Arrested Development Season 4: On Netflix starting Sunday, May 26 @ 12:01am Pacific Time
When we last left off: It was seven long years ago when Arrested Development was canceled by Fox and burned off as counter-programming to the opening of the 2006 Winter Olympics. In that time, the show picked up a rabid following on DVD (Arrested Development is probably the first show that truly benefited from the binge-watching model, as it allowed for call backs to be salient in the viewers mind instead of going dormant each week). Additionally, rumors for a potential movie ran rampant for a number of years, while many of the cast members moved on to pursue greater fame and a large number of projects, the most notable being Jason Bateman and Michael Cera’s ascensions to movie star leading man status. Finally, a little company called Netflix went from being a DVD by-mail company and grew into a streaming Goliath that decided to get into the process of making its’ own TV (such as the earlier Kevin Spacey vehicle House of Cards).
In terms of the show’s internal storyline, the third season finale “Development Arrested” closed off many of the show’s major plot arcs. All of the charges against George Sr. were ultimately dropped when it was discovered that the U.S. Government’s two CIA branches didn’t know what the other was doing. Michael once again got passed over for the CEO position, leading him to leave for Mexico with George Michael. Meanwhile, Maeby was busy trying to get the family to sign away their likenesses for the rights to her story while Lucille was trying to ensure that no one sold their company stocks.
The show however, left one new avenue open: While the charges were dropped against George, our finale had the SEC coming after Lucille, whom we had discovered had masterminded much of George’s fraud and embezzlement schemes in the first place. A second, and potentially interesting angle arose from the reveal of Lindsay being an adopted daughter, adopted by George and Lucille with the sole purpose of spiting Stan Sitwell.
What I’m looking forward to this season: First and foremost, it’s new Arrested Development! While I occasionally watched the show when it was on FOX, I became hooked when a friend lent me the full series on DVD when I was living at school. Since that time I usually binge watch the series about once a year, so the idea of new episodes excites me!
To me, the most interesting part about this season is that whereas the original series was very strongly serialized and in chronological order, the events of this season will occur simultaneously, almost making the season feel like one jumbo sized episode when viewed holistically. While creator Mitchell Hurwitz feels the first run-through of the new season should be in run order, he envisions later viewings being akin to a choose-your-own-adventure style TV series, where people jump from one episode to another in order to see all the intersecting lines.
What I’m concerned about: One word: expectations. The expectations for this show’s return are at a fever pitch considering the fan outcry for new material for a number of years, and I wonder if expectations are going to be so high that no matter how amazing season 4 ends up (and trailers are indicating I won’t be moving from my couch this weekend) that it won’t stack up to all of the expectations.
I should be back with a review of the first two or three episodes of the new season either Monday or Tuesday. Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend everyone!