I just finished watching the new season of Arrested Development on Netflix, and … it’s good! It really is! Admittedly, it feels far different than the original three seasons, but overall, it’s still intelligently written, with some great character beats and intricate narrative weaving. And more than anything, I appreciate the fact that the avoided falling into the trap of relying on fan service and call backs. It’s wholly original, ambitions and (most importantly) funny. But I do understand why some aren’t necessarily feeling the new season. In response, series creator Mitch Hurwitz posted a hand-written letter to Facebook, which I’ll transcribe below because it’s kinda hard to read.
7:45 pm PST
To our friends, fans and supporters, detractors, haters enemies, and arch enemies,
I’m writing on behalf of everyone who has worked so hard to bring back show that’s very special to us to say thank you for your ardent support of this show with the exception of the haters, detractors, etc.
We are all so grateful for another chance to bring these characters to life and could not have dones so without your consistent effort to “spread the word” about it. Although obviously in the case of the enemies the words you spread were “don’t watch this show.” You know I probably shouldn’t even include them in the salutation – but I’m writing this ink + making all sorts of mistakes. did you notice the ‘s’ at the end of the word “done”? What’s that doing there?
Anyway – it’s been our great joy to bring this to you on Netflix where you can access it whenever + however you want.
Except, you know, it’s really meant to be watched in order.
And you really should watch them all – because they build and, I’m just saying “eventually.” If you can. All 15.
But really this is yours now. Except for the obvious copyright issues. And you have to subscribe to Netflix.
So it’s not completely yours I guess.
I’m not going to write in ink anymore.
I love you don’t know you,
Creator, Arrested Development
Warning! I’m about to say my piece on the new season of Arrested Development. I’ll try not to spoil anything, but if I do … Well, in the words of Jon Jafari from Game Grumps, OOPSY DOOPS.
All right, here’s the thing about the new season of Arrested Development: If you go into it expecting a traditional season of TV, you probably won’t be able to appreciate the Netflix season for what it is. The Netflix series is less a chronologically sequential season and more of a series of interconnected, independent character shorts. (For the record, the reason for this seems to be that the cast had schedule conflicts the show had to work around. The show does a good job of working around this, but it is a bit of a hindrance at times.) I think one of the big reasons why Netflix released them all simultaneously is so that you can follow the overall narrative arch easier, and when taken in all at once? It works. And really, the season is available on Netflix for all of $8 a month or so. Honestly, if the universe sees fit to hand us fifteen solid episodes of Arrested Development for next to nothing? That’s a gift horse (or ostrich) you don’t look in the mouth.