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:

Better Living Through Criticism by A.O. Scott

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. 


Other upcoming Olios


Apr 28

Human Rights at the Edge of Darkness: We are the Resistance

Taught by Phelim Kine
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Apr 30

*Read-in* Undoing the Demos: The Future of Education

Taught by Hallie Scott
4 p.m. at Dean Machine

Sign Up - $10

May 5

Buddhist Realism and Dark Comedy: It's Funny Because It's True

Taught by Christopher Kelley
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

May 7

*Read-in* The True Believer and the Nature of Mass Movements

Taught by Michael Haltenberger
4 p.m. at IDIO Gallery

Sign Up - $10

May 19

The Feminist Storytelling Movement in True Crime

Taught by Tracy Bealer
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

May 27

Great Books Written in Prison: From Plato to MLK

Taught by Ward Regan
7 p.m. at Molasses Books

Sign Up - $0

Jun 2

How Vulnerable are Reproductive Rights in the US?

Taught by Lawrence Cappello
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Jun 30

The Woman Question

Taught by Jamie Warren
7:30 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20


Find out when we launch new classes!