I never thought the day would come, but it’s coming– Arrested Development, the best sitcom you’ve ever (hopefully) seen is returning only on Netflix on May 26th. There had been talk of Arrested’s return, well, practically since it bowed out in 2006, but the fact that it’s actually coming back– and in under two months no less!– has me in an almost delirious and dreamlike state of excitement and anticipation.
If you’ve never seen Arrested Development, it was the ratings-challenged sitcom on Fox in the early 2000’s which launched (or relaunched) the careers of mainstays like Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Michael Cera and many more. It was the smartest show on television, with an amazing and charming cast of social misfits, and lightning-fast delivery of gags, jokes and references that make it infinitely rewatchable,
Arrested paved the way for much of modern TV comedy, with its use of the faux-documentary, single camera style, soft continuity (it’s not really serialized, but there’s so many callbacks to previous episodes that the more you’ve seen, the more you’ll be rewarded). The show always had its die hard fans, and we fought hard to champion our beloved series… it made it three seasons before wrapping up with what seemed like a great ending.
That great ending of the Season Three finale was my only reservation about the show actually coming back, but the excitement of revisiting these people and their bizarre world of building development scandals and magicians and analrapists won me over pretty much instantly.
And the show will once again be blazing a new trail for TV shows, taking full advantage of its new streaming home on Netflix. All 15 episodes of the new Season will be released simultaneously on the 26th, and while there will be a suggested watching order, each 30 minute installment will focus on the same events, from the perspective of a different character. This is new and exciting and rather experimental– episodes can be shuffled and watched in different order and not only will it make sense… but creator Mitch Hurwitz has said the story will reveal new layers based on which order the episodes are viewed in.
I think this is very cool, and I’m quite interested to see how this Pandora/ Shuffle format plays out with a TV show. No matter how that turns out, the fact that Arrested Development is once again pushing the envelope on storytelling and structure makes me totally happy and more stoked than ever to watch it as soon as possible.
Along with the release date, we also got treated to the teaser poster below this morning, and while it doesn’t give much away… I’m dying to find out what’s in that orange locker.
May 26th promises to be the first of many marathon screenings. Sorry, there’s no way I’m going to work that day.