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The Arrested Development Character Fans Wanted To Be A Permanent Addition

When "Arrested Development" began airing in 2003, it inadvertently changed the sitcom landscape forever. While critics and fans alike took some time to warm up to the slow burn of Season 1, those doubts evaporated once it became clear that the show was much more than it appeared at first glance. The character-heavy comedy often built jokes out over multiple episodes, turning a phrase as simple as "Her?" into an instantly iconic quotable.

That long-game comedic formula had its drawbacks, though. Characters who didn't stick around long enough to make an impression were often unceremoniously tossed aside and forgotten about. On the other hand, several bit characters who appeared in the show's earlier seasons were given the time and patience to pay off their character arcs. Who can forget current MCU antagonist Julia Louis-Dreyfus' hilarious turn as Maggie Lizer, the blind lawyer with whom Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) falls into a romantic tête-à-tête and who is eventually revealed to be a fraud? Over the course of only four episodes, that character was given a satisfying arc.

While the show made excellent use of many tertiary characters such as Maggie, though, there's one person many fans can agree was shortchanged and would have shone in repeat appearances.

An ethics teacher who 'Baerly' got the time of day

Introduced in the Season 1 episode "Shock and Aww" and subsequently forgotten about, Beth Baerly, played by Heather Graham, is George Michael's (Michael Cera) ethics teacher. When George Michael develops a crush on her, Lindsay (Portia De Rossi) assumes his infatuation with her is actually a Freudian need for a mother figure, and she encourages Michael to ask Beth out so that she can fill that role. Michael does so, and the two of them go home together.

However, upon witnessing George Michael's reaction to seeing Beth in the family's model home the next morning, Michael realizes his son's feelings and breaks up with Beth for George Michael's sake. There's a bit more back-and-forth between Michael and Beth, the latter of whom ultimately decides she wants no Bluth whatsoever, be it father or son.

An ethics teacher becoming mired in such murky ethical waters is a strong ironic premise for a character, so fans think it's a shame that Beth Baerly appears in but a single episode — and it's doubly disappointing that she gets no characterization. Instead, she essentially becomes a comedic prop, an inciting factor to propel the male characters' stories. The flattening of Beth into a device that drives drama between men is a trope seen far too often with female characters, and a show as sharply written as "Arrested Development," which featured some of television's most iconic women, could have done far more with her.