It’s been 8 years since we last saw the wonderfully dysfunctional Bluth family, but our family reunion with them will commence soon, when 15 brand new episodes of Arrested Development will be available for streaming on Netflix!
For those unaware of the show’s history, Arrested Development premiered on Fox in 2003. It received critical praise, and won several Emmy’s throughout the show’s run, including one for Outstanding Comedy Series. Despite the critical raves, it had a bit of a problem: no one watched it. It became a huge issue for the show, since the direction they went for was a lot of callbacks from previous episodes, which, despite making viewers from the beginning happy, wasn’t really popular with new viewers. After three seasons Fox canceled it, and the show was thought to be dead.
However, when Netflix first started streaming, all of Arrested Development was put up, and through the power of the internet and an appreciation for good television it gathered a huge cult following. So huge, in fact, that Netflix offered them the chance to make a fourth season exclusively for Netflix’s streaming system. The magic day that these new episodes will come out is this Sunday!
As much as I love the show, a part of me is worried that they could lose the magic touch that made it so perfect back then. So, I’ve prepared a sort of wish list of things I want to see Arrested Development do with this season. Have a look!
George-Oscar Bluth, or GOB, played by the hilarious Will Arnett, is a wanna-be magician with some odd tendencies. He rides a Segway around, he can’t seem to make a chicken noise correctly, and, my personal favorite, he has an incredibly stereotypical black puppet named Franklin Delano Bluth, who has a twisted mind of his own. Franklin is a fan favorite, and one of the best recurring jokes the show has to offer. Now, we have to wonder, will they bring him back? They had better, because he was such a fleshed-out character, to the point where people treated him like his own person, including GOB himself. In fact, if this season doesn’t work out, I demand Franklin have his own spin-off show, featuring Anne Hathaway as his wife. Yeah, I’d watch the crap out of that.
This show was so deliciously filled with some of the dirtiest and loveliest double-entendres that television has to offer. Please, Arrested Development, keep this tradition alive and give me some more things to quote on Facebook! The champion of sly potty humor is obviously David Cross and his fantastic portrayal of the flamboyant, yet sexually-ambiguous, Tobias. Tobias is an ex-doctor and currently an actor, who constantly says things like “I’m afraid that I just blue myself” and “I can already taste those meaty leading man parts in my mouth”. It gets worse on his doctor side, when he combines his titles as therapist and analyst, it somehow reads as “analrapist” on the business cards. We need more of this, pronto.
3. Required Multiple Viewings
One of the best things about it is how layered the show is with its jokes. So layered, in fact, that it requires several watches in order to catch each joke. Like how Tony Hale’s character, Buster, is such a mamma’s boy to Bluth matriarch Lucille, played by Jessica Walter. Lucille is insane and dangerous, constantly smothering and destroying Buster’s independence. And ironically, once Buster finally escapes her for a moment to go swim in the ocean, he gets his hand eaten by a loose seal… Sound that out right now. Lu-cille. Loose seal. No matter where he goes, a loose seal (Lucille) is there to ruin him! They never mention that in the actual dialouge, but I caught onto that after my third viewing. That’s not even the only Easter egg the show has to offer! All I can pray for is that when I watch season four again, I find more to enjoy and praise.
4. Kitty’s Bitties
Kitty, played by the wonderful Judy Greer, is the insane, sex-crazed receptionist for The Bluth Company. She has a tendency to say her final goodbyes regularly, and often to the same people over and over again. But you have to love her, because every time, she’ll just flash her boobs, shouting “Say goodbye to THESE!” The joke never becomes old, and I hope it stays that way when Kitty returns. I can’t wait to see her make her goodbyes again…and again…and again…
No matter how intricate, layered, and hilarious this show is, it always has something behind it that most comedies don’t. That, my friends, is genuine human emotion. These characters, although absolutely insane, never did crazy things for the sake of being crazy, they did it because it was character-driven, which makes for the best kind of television. This was a show with writers who cared for these people, and wanted to make sure that they were fully fleshed out and realized. They knew when to put dramatic beats in, and they knew how to make them land. This show had some real compassion for the plot it told, and that is why it became so popular. The performances and jokes helped, but it can never compare to the show’s heart. So, Arrested Development, when you come back on Sunday, make sure you remember that. You can do callbacks and continued jokes, just keep it grounded.
Well, I’m off to go set some frozen banana stands on fire, let’s hope for the best on Sunday! What do you hope to see out of this new season?