Art, Movies, Lit, Theater

Arrested Development: Back To Life

Posted by tbaker |

Arrested DevelopmentBy Dane La Born

“Now the story of a show whose future was abruptly canceled, and the streaming service that brought it back to life. It’s Arrested Development.”

There’s been a lot of talk for, well, the last 7 years about Arrested Development. Widely hailed as one of the true gems of televised comedy, it’s also given a lot of credit for changing the way sitcom’s operate. It truly was golden, but a lack of ratings in an age before widely available streaming, caused this wonderful show to die too soon.

It had it’s fans that fought valiantly to bring the show back, but to no avail. After of a steady growth of fans because of DVD sales as well as Netflix viewership, Arrested Development’s cast and crew finally answered as to whether or not there would be a movie with a resounding yes. Netflix had taken a risk on the show, and not only would fans get a movie, fans would get an entire fourth season, spanning originally 10, but expanded to 15, all new episodes! This was a salivating thought. Netflix had Frankensteined one of the best shows that’s ever existed!

As the months drug by, I refreshed my memory by watching all the old AD’s, laughing harder than I ever had before. Having seen them before let me watch them with new eyes, constantly trying to find the hidden, visual jokes or subtle nods peppered throughout the series, e.g. Henry Winkler jumping over a shark, a la Happy Days.

Then the time really started to drag. May 26th was so close! Yet, it was so far away. I sat mindlessly through the weeks, and finally, at 3:01 A.M. on the 26th, the episodes hit. Problem; I was asleep. Thankfully, my inner clock didn’t let me sleep much longer, and like a kid on Christmas I woke up at 5 and hit play, squealing excitedly, then looking around to double check I was alone. It was here at last! I had carefully structured my day to not have to do anything but watch, and promptly turned my phone off as I heard the familiar tune greet me.

The fourth season has plenty for longtime fans and newcomers alike. The frequent shoutbacks to jokes from the first 3 seasons kind of clue you in to the creator and writer Mitch Hurwitz’s appreciation for the fans that made this possible, with nods to Netflix thrown in as well. I was laughing til I cried at some of the jokes, a good sign for the show that had made me laugh so hard in the past. With 15 episodes readily available for my immediate viewing, I settled in for the long haul.

The Netflix structure worked very well for AD, making the episodes feel chained together and well-connected. Unlike past seasons, each episode in the 4th tends to be centric to one member of the Bluth family, and watching them one after the other makes the episodes feel like one massive episode in the old series, with plenty of jokes linking individual moments and arcs.

Michael, Lindsay, Tobias, George Michael, Maeby, Lucille, Buster, Gob, George Sr, Uncle Oscar, Bob Loblaw, Barry Zuckerkorn, and more of the internet’s favorite family is ready and waiting to be watched and laughed at on Netflix. Get it before someone calls you a chicken! (You’ll have to trust me, but I am totally doing a really bad chicken impression)

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