Arrested Development

Work Title: Arrested Development
Medium: TV Episode
Episode Title: Forget Me Now
Year: 2005
Writer(s): Tom Saunders
"Original" Writer: Yes Own work?: Yes


George Sr. is placed under house arrest by the family's new attorney Bob Loblaw, and finds that it's not exactly a walk in the park. Michael sets up his first date with Rita, but Rita has an unfortunate encounter with the family beforehand.

Era/Year of Portrayal: present_day

Distinctive characteristics of the world in portrayal:



  • Name of portrayed presence-evoking technology: The surrogate
  • Description of the technology: The presence evoking technology is essentially a camera attached to a man called 'the surrogate.' This camera is the eyes and ears for George Sr. since he is currently on house arrest. He has hired 'the surrogate' to repeat what he says, and can see everything 'the surrogate' sees via the camera. George Sr. and his family can communicate with each other via the stand in 'surrogate.'
  • Nature of task or activity: Interaction and communication via 'the surrogate'
  • Performance of the Technology: technology and man (who plays the surrogate role) functions as they are supposed to
  • Description of creator(s): unknown
  • Major goal(s) of creator(s): for communication purposes
  • Description of users of technology: dysfunctional and wealthy family
  • Type(s) of presence experience in the portrayal: both
  • Description of presence experience: George Sr experiences spatial presence with the technology. Through his 'surrogate' he is able to see where they are and hear what they are saying, so long as his 'surrogate' is present. Through him, he gets the sense of 'being there' with his family. The Bluth family however, experience social presence being on the other side of the technology. They feel that George Sr. is present by communicating with him via the 'surrogate.'
  • User awareness of technology during experience: Some of the Bluth family are aware of the technology, while others--specifically Gob (George Sr.'s son) and Lucille (George Sr.'s wife) get a little carried away. For example, Gob follows his father's orders via the 'surrogate' explaining "how can I say no to that face." Lucille Bluth at some point says she will be having lunch with her husband, when in reality she is going to lunch with a man attached to a camera.
  • Valence of experience: Gob and Lucille find the experience pleasant, but this is probably due to the fact that Gob and Lucille have an unhealthy relationship with the actual George Sr. With the 'surrogate' filling in for George Sr., Gob and Lucille have created a fake, yet healthy relationship with George.
  • Specific responses: It's almost if Gob truly feels the 'surrogate' is his dad, and forgets that they are communicate via technology and another person.
Long-term consequences:

The long term consequences of this technology would probably be good, seeing as the family's relationship with George Sr, is an unhealthy and dysfunctional one.


Coder name: Rachel Lawlor
Coder email:
Coder affiliation: Temple University