Tuned In

Robo-James’ Time Machine: Arrested Re-Development

  • Share
  • Read Later

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?