Arrested Development

The American television show Arrested Development which aired from 2003 to 2006 and was revived in 2013, follows the story of a wealthy family that recently lost their money in a scandal involving the family’s real estate business.

In the first episode Michael Bluth becomes CEO and President of the Bluth Company after his father is arrested for crimes involving the company. Immediately all of their assets are frozen, and they have to get by with very little money. Most of the family moves into one house together, and Michael sells their car and jet in order to have a little money.

Despite their sudden loss of funds everyone except Michael tries to keep living extravagant lifestyles, and whenever Michael finds out about his family’s excessive spending and low-income, he tells them ‘no.’

For example, Michael refuses to buy his brother Gob small items like desk lamps or frozen bananas, and he doesn’t support his career as a magician. He also refuses to let Gob live in the family house, and tells him that he can’t live in the family boat or at the company office either.

Whenever Gob has ideas about the company (most of which are illegal) Michael tells him no. When Gob tries to escape from prison by jumping from a balcony (around 30 feet in the air) onto Michael to break his fall, Michael also tells him no. And this is only a small sample of the times Michael tells Gob no, not to mention the numerous times he uses this word with the rest of the family.

Despite his efforts to help save the family and their business (and turning down good job offers to do so) his constant ‚no’ keeps the family from appreciating him. The other members of the family often describe him negatively, calling him such things as selfish, robot, and chicken, and at one point, Michael and his sister Lindsay discuss Michael’s helpfulness:

Lindsay: “You’re, like, the least charitable person I know.”

Michael: “I don’t do anything for myself; everything that I do is for this family.”

Lindsay: “You don’t do it for us. You just do it because you love being the guy in charge, because you love saying ‘no.’”

“Don’t jump on me!”