In season four of Arrested Development, Tobias meets a woman in the Garden Grove Methadone Clinic, which he’s mistaken for a method acting clinic. Her name DeBrie Bardeaux, a recovering meth addict played by Maria Bamford. She’s a failed actress, trying to stay positive on her path to recovery. It’s a role that Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz wrote specifically for Bamford, describing her style as “an exploration of dark aspects of herself.”
Neuroticism, self-help, and mental illness has always been a cornerstone of Bamford’s comedy. In 2009, she named her manic stand-up special Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome after a term she coined for her “little known version of obsessive-compulsive disorder.” In season three of Louie, Bamford played a depressed, broken comedian who bluntly tells C.K. he’s “bad at sex.”
In her new show from Hurwitz, Bamford plays a semi-autobiographical version of herself—a successful actress/comedian whose career was put on hold after a mental breakdown. As Bamford works to recover her career and her relationships, the audience is placed into the chaos of her reality.