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Robo-James’ Time Machine: Arrested Re-Development

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I’m not sure what precisely is the amount of time that can elapse before a TV show is anointed a classic, but I’m going to go ahead and say that Arrested Development qualifies. Which is why it is all the more unusual and amazing that, over six years after the last original episode aired, the revival of the show next year on Netflix, with the original cast, is honest-to-God happening.

It’s hard to think of a direct parallel in TV history, recent or otherwise: the TNT version of Dallas doesn’t really qualify, being a reboot with some original cast but also an entirely new generation of characters. The return of Family Guy, in a way, is comparable—not that I would say it’s on the same level, or even the same building, as Arrested Development—but then it’s easier to reassemble an animated show than a live-action one. (See also Futurama.)

But the seemingly impossible, the pipe dream longed-for by fans of many a cancelled show, actually happened: the show is reportedly back in production, with reported casting additions including John Slattery of Mad Men. It’s a dream come true for fans—but I hope it won’t be too much of one. By which I mean: I can’t wait to see the show come back, and like many of you, I have a list of favorite moments longer than George Bluth’s rap sheet. (At the top of many of your lists, judging from its popularity on YouTube, is the chicken dance, above.)

But with an avid and grateful fanbase out there, and only nine episodes with which to gratify them, I hope that Mitch Hurwitz and company focus on doing a strong new season rather than a curtain call. That is, I think the new episodes will be better if they move the story forward rather than focus on giving everyone something that they loved from the original run, If it gives Hurwitz room to create another great story arc, I’m willing to forgo seeing Tobias in blueface. I’ll even skip the chicken dance.

Having said that: what particular Arrested Development characters or locations are you most excited to see again? What stories do you want the new episodes to resolve or build on? And if you could choose one other recent classic to raise from the dead, what would it be?

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anon76returns
anon76returns

Ha!  When I saw the tagline "But let's hope it doesn't feel obligated to replay all its greatest hits." in the post the first thing I thought of was the Chicken Dance.  Of all the times AD had me gasping for breath, I just never got the humor in the Chicken Dance (not that I didn't appreciate Portia and Jessica Walter's uninhibited effort in the season 3 version).

What would I like to see?  Winkler and Lucille 2 were fun, it would be nice to see them brought back for another round.  And, maybe it's just the fact that I've been watching PBS's 'The Cat in the Hat' tv show with my toddler, but I'm developing a soft spot for Martin Short's Uncle Jack character.  I could see where he could once again be helpful for the perpetually cash-strapped and legally jeopardized Bluth family.

Out of curiosity, is there any sense of finality for this run, or are there contract options for extending for another season if all goes well?  And, last time I checked, it was to be several new episodes followed by a movie.  Is the big screen version out the window now, or might that still be a possibility?

KB_Corkless
KB_Corkless

I wonder if the sleazy lawyer in 'Breaking Bad' borrowed any of Henry Winkler's character traits portraying  Bluth's lawyer in 'Arrested Development'? I see similarities there.

And I vote to bring back 'Pushing Daisies'.

rhys1882
rhys1882

David Cross has recently said he thinks the run will end up closer to 13 episodes with all of the plot lines they've ended up developing. If you think about it, since they are freed from the traditional TV studio system, they aren't necessarily beholden to the same development process you'd see where the studio has to greenlight additional episodes. It's probably much closer to the Louis CK model where they have been given a set amount of money and Netflix will probably be happy with whatever they can get done with that money, including more episodes than they expected.

Doug Aamoth
Doug Aamoth

I always found the George-Michael-in-love-with-his-cousin storyline pretty amusing, though now that George Michael and Maeby are six years older, it just seems kind of creepy. It'll be interesting to see how/if the show addresses that. 

majnun99
majnun99

I thought that was resolved? Not that it's less creepy some would say

Magical_Half_Jew
Magical_Half_Jew

I just started watching Firefly. I only have three episodes and the movie left, and I already see how great that show was, and how much greater it could have been. I know it'll never come back, but man, I wish I had more than three episodes and the movie to look forward to.

majnun99
majnun99

One hundred years from now firefly will still be the only good answer to this question. Enjoy the rest