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Way back in 2003 America was introduced to the deliciously dysfunctional Bluth family, and while critics praised the series, audiences could not have been less interested, so three short seasons later the show was unceremoniously cancelled. Almost a decade since its debut, the tables have certainly turned for the once overlooked comedy. Arrested Development has become one of the most celebrated comedies of recent times, and has found a new, wider audience since its unfortunate demise. Whether you discovered the show after its cancellation (no shame in that; the important thing is that you recognized the greatness within; I am one who discovered the show after its cancellation, seeing as I was to young to realize what amazing television I was missing) or are a diehard fans since its inception, May 26th will be a day of joyous celebration as the beloved show will return with new episodes made available through the internet streaming site Netflix. After six years, Arrested Development has been yanked out of cancellation nation and miraculously resurrected for a fourth season and possible motion picture. While the prospect of a movie is still up in the air, we can be comforted by the fifteen new episodes that will be made available this Sunday.
The last episode aired, “Development Arrested” was a fantastic conclusion for the series, which left many story threads incomplete and open ended: the Bluth company now potentially lies in the hands of Stan Sitwell; Maeby manages to sell the rights to the family’s story; Michael and George Michael abandon the family and embark on a get-away trip on Gob’s yacht (unknowingly taking George Sr. along with them); Lucile attempts to escape potential prosecution brought on by evidence gathered by her adopted son Annyong/Hello; Lindsay is revealed to have been adopted, etc. The characters were all in a state of transition when we last saw them, it will be fun to watch where they ended up after six years. Thanks to this hilarious clip we know that Lucille will be under house arrest at the start of the fourth season, but the season’s official trailer does not offer much in terms of specific story arcs. We do get many glimpses of the Bluth family six years later and it seems like they haven’t grown out of their usual shenanigans, though Buster has grown into a new, very spiffy bedazzled hook.
Though we don’t know exactly what to expect in these fifteen new episodes, there is definitely a lot to look forward to in this new incarnation of the series. I don’t know how much of a conclusion we are going to get from these upcoming episodes, since the talk about a feature film is still brewing among the people directly involved with the show, so with the hope that a film will be realized, the fourth season should act as a bridge between where we left off in the story and the present day. With any luck the writers will be able to fill in the blanks without the show devolving into a huge exposition machine. Expectations are extremely high for this new batch of episodes; fans have been looking forward to such a revival for a long time, and with that comes an incredible amount of pressure to please the eager audience. A chance like this doesn’t come easy or often to many television shows, so the creators of the show cannot waste this rare opportunity. I trust Mitch Hurwitz to continue the same brand of humor and storytelling we fell in love with in those first three, magical seasons.