Buster and his loose seal: TV’s funniest Oedipus Complex

After I wrote an article about Arrested Development couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t help but wax nostalgic about those most hysterical of TV moments that continue to split our sides. No show has taken comedy as seriously as Arrested Development. It astounds me how they were able to neatly pack all the intricate gags, sexual innuendo, intertextual callbacks, comical puns and fourth-wall breaking references in an episode of around 22 minutes. Unlike other sitcoms that lose their appeal over time, Arrested Development doesn’t. Watch it twice, thrice or more. The jokes still feel fresh and often, you end up catching ones that flew past you the previous times.

Therefore, I thought I’d do a themed tribute to the show. My first one is about the incestual undertones in the show. Yes, they are aplenty but this one in paticular is about the blatanly manifest Oedipal relationship between Buster and Lucille. The Bluths’ inherent criminal congress is exploited brilliantly as a comedic device. Buster’s resentment towards his father and his unhealthy relationship with his mother illustrate his failed repression of the Oedipus Complex.Buster-Lucille

Though implied throughout the series, it is only explicitly stated by Lindsay when she refers the Motherboy pageant as the “I’m in love with my mother dance thing.” But it’s funnier when it’s implied. Take for example when Buster, in an act of defiance against his mother, goes swimming in the ocean and it is tragically cut short when he is bitten by a “loose seal.” A hilarious depiction of Buster’s overwhelming castration anxiety. Man! Sigmund Freud would have loved this show.

So, here’s the funniest Oedipal relationship in television history illustrated by Buster’s foibles and various moments from the show.

Now the story of a man named Michael Bluth, his juice addicted brother

Buster

and his manipulative mother.

Lucille

It’s Arrested Development

1. Buster is the very definition of a mama’s boy. A socially inept

Buster 8

2. manchild.

Buster 5

3. While Lucille on the other hand is a “dramatic” and “flamboyant”

Lucille 1

Lucille 2

4. alcoholic with Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

Lucille 3

5. They share a pretty unsettling relationship, as evidenced by

8

Michael: Can’t a guy call his mother pretty without it seeming strange?
Buster: Amen. And how about that little piece of tail on her? Cute!

6. And it can get turbulent as evidenced byLucille 4

7. and this.6

Buster 8

8. Therefore, it’s not prudent to encourage him to make fun of her.

9. And is ventriloquism ever a good idea?

Buster 3

10. Oh, did I mention the fact that Buster’s girlfriend is actually his mother’s best friend, also named Lucille (Liza Minnelli).

Lucilles
Artist Credit: Tim Anderson

11. But things don’t go according to plan.

Lucille 2 image

Lucille 2: Buster, this is exactly why our relationship does not work.
Buster: Our relationship doesn’t work?
Lucille 2: No, not as long as you keep getting me all mixed up with your mother.
Buster: It is exactly the opposite. I’m leaving my mother for you. You’re replacing my mother.
Lucille 2: Well, that’s healthy.

12. So, he stands up to his mother

Buster 7

Buster: I mean there is so much in life that I haven’t experienced, and now that I’m away from mom I feel like this is my chance to live. I want to dance. I want to make love to a woman. I want to get a checking account. I want to know what it feels like to get my face socked in!

13. but that doesn’t go according to plan either.

14. And he ends up losing his left hand.

15. and his mind.Buster 6

 16. So, lesson learnt: Mother knows best.

2
Artist Credit: Luke Lombardo

4

Hey, I told you not to judge.

(An article on Tobias’ accidental puns coming soon)
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