The similarities between Arrested Development and Community are uncanny. Both received critical acclaim and a devout cult following, but failed to please their respected networks with the viewers needed to keep the show alive. Arrested Development only lasted three seasons, each shorter than the previous, while Community has been renewed for a 13-episode fourth season to air next fall.
Both are full of witty and off-beat characters in plots that are just as absurd. A common thread between the two is how tightly woven the universe was and if you didn’t watch from the beginning, you probably would never catch on and therefore not ever pick the show up and put it in your regular rotation.
One of the biggest similarities is in fact those zany and loveable characters and I’ve decided to take a look at how similar the cast of characters truly is by matching them up. Now they don’t line up perfectly, but I took a key characteristic to make the matches.
Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) and Gob Bluth (Will Arnett)
“The Self-Centered One”
Both are extremely self-centered and a little delusional. Jeff originally only does things that will work in favor of himself and eventually finds himself helping the study group more and more. Gob is more absurd in his self-satisfaction and remains delusional throughout the series even while trying to help his family.
Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs) and Lindsay Bluth-Fünke (Portia de Rossi)
“The Hot Activist”
Both think they’re activists, but in reality are oblivious to what really matters. Britta wants to stick it to the man and is a misinformed self-righteous activist. Lindsay, on the other hand, uses her looks to get her through life, but remains just as misinformed when it comes to her activism, which really doesn’t exist.
Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi) and Buster Bluth (Tony Hale)
“The Quirky, Loveable One”
Both were unexpected breakout characters. While it’s easy to consider each of them as a linear character, they are probably the most diverse one on each of their shows. Abed’s Asperger’s makes him a pop-culture guru that you can’t help but love. Buster is the result of an over-protective mother than made him socially inept.
Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman)
“The Moral Compass”
Both seemingly have their shit together, but also have their demons. Shirley is a vocal Christian who just wants the best for her study group, despite not necessarily knowing how to do it. Michael wants to get his family out of the mess they are in, but sometimes lets his own inhibitions get in the way.
Annie Edison (Alison Brie) and George Michael Bluth (Michael Cera)
“The Innocent and Naïve One”
Both are good-hearted and just want to do the right thing. Annie is set on getting good grades and rarely puts a toe out of line. She really pushes people into doing the right thing. George Michael just wants to please everyone, even if that means sacrificing his own desires. Though he is the youngest, he sometimes makes the most sense.
Troy Barnes (Donald Glover) and Maeby Fünke (Alia Shawkat)
“The Not-So-Smart, but Cool One”
Both might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but they damn sure know how to be cool. Troy is a jock who could have a bright future in the air conditioning repair world, but he’d rather just be cool. Maeby is definitely not the smartest, but she knows how to scam people and got probably the coolest job ever.
Ben Chang (Ken Jeong) and Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter)
“The Manipulative Life-Ruiner”
Both are insane in the best way possible. Chang just wants to be a part of the group and when he fails, he sets out on ruining their lives by becoming a fascist leader. Lucille thinks she fits in and is loved by her family, but actually terrifies them by her controlling ways.
Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase) and George Bluth (Jeffrey Tambor)
“The Insensitive and Incoherent One”
Both are so far up their own ass that they don’t have any clue what’s really going on. Pierce says what he wants and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. George does the same thing. These two really should go hang out and mock people in the streets.
Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) and Tobias Fünke (David Cross)
“The Gay(?) One”
Both truly became breakout characters for exactly the same reason: ridiculous costumes and ambiguous comments. The dean loves Jeff and isn’t afraid to say it while he dresses up in absurd costumes meant for women. Tobias has a wife, but is afraid to be nude. He says things like, “I just blue myself” and doesn’t understand why people question his true lifestyle.