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Worst TV Show of the Week

Arrested Development
By Aubree Rankin

Aired Sunday December 12, 2004 at 10:00pm EST on Fox.

Arrested Development is a sitcom about morally bankrupt people who behave ridiculously and out of the normal realm of civilized standards.  Most of the time their antics are so insane that a viewer can take it lightly.  But one or two plotlines cross the line by involving the institutions of marriage and family in such a negative way that it becomes offensive to adult viewers and potentially damaging to children who see it.  The Sunday, December 12 episode "Sad Sack," which involved a married woman trying to hit on her teenaged daughter's crush was an easy choice for the PTC's Worst of the Week.

The series has had an ongoing plot this season about Lindsey and Tobias' marriage rut being solved by the two of them deciding to have an open marriage.  They both try to find people to date and sleep with in an effort to "save" their marriage.   However, both Lindsey and Tobias are very weird people, and no one will date either of them. Each week, it is played for humor that these married people try and fail miserably to hook up with people while their teenaged daughter, Maeby, looks on in disgust and dismay.

In this week's episode, Lindsey is very hoarse and talking in a low, throaty voice.  Flashbacks show she has lost her voice because she has been going out to nightclubs every night trying to pick up a man and shouting over the loud music has left her with laryngitis.  Meanwhile, Maeby has a crush on a young man, Steve, she goes to school with, and since he is a delivery person as a part time job, she has him deliver things to the house so she can flirt with him.  When Steve comes to the house, he tells Lindsey she is pretty and all of a sudden, Lindsey, who normally wants nothing to do with Maeby, starts hanging around Maeby whenever Steve is around.  She even goes to the school to see Maeby in the hopes of getting a date with Steve.

Maeby is painfully aware that her mother is using her to be around Steve and basically steal Steve from her.  Maeby gets revenge by telling Steve that Lindsey is not a woman, but a transvestite who is actually just a man trying to pass as a woman.  Lindsey's odd, desperate behavior, coupled with her husky voice, leads Steve to believe that Lindsey is a man.

Also in this episode is a disgusting and disturbing side plot about how some attorneys investigating the Bluth family find photographs they initially think prove that George Bluth knows where Saddam Hussein hid weapons of mass destruction in the desert in Iraq. A closer examination of the photos reveal they are just close up photos of Tobias' scrotum that he accidentally took while trying to work a cellular camera phone during his bath.

Whether the weightier issues of a neglectful mother using her daughter to try and commit adultery with a teenager or the tacky and gross jokes about a photograph of a scrotum, Arrested Development is not a show for families to watch together. 

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