05.28.13

Portia de Rossi’s New Look Spooks ‘Arrested Development’ Fans

Fans of Arrested Development couldn’t help but notice that Lindsay Bluth-Fünke looks a bit different in the latest episodes. Is it plastic surgery—or the work of a clever makeup artist? Nina Strochlic on the raging online debate.

Despite months of breathless anticipation, many Arrested Development fans have greeted the show’s comeback season with a resounding “meh.”

Could one reason behind the lack of excitement be that one of its main stars, Portia de Rossi, is practically unrecognizable?

It could be the powdery makeup and the lighter eyebrows, or the seven years that have passed since we last saw Lindsay Bluth-Fünke on TV. Or maybe the actress cannily dressed herself up to look different, playing off her character’s reputation for vanity. Or could it be that de Rossi has had some work done?

It’s tantalizing unclear. The new season, which premiered Monday, almost seems to poke fun at Lindsay’s new look, with the Bluth sister falling for a man with face blindness within the first few episodes. At one point, Michael even questions her frozen face. Of course, in previous seasons, Lindsay’s nose job has been a side joke (“Look at the beak on that bird,” she unknowingly says about herself). But in the past, face-lifts were for the elder Bluth woman, Lucille—and with terrifying results.

On Twitter, fans reacted to the new look almost immediately. And after BuzzFeed published a side-by-side comparison of de Rossi before and after, they seemed relieved that they weren’t the only ones who noticed the change.

“Was I the only one who spent the first two minutes of that episode Googling whether that was actually Portia de Rossi playing Lindsay Bluth?” one befuddled fan wondered.

“How many episodes till I get used to Lindsay’s face?” one tweeter asked.

“It may be something with the wig she is wearing (maybe it pulls at her face?) and her weird makeup.” another fan wrote.

“I hate to be a hater, but Portia de Rossi looks more like Calista Flockhart than Lindsay Bluth now, with her face-lift and all #bummer,” one journalist wrote on Twitter.

“I’ve never been so bummed out by plastic surgery until I saw Lindsay Bluth 2.0,” another user noted.

De Rossi hasn’t commented on the conversation her face has sparked online, and when we reached out to her publicist we didn’t get an answer. But in April, a few months after she turned 40, she seemingly put the kibosh on any talk of plastic surgery. “The one thing I don’t want to do is chase what I looked like at 20,” she told People.

Whatever the case—and even though Lindsay might not say the same about us—we love our favorite materialistic, superficial Bluth no matter what she looks like.