Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Arrested Development references you missed in Ozark

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At its heart, Arrested Development is a comedy of errors and misunderstandings. One of the most famous situations Michael Bluth finds himself caught in occurs when, in an attempt to have a frivolous one-night-stand, he meets a woman at a bar and invents a new identity for himself so that she won't be able to track him down the next day. Michael, being Michael, concocts a story on the fly that he's an attorney named Chareth Cutestory who specializes in maritime law. “The lawyers of the sea,” if you will.

Funnily enough, the extremely specific laws governing bodies of water end up playing an important role in season 2 of Ozark. While trying to shake down the Snells to force them to sell land to the Byrdes so that they can build a casino to expedite their money laundering, Marty and cartel lawyer Helen (Janet McTeer) use an even more obscure type of water-based legal gymnastics to out-maneuver Jacob Snell (Peter Mullan): riparian rights. Granted, riparian rights are more an issue of land use law than maritime law, but you get the point. It's close enough to be interesting, and it's a clever play that would surely make Chareth Cutestory proud.

Let's hope there are even more little threads to pull when the gritty sequel series to Arrested Development returns for its fourth and final season on Netflix.

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