to establish Michael’s motive and the biggest obstacle in his way, before introducing an interloper who sets every subsequent story turn in motion. By the end of act 1, every subplot has been established, and act 2 sees each storyline complicated from there (they’re essentially all at “peak complication” by the act’s end). The narrative comes very much full-circle in act 3, seeing as its climax takes place in the same restaurant that set this whole chain of events in motion. The first act runs a little long in comparison to the rest, but aside from that, Public Relations is pretty much flawless on structural level – it’s truly one of the show’s most tightly-plotted installments.


The closest thing Public Relations possesses to a weak point would be its A plot. While Jessie’s family assignments spin nothing but gold, her main narrative with Michael isn’t quite of the same standard. Their relationship doesn’t feel developed enough to warrant our investment, nor is Jessie developed enough as a character for her final act turn to feel truly earned. And that’s fine – Jessie is, first and foremost, a wrench the show is throwing into the works – the writers only have so much screentime, and it’d be unwise to devote much more of that time fleshing out a one-shot character. Though I can’t help but question the narrative’s placement in the series, occurring directly before the Marta story arc really comes to a crescendo. It’s not that this episode doesn’t work here; it’s perfectly believable that Michael would date other women as a means to try moving on from Marta, just as Marta Complex and Beef Consommé are enriched by this episode’s closing moments (George Michael telling Michael he’d be okay with him dating). But Public Relations’ lack of acknowledgement towards Marta – despite her playing such an important part in so many of the surrounding episodes – is a curious choice.


When it comes down to it, the Michael/Jessie storyline isn’t about Michael’s romantic life so much as Michael’s relationship with George Michael (the father and son even share both the first and last scenes of the episode). The lack of direct communication between the two is their primary undoing, with Michael determined to get his son into a school he doesn’t want to attend, while simultaneously making the assumption that George Michael isn’t ready for him to start dating again. It’s the second consecutive episode where the narrative is driven by a well-intentioned Michael making false assumptions about his son; in that way, Public Relations is a nice little companion piece to Pier Pressure. Those good intentions are everything here though, as Jessie’s psychotic turn paints her clearly as the villain in the final act. We may not necessarily be rooting for the Bluths, but there is something oddly gratifying about seeing the family band together to take down a menacing third party (and it’s all too fitting that the Bluth name winds up getting further sullied as a result). In an episode that’s all about public image, the Bluth family ultimately decide that, if they have to be hated, they might as well be hated together.



BlueDot2 The episode’s overlooked opening gag:


BlueDot2 “If I still had money, I’d buy a Klimpy’s just to burn it to the ground!”

BlueDot2 Even when Lindsay’s on her side, Lucille still can’t resist taking shots at her:


BlueDot2 LUCILLE: I’ll have the “Ike and Tina tuna.”
LORETTA: Plate or platter?
LUCILLE: I don’t understand the question, and I won’t respond to it.

BlueDot2 LINDSAY: (in tears) How can you treat me this way?!
LUCILLE: Oh, please! Everything I’ve said about you can be covered with makeup and a lie about a thyroid problem. Good grief almighty! You think I’m enjoying my slide into poverty?!


LUCILLE: Sorry, Lindsay. There goes your dessert.
LINDSAY: Why don’t you eat it, mother?! Why don’t you just take this cake and shove it *beep*…


“Hey, who called the cops?”

BlueDot2 “Buster so excelled at being neither seen nor heard that he remained at the school undetected for a full two semesters after he was supposed to graduate.”


BlueDot2 “Michael, if this is a lecture on how we’re all supposed to whatever and blah blah blah, well you can save it, ’cause we all know it by heart.”

BlueDot2 LUCILLE: We’re plenty sympathetic as we are. (inspecting Lupe’s bag) Is this your onion?
LUPE: Yes.
LUCILLE: What’s in the foil?
LUPE: Nothing. It’s a ball of foil for my son.

BlueDot2 LINDSAY: Instead of us getting jobs, why don’t you do your job and tell everyone we’ve got jobs?
GEORGE MICHAEL: You know, I have a job.
TOBIAS: (fake cough) Kiss-ass! …Well, we were all thinking it.
BUSTER: Uh, I’m unclear about what it is exactly you do.
JESSIE: Excellent question. What a publicist does…
BUSTER: No no, I was talking to George Michael. When did you get a job?
GEORGE MICHAEL: At the banana stand.
BUSTER: (laughs) Oh, duh! I thought you meant, like, a plumber or something, and I was like, when did that happen?!

BlueDot2 JESSIE: Your father’s religious now? We’ll play that up, it’s very sympathetic.
LUCILLE: Yeah, who doesn’t love the Jews?
JESSIE: And it allows me to put Michael front and center. He needs to be the new face of this family. He’s the only likable one in the bunch. No offense.
MICHAEL: None taken.


GOB: (scoffs) I’m sorry, isn’t Michael the least likable one in the family?
JESSIE: No. There are very few intelligent, attractive and straight men in this town.
TOBIAS: Well, that certainly leaves me out. (chuckles) She… she said single. You did say single, correct? I…

BlueDot2 George Sr. tries to impart some caged wisdom, despite some technical difficulties:

“As the Talmud tells us… The *static* is to *static* a jack-*static* …to the jackal, *static* as to an oxen! (chuckles) …Did it get a laugh?”

Followed a little later by:

“Some of my students, they’re arguing the significance of the shank bone on the seder plate. *static* But that *static* not *static* …do not wag our genitals at one another to make a point!”

BlueDot2 JESSIE: I think it’s best if you got a job.
LINDSAY: Oh, come on! I’m a parent, I care about my daughter every bit as much as Michael cares about his son.
MAEBY: What grade am I in?
LINDSAY: …What kind of job?

BlueDot2 JESSIE: Tobias, you’re a medical doctor and you’re living an absurd fantasy as an actor. It’s time to get real.
TOBIAS: Wow. That’s tough talk… but I like it. You’re saying, land a major film.

BlueDot2 JESSIE: Buster.
BUSTER: Right here, ready to go, at your service, get me out there!
JESSIE: I want you to stay in. People find you odd and alienating. You make them uneasy. Stay out of the spotlight.
BUSTER: I shall be neither seen nor heard. Watch me. (eagerly leaves the room)
LUCILLE: You can always tell a Milford Man.


BlueDot2 “Show me business again.”

BlueDot2 George Michael learns the tv is still hooked up to the prison:


And a little later in the scene:


BlueDot2 “The graduates go on to do great things.”


BlueDot2  MAEBY: You and I are so different. It’s like we’re not even related.
GEORGE MICHAEL: That would be amazing.

BlueDot2 “Jessie… No, I was just saying your name as you walked away. I didn’t… I have no follow-up… (softly) Jessie…”

BlueDot2 MICHAEL: Murder, huh? Who died?
GOB: My career.
MICHAEL: I’m going to go home now.
GOB: I lost a guy. I put him in the Aztec Tomb and he disappeared.
MICHAEL: Isn’t that the point?

BlueDot2  After Gob reveals the identity of the man he lost:


BlueDot2 “I don’t know what your police captain told you about me, but I’m a different breed of cop. I’m from the streets and I’m the laaast cop you’re ever going to want to mess with in a darkened alley. A dark alley. And I… (breaks character) Mr. Weathers, I don’t know. Perhaps my wife is right. I don’t know if I’m cut out to be a De Niro or a Regis or a Pinkett-Smith, or a what-have-you.”

BlueDot2 More scathing satire on the media:


BlueDot2 LINDSAY: You seem like a man of taste and class.
MAN AT BAR: I’ll give you $2,000 to touch me.
LINDSAY: (chuckles insincerely, then notices Tobias and Carl Weathers entering) Oh my god, my husband.
MAN AT BAR: You’re married to Carl Weathers? *beep*! (hastily leaves the bar)

BlueDot2 TOBIAS: He’s teaching me all these valuable life lessons.
CARL WEATHERS: I buy all my cars at police auctions.
TOBIAS: He’s full of stuff like that!

BlueDot2 Tobias sees his wife getting into a public fight and reacts as such:


BlueDot2 Buster moves to the kitchen:



BlueDot2 In the opening scene, the audio goes out of sync with Michael’s mouth movements during the line “That’s the most important thing to me, okay?”

BlueDot2 You see a lot of the cast struggling not to break during the big group scene in the model home. David Cross in particular looks like he’s on the verge of losing it when Jessie is addressing Buster (not that anyone can really blame him).



BlueDot2 The episode title refers to both the family’s P.R. and Michael’s dating life.

BlueDot2 This is the only episode of Arrested Development Courtney Lilly is credited with writing, though he would also receive a “story by” credit for season 2’s Switch Hitter. Courtney Lilly’s other tv credits include Black-ish, The Cleveland Show, Everybody Hates Chris, Guys With Kids, Invader ZIM, My Boys and Undateable (with him also having various producer credits for almost all the shows in that list, the two exceptions being Chris and ZIM). He is currently working as an executive producer for the upcoming Black-ish spin-off, Mixed-ish.

BlueDot2 Lee Shallat-Chemel is credited with directing her first of 5 Arrested Development episodes here (the others being Best Man for the Gob, Not Without My Daughter, The One Where Michael Leaves and ¡Amigos!). To call Lee Shallat-Chemel a prolific tv director would be an understatement; her first directing credit was on an episode of Alice in 1984, and since then, she’s gone on to direct almost 100 different tv shows (and let’s be clear, that’s 100 shows, not 100 episodes – case in point, she’s directed 85 episodes of The Middle alone!). It would be futile to even try condensing her work to a list of highlights, so here’s her IMDB page.

BlueDot2 One-time character Jessie Bowers is played by Jill Ritchie. While she has not been active since 2007, her other most notable roles were in the films D.E.B.S. and Breakin’ All the Rules, along with short-lived tv series I Hate My 30’s. In a completely unexpected piece of trivia, she is the sister of Kid Rock.

Two new recurring cast members are introduced here, the first being Carl Weathers as himself. While this is the Carl Weathers’ first appearance, he had previously been mentioned in Key Decisions, when Lindsay told Johnny Bark that Tobias was attending a stage fighting workshop with him (which is actually brought up again here). Carl Weathers would return in the very next episode, before coming back in a more minor capacity in season 2’s Motherboy XXX and season 4’s The B. Team. Prolific actress/writer Becky Thyre also appears as Loretta for the first time. She would show up again in a couple of other waitress gigs as the series progressed; the others being at Skip Church’s Bistro in season 2’s Out on a Limb/Hand to God two-parter, and C.W. Swappigans in season 4’s Indian Takers (putting both Carl Weathers and Loretta on the list of minor characters who don’t appear in every season, but do appear in the Fox run and the Netflix run).


John Rothman and Don Perry also have one-time appearances as Charles and Earl Milford, respectively. And recurring cast members John Beard, BW Gonzalez (Lupe) and Stacey Grenrock Woods (Trisha Thoon) are all present.

BlueDot2 There would be multiple callbacks to the Milford School throughout the series. It comes most commonly in the form of the phrase “you can always tell a Milford man,” which is uttered in several different episodes. More overtly, Lucille sends Annyong there in season 2’s Afternoon Delight (and he is neither seen nor heard from again until the season 3 finale), and the school’s marching band gives a silent performance at the 2nd of July 4th of July Parade in season 5’s Premature Independence. These instances imply the school later reinstated its notoriously strict “no talking” policy, after all.


The Milford School is often erroneously referred to as the Milford Academy, which is the name of a real-life school in Berlin, Connecticut (originally founded in Milford, Connecticut).

BlueDot2 This is not the first appearance of the “family style” restaurant Klimpy’s. A tv commercial for it could be heard in the background of a scene in Visiting Ours. It also isn’t the last appearance, with Michael and Gob going to a Klimpy’s Express for a double date in just a few episodes (Shock and Aww), and Buster going for a date with Starla at a Klimpy’s in season 2’s Queen for a Day.

BlueDot2 Lindsay is propositioned to touch a man for a large sum of money, prophesying her eventual turn as a (completely unwitting) high-end prostitute for a politician in season 4. The storyline plays out predominantly in Red Hairing and Señoritis; the former episode depicting the relationship as Lindsay understands it, with the latter then recontextualising all their interactions as the truth is revealed.

BlueDot2 The family’s reliance on ice is demonstrated again:


BlueDot2 Lindsay gets a job promoting Cloudmir vodka – its first mention on the show. Ads for Cloudmir vodka can be seen in the background of many subsequent episodes.

BlueDot2 Gob’s Aztec Tomb illusion was first seen in the Pilot. It wouldn’t factor into the narrative again until next season, when George Sr. uses it as a hiding place in Good Grief. It remains stored in the attic for the remainder of season 2, and can be seen in the background of almost every episode that season (the attic would not be revisited until season 5, though the Aztec Tomb is nowhere to be seen; it is unclear whether the Bluths are no longer in possession of it, or it is simply implied to be off-camera).

BlueDot2 The opening to The Beatles’ The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill can be heard during Gob’s performance at the nursing home.

BlueDot2 Gob would again come to the false belief that an illusion of his had resulted in a death in season 5’s Taste Makers.

BlueDot2 Jessie calls George Michael “Opie,” prompting the narrator (Ron Howard) to interject with “Jessie had gone too far and she had best watch her mouth.” Ron Howard played Opie on The Andy Griffith Show.

BlueDot2 The Bluth family’s next public brawl happens in just two episodes’ time, in Beef Consommé.

BlueDot2 Though there is room for interpretation in the “On the next,” it seems safe to assume that Earl Milford is the show’s first minor character death. The next would be White Power Bill, in Missing Kitty.


(It’s likely Earl Milford died from natural causes rather than a lack of oxygen; we’d already seen he could survive in the trunk for extended periods of time, and there almost certainly would’ve been some serious consequences for Gob had that been the case)

BlueDot2 Public Relations has a total runtime of 21 minutes and 53 seconds, and is rated TV-PG-DLV.

BlueDot2 There are no deleted/extended scenes for this episode.


BlueDot2 The initial newspaper clipping we see contains a smaller headline with a little meta joke:


This is a reference to the hip hop act Arrested Development (hey, that’s the name of the show!), who sued the producers of the show over the use of the name; eventually resulting in a settlement of $10,000 for trademark infringement.

This would also not be the only joke of this nature, with season 2’s Motherboy XXX also containing multiple jokes about a band sharing its name with something else (with the narrator commenting that the show is legally obligated to make a distinction between the two), along with similar jokes over song name trademarks in season 2’s Sword of Destiny and season 3’s For British Eyes Only.

BlueDot2 It’s easy enough to miss the gum coming out of Michael’s mouth during the exercise bike footage, but there’s even more to it than meets the eye. The exercise bike represents the progress Michael makes in courting Jessie. It isn’t until Michael stops peddling on the spot when things actually start developing between them (albeit with Jessie taking the initiative). There’s also the joke that Michael is choosing this of all the equipment at the gym, despite regularly using a real bicycle for transport – and often lamenting that fact that he has to do so.


BlueDot2 Before Earl Milford enters the Aztec tomb, he places his finger up to his mouth, replicating his portrait at The Milford School in the opening scene. This moment also serves as foreshadowing for particularly attentive viewers, since his identity is not revealed until later in the episode.

BlueDot2 When Jessie visits George Michael at the banana stand, he says “I got a bum away from the stand without hurting his feelings,” which is followed by this quick visual gag:


There is then a subtle callback to the joke later on, in the form of another newspaper headline:


While there are some amusing gags in the first column of the main article, the rest of the text is the generic newspaper fodder the show always uses (a story about morticians renting out bodies). But there is one additional little joke here – one of the journalists is credited as “Chick George,” undoubtedly a nod to Boy George (who would later be referenced more directly on the show in Flight of the Phoenix).

BlueDot2 A patron at Rud yells “Bluth fight!” in the same manner people traditionally yell “food fight!” on television.

BlueDot2 There’s quite a lot packed into this little moment here:


We have Carl Weathers trying to get another scam going while simultaneously doing something cheap; carrying around leftovers for a meal he likely didn’t pay for, as we never saw him order food. Not only are the leftovers wrapped in foil – exactly the way Lupe packaged food to sneak out of the penthouse earlier in the episode – but they’re fashioned into a crane or something similar, continuing the show’s bird motif: A cheap bird for a cheap man. In the background, we also have Tobias peeking out and trying to get in shot – just as his new acting teacher’s dialogue serves to remind us how lucrative his former profession was.

BlueDot2 At the end of the episode, George Michael uncharacteristically jeers his father for the number of women he’s slept with. It would appear that these comments actually got to Michael, as that number jumps from 4 to 6 in the space of the next half-dozen episodes (in addition to him and Marta almost going all the way in Beef Consommé).




Deconstructing Arrested Development is in no way affiliated with Imagine Entertainment, The Hurwitz Company, Netflix, 21st Century Fox, Disney or any subsidiaries thereof. It is a completely unofficial fan-made project.

2 thoughts on “Season 1, Episode 11: Public Relations

  1. Regarding Carl Weather’s foil-bird-shaped leftovers there, I think that might be a thing some places do. It was new to me when I first saw this, but I’ve since seen it on Archer and at least one other show or film, I can’t recall where.

    I enjoyed how the ice was used as both a cure for a hangover symptom and leading to another one in Lucille’s drink.

    You’re completely right about that ensemble scene being a perfect distillation of the characters; I think I laughed the most a “people see you as cold.” *turns off TV*

    George Michael’s physical reaction to the prisoners on TV was so perfect, he plays that role so well.

    Will Arnett has the perfect voice for dramatically saying “Murder.”

    “Jessie had gone too far and she had best watch her mouth” is one of my favorite meta jokes ever from the show.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Buster’s Milford techniques were hilarious. Can always tell a Milford man.

    I’m right there with you on the Jessie stuff. It really felt like something that could’ve been better played out over the course of two or three episodes but stuffing the entire relationship with Michael and her dark turn into 23 minutes (not to mention having it compete with EVERYTHING else that was happening in this episode) was too much.

    Liked by 1 person

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