'Arrested Development' Predicted The Future: 5 Prophetic Movies and Shows

Either due to the ingenuity of writers, or because we're all living in a Matrix powered by expired AA batteries, occasionally pop culture seems to predict what happens in the real world. But as funny as that can sometimes be, other times movies and TV shows can make some inadvertently accurate forecasts about the less cheerful aspects of our super-creepy world, such as how ...

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Maeby Dressing Up as an Old Woman in Arrested Development is Now a Common Scam

After running for three critically acclaimed seasons on television, Arrested Development lumbered back to life as a Netflix show yielding mostly disappointing results. One of the few bright spots in the most recent season was Maeby's storyline, which found her living rent-free at Lucille 2's retirement complex. The only catch was she had to dress up as an old lady to pull off the con, which was an amusing dip back into the "let's have one of the lead characters repeatedly dress up like an elderly woman" well.

Arrested Development Predicted The Future 5 Prophetic Pop Culture Moments Maybe dressed as an old woman
If you Google this scene, you will find a not insignificant amount of thirsty people.
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As wacky as it may have been to see a twenty-something masquerading as a senior back in 2018, it's become a surprisingly common hoax during the pandemic. First it was reported that teens were dressing up as mask-wearing seniors in order to buy booze, documenting the elaborate ruse on TikTok.

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Now we're hearing that Florida women in their twenties are pretending to be "grannies" in order to cut in line for the vaccine. Two of them managed to get away undetected for the first shot, but were caught by the cops trying to get their follow-up dose. They managed to get away with just a warning, presumably after asking the officer to "marry" them.

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Ted Cruz Bailing On Texas Was Pure Mayor Quimby

The Simpsons has seemingly predicted a lot of real-world events, either because its writers can predict the future like those half-naked pool mutants from Minority Report, or it's just because that show has been on TV since the beginning of time. But while a lot of these so-called predictions are easily debunked, one classic Simpsons scene uncannily anticipated a recent political scandal.

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After Texas was hit with an unexpected winter storm, knocking out power grids and plunging the state into a full-blown emergency, Republican Senator Ted Cruz decided to ... pop down to Cancun. After he was caught, Cruz blamed the spontaneous getaway on his daughters who wanted a vacation, and like a doting parent escorting their child through Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, he obliged. Bailing on his state during a time of crisis for a luxury holiday immediately called to mind the actions of Mayor Quimby who, in the episode "Marge in Chains," reacts to Springfield's flu outbreak by heading to a tropical beach -- all while pretending to be working diligently from City Hall.

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Perhaps an even closer example of the same political jackassery recently transpired in Canada, when Ontario's finance minister Rod Phillips tweeted out a video of himself reading a book next to a roaring fireplace and a gingerbread house on Christmas Eve.

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Later it was discovered that this video, and other Christmas-y social media content were all pre-recorded because Phillips had secretly flown to St. Barts for the holidays, against his own government's directive prohibiting non-essential travel. And he was caught in part because, not unlike Mayor Quimby, people literally heard the crashing waves of a tropical beach while he was on a Zoom meeting.

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Police Are Resorting To Behaving Like Tracy Jordan From 30 Rock

Old 30 Rock episodes seemingly predicted a slew of current events; the rise of TikTok, Trump's border wall, even the revelation that Alec Baldwin's wife was lying about her heritage for some reason. But perhaps the most unexpected prognostication came in the episode "Operation Righteous Cowboy" in which Tracy Jordan figures out a loophole for getting away with bad behavior while being consistently filmed by a reality TV camera crew. He realizes he can still insult Liz Lemon as long as he does it to the tune of Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl," which is copyrighted and therefore renders the footage unusable.

'Arrested Development' Predicted The Future: 5 Prophetic Pop Culture Moments Tracy on 30 Rock singing Billy Joel
Lyrics that resonate throughout the decade.
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Perhaps ignoring the fact that this tactic was supposed to be comically ludicrous, it was seemingly adopted by the Beverly Hills Police Department, who have gotten way less cool since the days of Axel Foley. A recent incident found an L.A.-based activist filming an interaction with a police officer while requesting bodycam footage, the cop then pulled out his phone and began blasting Sublime's "Santeria" as if it were a house party in 1996, not a police station in 2021. 

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Seemingly the intent here was to prevent the footage from appearing on Instagram, which has been known to crack down on videos containing copyrighted material. But Instagram's policies have evolved somewhat recently, and it turned out that the video didn't actually violate any rules, so it's still up and clearly depicts an on-duty police officer channeling a petulant man-child from a literal sitcom to avoid accountability. 

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Dollhouse Presaged All Of Joss Whedon's Bad Behavior -- Seriously, How Did This Show Get Made?

After finding success with shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel the Vampire Who Inexplicably Gains Weight and Ages, Joss Whedon made the sci-fi series Dollhouse starring Eliza Dushku as one of the "actives" who gets routinely brainwashed and reprogrammed by a mysterious company that rents human beings out to rich assholes, like if Blockbuster was a futuristic human trafficking outfit.

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There have been a lot of allegations of abusive behavior leveled against Whedon lately, made by actors like Justice League's Ray Fisher, as well as Buffy's Charisma Carpenter and Michelle Trachtenberg, who claims that Whedon wasn't "allowed in a room alone" with her during the making of the series. Looking back at Dollhouse in light of this news, it's hard not to see the show as having telegraphed so much of Whedon's toxic impulses. Dollhouse, at its core, provided genre thrills that "relied on the abuse, exploitation, and objectification of women."

While the company that turns our female protagonist into a subservient pleasure slave are ultimately the villains, the show routinely, and casually, gives us scene after scene of "actives" being raped and coerced into sex via the show's mind-wiping gizmo. And while Dollhouse dealt with these themes to some extent, Whedon was clearly looking to titillate viewers as well. And, ultimately, Dollhouse was a show about the fantasy of having complete and utter control over people, and specifically, treating strong women characters like disposable playthings. Yikes.

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Elon Musk's Mars Colony Will Face Total Recall-Like Problems

With the possible exception of those crew member's who suffered raging diarrhea, most people love Total Recall, the 1990 sci-fi action flick starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, and a three-breasted mutant woman who was way more memorable than Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone. The movie, of course, follows Douglas Quaid in his quest to get his ass to Mars and regain his memory in what is either an otherworldly adventure or the result of his brain slowly turning into ranch dressing.

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The Mars we see in Total Recall is a depressing place full of chain hotels and unusually brightly-lit sex clubs, all run by a malevolent corporate tyrant who continually exploits his Martian colonists, prompting a violent uprising led by a Cabbage Patch Man secretly living inside some dude's tummy.

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Which is a tad concerning, because Elon Musk's plans for Mars are not entirely un-Cohagen-like. The Mars-obsessed billionaire has publicly stated that his impending plan for colonizing the red planet involves a pretty hefty travel cost -- reportedly between $500,000 and $1 million per ticket. Since not everyone has spare million bucks lying around, Musk plans on setting up a system where people are loaned the money then forced into a life of indentured Martian servitude, that way they can work off their debt by laboring for SpaceX because, according to Musk, "There will be a lot of jobs on Mars!"

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Even creepier, the terms and conditions of Musk's new Starlink internet company contained a blurb about how customers must "recognize Mars as a free planet and that no Earth-based government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities."  Which could just be a joke, or could be him paving the way for a Martian colony in which he is able to dictate new laws -- which, um, isn't actually legal, since International Law still applies on Mars, per the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. Hopefully when the time comes, some helpful stomach Boglin can help us sort all of this out.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter! And check out the podcast Rewatchability.

Top Image: TriStar Pictures