Arrested Development: Public Relations   Rewatch 
July 23, 2014 12:54 PM - Season 1, Episode 11 - Subscribe

After having a tough time getting George-Michael admitted to a private school, Michael hires an attractive publicist to change the family's image.

Lucille: I'll have the Ike and Tina Tuna
Waitress: Plate or platter
Lucille: I don't understand the question and I won't respond to it.
Waitress to Lindsay: And what would you like?
Lindsay: I'd like my old life back.
posted by freejinn (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The last episode was a favorite, and this one has always been my least favorite so I'm curious to see what other folks think.
posted by freejinn at 1:13 PM on July 23, 2014

As a story it's all over the place, especially compared to the last, and Michael's deal with women always makes me cringe. So, that's the negative.

I'm somewhat neutral now on the meta stuff, such as criticisms of each character echoing focus groups and over the top product placement. I realize this was all very fresh at the time, and these shows owe more to Arrested than perhaps any other single program, but the Burger King thing is kinda meh after 30 Rock ran it into the ground with Snapple and Community elevated it to an art form with Subway.

Ultimately though, it's a zany, tobiacentric offering that I do enjoy. I don't care much for grades but if I were the The A.V. Club I'd give it a B+. I totally overlook structural flaws or narrative shortcomings if the bits are good. And they are: you can always tell a Milford man, George Sr.'s video conferencing, the introduction of Karl Weathers (which in my opinion is justified next episode with one of the best throwaway lines of the series) and my second favourite Lucille line of all time, already quoted in the post. I guess my favourite already came and went, the structurally similar "If that’s a veiled criticism about me, I won’t hear it and I won’t respond to it."

Words to live by.
posted by Lorin at 2:25 PM on July 23, 2014

I like it. I don't think it stands out as one of the very best episodes, but that's partly because mid-Season 1 is so great that this episode looks weak by comparison.

Jill Ritchie is perfect as Jessie Bowers, the PR agent. Not the most memorable character, but she makes the most of it. By the way, she's the sister of Kid Rock.

This is the first appearance of Carl Weathers. When Tobias first meets him in the car, David Cross does some of the worst acting in the whole series (by anyone).

I like Buster (always a Milford man) camouflaging in Lucille's apartment — wearing a shirt with the same pattern as the wallpaper, etc.

When Lucille is at Climpy's, she orders the "Ike and Tina Tuna" — alluding to a famous abusive relationship.

They use the Beatles song "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill," in contrast with a later episode where the narrator says they couldn't afford to use the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine."

I love the family's dysfunctional repartee when Jessie is trying to get them to focus:
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 coughing): Kiss-ass! Well, we were all thinking it.
Buster: I'm unclear about what it is exactly that you do.
Jessie: Excellent question. What a publicist does—
Buster: No, I was talking to George Michael. When did you get a job?
George Michael: At the banana stand.
Buster: Oh, duh! I thought you meant, like, a plumber or something! And I was, like, when did that happen?
Michael: Jessie, why don’t you just go ahead and jump in here — it's a tough group to keep focused....
Jessie: [Michael] needs to be the new face of this family. He's the only likable one in the bunch — no offense.
Michael: None taken.
GOB: 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! [awkward silence] She said "single." You did say "single," correct? ...
GOB: I'm sorry, I'm still on this whole "Michael being likable" thing. You know he's only had sex with four women, right?
But my favorite line in the episode is from Lindsay, when she turns on Jessie in the climactic restaurant scene:
“Lindsay’s a combative, entitled princess?” I should hire someone to kick your ass for that!
posted by John Cohen at 2:25 PM on July 23, 2014

Thanks to pausing, here are the first two paragraphs from that newspaper article (after that it's filler text):
Michael Bluth, whose stairs to his private jet are always at hand, doesn't care who he hurts. He's a two faced womanizer who lives large at other people' expense.

If Michael is two faced, his mother Lucille, now on her fourth face, makes Michael look like a saint.
posted by bjrn at 10:33 AM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Jessie: Daddy lost his shot at happy, and it's all your fault, Opie.
Narrator: Jessie had gone too far, and she had best watch her mouth.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:17 AM on August 10, 2014

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