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It certainly wasn't a surprise to me, but I know it might be a hidden gem to some.
Arrested Development is about the Bluth family. A completely chaotic, irrationally disorganized, joke of a family. The show starts as the entire family is on a large boat, partying and readying themselves to find out who the successor to George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) is, when abruptly the boat is raided by police and George is sent to jail.
The entire series has to do with watching how his "responsible" son (Jason Bateman) tries to take control of the situation and of the family business. The problem is that, simply, the family is absolutely insane.
As simplistic as the overall plot line seems for the show, the series has layers upon layers of incredibly funny jokes. Many of the jokes are referential to prior episodes, so I very much recommend beginning with streaming Season 1 (the whole series is on Netflix Watch Instant), and trying to avoid jumping around too much. It's simply more enjoyable this way.
When I was in college, if my friends and I couldn't find anything else worth watching on TV at the time, could always easily agree to break out the Xbox 360 and stream an episode, no matter what season. It really is likely the best TV show on Netflix streaming.
It's an absolute shame that the show was canceled, but at least we have the movie to look forward to! Now, go add it to your Netflix queue but be prepared to be angry at Fox once it's over and there's no more Arrested Development to watch (yet).