Arrested Development and Law And Order: Special Victims Unit/Homicide: Life On The Street

Arrested Development (2003–2006)
Homicide: Life On The Street (1993–1999)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-    )
Type: Crossover
Group 2

   Ahhh... Detective Munch. The only thing more insane than the number of crossovers Munch has been involved in might be the characters on Arrested Development.

   Right off, let's explain Munch. Richard Belzer created the character of Detective John Munch for the show Homicide: Life On The Street. Then he started a long series of crossovers with Munch appearing in a number of Homicide/Law And Order crossover stories. Then Homicide got cancelled just as Law And Order spun off Law And Order: Special Victims unit. Munch took his show on the road becoming a regular on SVU. Then Munch began appearing on, well, almost every show ever made. Seriously, massive amounts of crossovers. He holds the record as the character that has appeared on the most TV series, including Arrested Development.

   Arrested Development is one the damndest sitcoms ever to air. And that's a good thing. It was edgy and corny, sometimes at the same time. A good example that demonstrates both, a nurse who falls in love with a coma patient. It turns out the coma patient was faking his coma, partly to get near to her. The coma patient reveals he's been faking and the nurse is horrified. Feeling fooled and betrayed, she slaps the patient and runs off shouting, "And they say vegetables are good for your heart!" Okay... that is both patently offensive and at the same time just so corny. Genius.

   Arrested Development focused on the crazy Bluth family. As the series started, the family business was plunged into scandal. Seems dad may have been embezzling and he may have had some dealings with Saddam Hussein. The family was spun into turmoil. Their assets frozen most of the family ended up having to live in one of the company's model homes (they hadn't gotten around to building the real homes). The family's oldest, most normal son Michael had to step up and run the company while his dad was in jail.

   To get into all the insane characters in this show would take way too long so I'll skip right to the one most involved in this crossover, Michael's brother-in-law, Tobias Fünke. Even explaining him will take awhile. Tobias was married to Michael's sister. A former therapist, Tobias was trying to become an actor. For a long time he kept trying to join the Blue Man Group. He also had a phobia about being naked and so would always wear cutoff jean shorts under his clothes, even in the shower. It was also probably gay. He'd never admit it but he was constantly accidentally stumbling into, uh, gay situations, hanging out at gay clubs, saying things that were so gay. Not saying that to offend anyone. Just the facts. For example, he was supposed to hire performers for a party and hired guys dressed as sailors (seemingly oblivious that they were really gay strippers) and starts saying, "They're hot sailors! Or you might call them hot seam..." Then another character wisely cuts him off.

   He is key to this crossover. At the start of the episode Tobias gets a call for a meeting from "The Prosecution". Now this was in fact a call from the prosecution, the lawyers prosecuting the Bluth family. Only Tobias assumed "The Prosecution" was a legal drama on one of the major networks and that he was being called in for an audition. Michael points out that it is odd that a TV show would ask Tobias to bring the family's secret legal documents with him. Tobias explains that they wanted them for props since TV shows always use props to make things look more real. For the rest of the scene people keep opening kitchen cabinets devoid of any props or set dressing, only crappy paper coffee cups used by the crew and such. One giant cabinet had nothing in it but a Nutri-grain bar.

   Anyway, Tobias goes to his "audition" only to discover it isn't an audition but in fact a meeting with the real prosecutors. He refuses to help but the prosecutors have set a trap.

   On his way out of the building Tobias finds a sign advertising a scrap booking class. He decides to go. It is in fact a fake class set up by the police to trick Tobias into revealing valuable information. The room the class is held in is a police booking room with the word "scrap" written on paper and slapped above the normal sign on the door to make it the "scrap booking room". Aside from Tobias, everyone else in the class is clearly a cop. Now the trick is that the scrap book he has to fill in has pages labeled things like, "My family's secret documents," designed to surreptitiously trick him into revealing info. The teacher for this class? "Professor" Munch. As Tobias works on his project he realizes he will need to get some documents out of storage to complete his scrap book. Professor Munch offers him a helicopter to take him to the storage area. Tobias is very impressed, saying, "This is the best class ever!"

   Now, some people have questioned if this was a real crossover. They do call him Professor Munch. And Arrested Development is set in L.A. while Munch is a New York cop. First, clearly this was really Detective Munch playing teacher. The end credits even identify him as Detective Munch. As to Munch being in L.A. it is odd but not impossible. I mean Homicide was set in Baltimore but Munch still would head down to New York to work cases. L.A. is a bit more of a commute but it's still possible. Maybe he'd been investigating east coast aspects of the case and came out to L.A. for some reason. Or here's an even more likely scenario. The Bluth's were in such trouble with the law I think they had likely met half the cops in L.A. For them to scam Tobias they needed a cop to run the scrap booking class they knew he wouldn't recognize. Munch is in town on business or pleasure, a friend of his on the force in L.A. knows he's available and calls him in for a favor.

   For anyone who thinks my theory as to why Munch would be in L.A. is far fetched you clearly have never seen the show. It's less far fetched than anything else on the show. It's clearly Munch and Belzer pulls way into the lead in the crossover record books. The only question left is what show will Munch appear on next?

Other Homicide: Life On The Street Crossover Links
Homicide and The Beat
Homicide and Chicago Hope
Homicide and Law And Order
Homicide: Life On The Street and Law And Order: Special Victims Unit
Homicide and The Lone Gunmen
Homicide and Oz
Homicide and St. Elsewhere
Homicide and The Wire
Homicide and The X-Files

Other Law And Order: Special Victims Unit Crossover Links
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and The Beat
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and Conviction
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and Deadline
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and Homicide: Life On The Street
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and Law And Order
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and Law And Order: Criminal Intent
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and Law And Order: Trial By Jury
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and The Lone Gunmen
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and New York Undercover
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and The Wire
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and The X-Files

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