"Now, the story of a group of fans who lost everything, and the one announcement that gave them no choice but to keep it all together."
On Sunday, the New Yorker tweeted the following:
And with that, fans worldwide blue themselves.
Arrested Development, the short-lived FOX comedy that chronicled the decline of the dysfunctional Bluth Family, has established itself over time as one of television’s most definitive and original series. Despite a star cast, a cult following and critical acclaim, however, the show never managed to boost its low ratings and was cancelled in 2006 after just three seasons. Storylines were unresolved, questions went unanswered and, as with many a defunct television series, clamoring immediately began for a full-length movie. Over the past five years, actors Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, Tony Hale and Will Arnett have all separately claimed the film was in the works; statements from creator Mitch Hurwitz have weakly reinforced the fantasy of a movie on several occasions. But at the New Yorker Festival Arrested Development Panel on Oct. 2 (the cast’s first reunion since the show’s end), Hurwitz not only said he is developing a script, but is also in talks with Showtime and Netflix to air an additional season before the eventual theater release. Naturally, the Internet exploded with the news, and there are many questions to be answered.
No, not that question.
Will It Happen?
Before everyone gets too far ahead of themselves, keep in mind that this revelation, albeit exciting, doesn’t necessarily confirm either the show or the movie. Hurwitz dangled the possibility of a film in fans’ faces for years without any actual proof. He’s supposedly been in the writing stages since 2009, and pushed the movie release date from 2011, to 2012, and now to 2013. In addition, up until recently it wasn’t certain whether all the actors were on board with the film project, let alone if they would commit to another season (inspiring one fan’s remake of a classic Doris Day tune). At the very least, it’s comforting that Hurwitz seemingly intends to properly set up the movie with more episodes of the show, rather than just produce a film to quell demand. All the same, maybe it’s best to take a few seconds to breathe before planning weekly viewing parties—we all know what can happen when you act too quickly.
What Do We Want?
The enthusiasm of on-campus Arrested Development devotees, however, remains uncurbed. Reactions upon hearing of the show’s return had a basic formula: incredulity, followed quickly by exclamation.
“I kind of didn’t believe it at first, because there’s been so many rumors,” said Communication sophomore Lydia Moore. “Then I went through a rollercoaster of emotions.”
“I actually yelled out loud. I think I scared my roommate,” said Bridget Illing, also a sophomore Communication student.
Now the matter on everyone’s minds is what exactly will happen if and when Arrested Development comes back. Hurwitz mentioned a “limited run” with no more than ten episodes, devoting each to an individual Bluth and explaining just what they’ve been up to for the past five years.“The latest joke we have is that it’s Cambridge, Mass., and there’s all these scientists in lab coats and they’re waiting for somebody. Buster comes through the door in a white lab coat – ‘Let’s begin’ – and they say, ‘Oh, no, you don’t get to wear the lab coat. We’re experimenting on you,’ ” Hurwitz said to the New York Times< Arts Beat.
It seems that students, however, don’t have many demands when it comes to future storylines. “It never really had a plot to begin with; it just follows the characters, and the characters are great,” said Amina Dreessen, a Weinberg freshman. “I don’t have any expectations,” said Medill sophomore Clare Roth. “New material is awesome. I’ll be happy with whatever they decide to create.”
“I just hope George Michael gets a chicken dance,” said SESP sophomore Kevin McDougal.
What Are We Waiting For?
Thanks to syndication, Hulu and the never-ending archives of the internet, Arrested Development’s following has continued to grow since its cancellation. Its biting portrayal of upper class Americans totally disconnected from reality gave the show a reputation for ridiculous antics and subtle social commentary. Consistently good writing, lovably eccentric characters and undeniable humor came together to tell a story that was anything but generic. It was outrageous. It was timely. It was even, at times, touching.
Most importantly, though, it was funny without being forced — something many comedies struggle to achieve. And because of this standard, the fans will be anticipating more of the same. Maybe that will be the case: the company could dig its way out of the enormous legal and financial grave in which Lucille buried it, Michael could find the time to be the dad he’s always wanted to be, and the family could reconcile. On the chance that things don’t play out this way, however, fans need to lower their expectations to a reasonable level. For those of us who have spent five years building the show up in our heads, the returning Arrested Development might not be as entertaining as we once found it — if it returns at all. The most we can hope for now is that all nine members of the Bluth family reunite someday, on the silver screen or otherwise. Until then, there are fifty-three episodes to re-watch while we wait.
Good thing Michael Cera doesn’t age.
“And THAT’S why you don’t get overly excited about a show that has yet to be confirmed by a network.”