I have met only one other person who has ever watched “Arrested Development.” I’ll mention the cult show or suggest it to friends and will get met with a blank stare. So I should probably rephrase that. I have met only one other person who has ever heard of “Arrested Development.”
And why should you have heard about it? The TV show has been off the air for seven years.
“Arrested Development” was first released on Nov. 2, 2003. The show earned good ratings. The off-beat comedy mixed with dry-humored narration made the show unique. It was one of the most unusual shows on air, following probably the world’s most dysfunctional family and their numerous quirks, which included chicken dances, never-nudes and bumbling magicians, so it should have been a success.
But the show lasted only three seasons. It was never able to garner a large enough fan base, and so Fox was forced to cancel it much too early.
Then, something strange happened. The show became popular after its cancellation. The fan base grew both in size and in strength, and soon, Fox realized that it “had made a huge mistake,” as one of the characters, Gob Bluth, would say.
So on Oct. 2, 2011, the “Arrested Development” actors gathered, and show creator Mitchell Hurwitz announced what loyal fans had dreamed of: a fourth season.
But rather than the fourth season airing on Fox, Netflix would be creating and releasing the show.
On Sunday, Netflix released 15 new episodes.
I binge-watched the whole season in one day.
The newest season takes place seven years from when the third season left off.
It has A-list actors galore, including Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogen.
Inside jokes continue on. There is more magic, more plot twists and more birds, for some strange reason.
Season Four is good, not great like the first three seasons, but good.
But it is almost sad. The characters’ lives have gotten even worse (who knew that was possible?) and they are almost all estranged from each other.
So that leaves me with my biggest complaint: There was not enough character interaction.
Each new episode focuses on one of the main characters. In the original series, there were often several characters with different conflicts, but they would still be together in the end, one big happy(ish) family. Now, the characters bump into each other from time to time, argue a little, but are only all together for two scenes in the whole season.
Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the new season. But trust me when I say, watch the original seasons first. Actually, that is the summer homework that I shall bestow upon you. On a rainy day or if you have nothing better to do, watch “Arrested Development.” You will have to start from the beginning to understand anything that happens, but let me assure you that you will not regret it.
Viewers can see the entire series on Netflix, or see the first three seasons on Amazon Prime.
Alissa Roy is a senior at Springville-Griffith Institute.