Wait, the good episodes of Arrested Development are like fully furnished McMansions?

One commentator suggests fans of the new season of Arrested Development should be patient and then makes an interesting comparison:

Stay cool, Internet. Arrested Development‘s new Netflix-delivered season may prove to be great yet.

Within hours of the streaming service dropping a 15-episode Bluth bomb, critics and fans rushed to proclaim the new episodes as substandard. Mere model homes instead of the fully furnished McMansions that they had watched and rewatched over the past few years. And while I certainly count myself amongst the fans who feel at least a wee bit disappointed by the new episodes, it’s still far too early to jump to conclusions about the episodes’ quality or legacy.

You see, Arrested Development is a unique show. While most sitcoms rely on simple setups and punchlines for their laughs, this is one show that runs amuck on the formula.Punchline often come before setups, and it’s not uncommon for objects to regularly flash across the screen and get call-backs several episodes (or even seasons) later. Basically: Many of the show’s jokes were simply not designed to make any sense the first time you see them.

As someone who has studied the use of the word McMansion, it is unusual to see someone making a favorable reference to McMansions. In this article, fans of Arrested Development are waiting for the “fully furnished McMansions” which are compared to the good episodes of the show. This is odd enough in itself. But, there is an extra twist. The show itself has commentary about McMansions. As Wikipedia puts it, “The Bluth family of the television series Arrested Development is in the business of building opulent-looking sub-quality housing.” Part of the show’s comedy is that this family who involved in a quintessential American industry, building homes, is so dysfunctional. They provide the American Dream but live a wacky version of American family life.

I also suspect that many fans of Arrested Development would not be fans of McMansions. The sort of arcane and long-form humor (see the running jokes here) of the show doesn’t exactly endear itself to the masses.