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The Only Arrested Development Episode That Jason Bateman Ever Directed

Throughout his now decades-long career in Hollywood, Jason Bateman has worn many career hats. He was, of course, first a child star who got his start on "The Little House on the Prairie." A few years later, he become a legit teen heartthrob. And while there was a brief period where he was perceived by many as a Hollywood washout, it was followed by an early 2000s stint as comedy's comeback kid. Of late, however, Bateman has been earning raves for his dramatic work on Netflix's smash-hit crime drama "Ozark," for which he also won his very first Primetime Emmy award

Surprisingly, that Emmy win came for directing, which is yet another career hat Bateman has added to his collection, helming not only multiple episodes of "Ozark," but episodes of his HBO series "Outsider," and a pair of feature films in "The Family Fang," and "Bad Words." Longtime fans of Jason Bateman can no doubt tell you the actor's breakout as a director is far from a fluke. In fact, he's been plotting that move since the early days of his career, having directed episodes of several small screen series years before he claimed the director's chair on "Ozark."

That includes calling the shots on single episode of his cult hit comedy "Arrested Development." 

Bateman directed a classic Season 2 episode of Arrested Development

More than any project Jason Bateman was involved with in the early 2000s, "Arrested Development" is the one that heralded his comeback. There's arguably no show more befitting that honor either as its indie ethos, left-field antics, cracker jack scripting, and all-star ensemble cast made "Arrested Development" not just one of the best television series of the day, but one of the most refreshingly original sitcoms of the modern era. It also made immaculate use of Bateman's now signature mix of everyman charm and shamelessly smirking smarm.

As for the lone episode of "Arrested Development" Bateman directed, it came during the show's network heyday, with the actor helming a Season 2 episode titled "Afternoon Delight." And in the eyes of some, "Afternoon Delight" is not just a classic episode of "Arrested Development," but a legit all-timer. 

The episode finds the holidays fast-approaching, and the Bluth clan stumbling headlong into the happiest season in vintage Bluth fashion — i.e. with multiple (if inadvertent) incest jokes, Buster-centric (Tony Hale) shenanigans, banana stand silliness, and what is undoubtedly the funniest bleeped-out workplace speech ever committed to camera. That last moment naturally comes via the bone-headed elder Bluth Gob (Will Arnett), whose inflated ego, horrible managerial style, and increasingly pricey suit are front and center for much of the action. And yes, Bateman corals all that ”Arrested Development" insanity into a riotous episode of television that'll keep you laughing-out-loud from opening recap to closing credits.