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October 9, 2015

Arrested Development: Mr. F - VIDEO

by Erin Martell, posted Jun 12th 2008 12:21PM
David Cross as a mole
Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

(S03E05) To borrow a phrase from Saved!, "Mr. F" is the episode that confirmed fans' suspicions about Rita's "differently-abledness." George Michael celebrated a birthday, Maeby continued her double life as a studio executive, and Tobias got the wrong idea yet again.

What's great about Arrested Development is that it rewards all levels of viewer commitment. If you're pressed for time, you can catch a few minutes of an episode and walk away with a good laugh. Less distracted viewers can pay close attention and notice about a dozen funny sight gags, running jokes, and character details in a single scene. There are two especially brilliant scenes in this episode. The first is the family meeting at the Bluth board room. The Bluths do a series of Godzilla impressions, George coins the term "jetpants," and the boom mic is intentionally shown when Bob Loblaw mentions a possible listening device in the room. Later, Tobias and George Michael's destruction of Tiny Town followed through on all of the mole and jetpack jokes made earlier. I laugh every time I see Tobias impersonate George Sr. in the mole costume ("This water tower does not pass muster!").

Every character gets a moment to shine in "Mr. F". George Michael geeked out after receiving Quicken Premier for his birthday, which made him even more adorable in my eyes. I really miss his awkward mannerisms; Michael Cera gave such a quiet, understated performance. Jessica Walter's Lucille Bluth always fascinated me. She could steal a scene with one brutal criticism. I love that she told G.O.B. his father was being sarcastic when he gave G.O.B. a loving compliment (it was really Buster). Unnecessary insults like that set Lucille apart from other TV moms. The writers pushed the envelope with a little help from Tobias (his comment on Michael's curly hair) and Buster ("If mother sees this, she will blow a cow"). Ahh, memories.

As with any AD episode, the running jokes were out in full force. George Sr.'s love of ice cream sandwiches led him to a potential escape route behind the refrigerator. He nearly discovered Annyong's hiding place; Annyong would reappear to take his revenge in the series finale. Tobias' battle with GVH continued. This storyline always grosses me out. It's hard to look at David Cross as his illness progresses. The motivational poster in George Michael's room was removed, revealing the poster for Les Cousins Dangereux from season one. Season two got a little love as well; you can see posters for Thomas Jane's Homeless Dad and Jane Junk at Tantamount Studios.

The guest appearances in this episode could not have been better. Charlize Theron won me over as a comedic actress when she did her spot-on Julia Roberts impression. 30 Rock spoofed the famous jewelry box scene from Pretty Woman in its first season, but AD's spin is still my favorite. I also appreciated that she poked fun at the unconvincing British accents that she and Dave Thomas used. By the way, what was the deal with Uncle Trevor alternately smoking and brushing his teeth in one scene? I forgot how funny Bob Einstein was as Larry the surrogate, and I'm inspired to dress as a surrogate next Halloween (yes, someone does sell the hats).

My five favorite quotes from "Mr. F" are as follows:

  • "God knows they're squinters." --G.O.B., on the Japanese
  • "Alias is a show about a spy." --Buster
  • "Another brilliant idea, Steinberg." --G.O.B.
  • "I thought the woman was pretending as a monster, but she was just out of vodka." --Japanese investor
  • "That's OK. It's more important to show how we make the show than to actually make it." --Frankie Muniz
Take another look at the episode and tell us what you love about it!

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The moment when Tobias tramples the town in his Mole costume, and GM flies in on his jet-pack is probably the hardest I have ever laughed for either AD or TV in general.

But my mom called in her first episode that Rita was a mentally retarded female in her first episode. We didn't find that part that great.

June 12 2008 at 10:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Mr. F plotline may be the weakest the show had, and was certainly a downer.

As I mentioned in the other thread, it may have worked, but had two key flaws:

1) It went on forever. It was a third of that season, wasn't it?
2) It made Michael stupid. He was the butt of the joke. He was the one dumb enough to not see the signs. Michael was the straight man and the intelligent one. He had his dumb moments, hermano, but this was Gob dumb.

June 12 2008 at 4:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

After watching this episode you Have to rewatch the first 5 opf the seaosn b/c you can see the forshadowings
I dont have a girl.... even less a stupid one
and many more

and you can now understand why rita acts weird sometimes
Episodes 2-5 become way better (although they were already pretty good)

June 12 2008 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve Young

If there was one plotline on AD I didn't care for, it would be this one -- some really funny bits but the Mr.F/Theron arc was the weakest part of the series imo.

June 12 2008 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the destruction of tiny town scene was probably the hardest i'd laughed since the pez dispenser on seinfeld. and i may have laughed harder at AD.

June 12 2008 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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