Why is everyone talking about a show from 2005 I hear you ask?
Well, Arrested Development has actually come back before. It was one of Netflix’s big purchases before they really entered the TV game. And you can tell. The fourth season in 2013 was rough. Due to scheduling conflicts and the nature of the individual character-focussed scripts, the Bluth family was rarely seen together and sometimes characters like family lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn played by Henry Winkler (recently seen on HBO’s Barry, no relation) were filmed on a green screen and pasted into scenes. Arrested Development is self-referential and often relies on its past jokes to really hit home and for whatever jokey reason, ‘ShowStealer Pro Trial Version’ is watermarked over any footage from its run on Fox. It’s bad.
Creator, Mitch Hurwitz, heard from fans loud and clear that Season 4 wasn’t what fans wanted. On May 5th he remixed the 13 episode season into something called Season 4 Remix: Fateful Consequences with new narration from Ron Howard. It’s changed from 13 longer episodes into 22 shorter ones more like the first three seasons and follows its events sequentially. You can still find the original season hidden under the ‘Trailers & More’ menu on Netflix. I checked out the first episode and it hasn’t really ‘fixed’ it. While there are funny moments it’s too messy to appreciate fully. And the cast isn’t entirely happy either. Now that the series is appealing for syndication they want compensation for the extra episodes.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, interviewer Sopan Deb asks about Jeffrey Tambor, who earlier this year was kicked off Amazon’s Transparent for sexual harassment. Because Tambor had brought up an incident on Arrested Development previously, Jessica Walter gave her side of the traumatic time when Tambor verbally abused her on set, and his male co-stars quickly rush to his defence. Only Alia Shawkat, who also appears on Transparent, doesn’t try to excuse his behaviour. As a result of the interview and resulting backlash, they have cancelled the rest of their UK press tour.
Season 5 is coming out in just a few days and looks to comment on the Trump administration with Lindsay running for Congress and the Bluths self-proclaiming ‘Family of the year‘. Will putting the cast back together recapture the magic or should the show have stayed cancelled after Season 3? I guess we’ll find out.
Arrested Development Season 5 is coming to Netflix on May 29th.