Casting a Critical Eye on Culture: Arrested Development and the Power of the Sitcom

Presented with Berg'n

Joel Brown / ArrestedFanArt.com

This Olio looks at American culture and recent history through the TV show Arrested Development. Unlike many TV shows in the 2000’s, a major part of its humor and story lines, were conscious of the real world. The show cast a critical and astute eye on contemporary politics and culture. The writers successfully mined some of the biggest political events of our time, George W. Bush’s Iraq War, for biting observations and humor (i.e. repeated use of Mission Accomplished Banners at failed events). 

Arrested Development also made knowledge of TV shows a platform for its humor, playing on the broad cultural awareness and impact of TV. The show introduced a new production format for sitcoms. We'll discuss how from the second Iraq War to the Crash of 2008, Arrested Development successfully engaged with the real world events to produce an insightful satire of our times.


Recommended reading from Penguin Press:

The New York Times film critic shows why we need criticism now more than ever.



Location: Berg'n

899 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Hip, late-night beer hall featuring microbrews & food vendors in a spacious, industrial-chic venue. Classes will be held in the private room. 


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