The cult comedy, which was unceremoniously dumped by FOX three years ago this month, somehow managed to presage the mess we’re in now.
The dysfunctional Bluths were driven by greed and selfishness, trying to out-scheme one another as they drained the last pennies from a construction company whose houses were as flimsy as the family’s own emotional foundation.
In an age where Bernie Madoff chills in his penthouse amid accounts of lives ruined by his alleged $50 billion pyramid scheme, where Wall Street leaders dole out big bonuses as they beg for taxpayer bailouts, the Bluths would be right at home.
The show’s creator, Mitch Hurwitz, brilliantly pitted Michael Bluth, the moral center of the family who strived to keep the clan together, against his variously clueless and manipulative loved ones. The series’ appeal rested to a great extent upon characters that weren’t particularly likeable and never learned a lesson in the end – except, perhaps, that betrayal and deception do pay off.
Hurwitz, who reportedly is working on a script and is set to direct the film, has a lot of loose ends to tie up from the series, particularly with the comically twisted interpersonal and romantic relationships that helped drive the action.
But he also has a rare opportunity to make the next chapter in the story of the Bluths a satire for our troubled times. If nothing else, we could use the laughs.
Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992.