Arrested Development is freakin’ back! But it’s not exactly what you might think. As EP/creator Mitch Hurwitz and star Jason Bateman explained today at the TCA Press Tour, the upcoming the 14 new episodes coming to Netflix are not to be viewed as a new TV season.
Even though all 14 new episodes of Arrested Development will be available all at once in May, on Netflix, they are still to be watched in numerical order. But the similarities to the beloved FOX TV series end there. These episodes are to be seen as a whole, and as an elaborate, interlocking form of storytelling.
“I would say that it’s a very different form,” Hurwitz said. “And it emerged really organically. And it really followed the function of the family growing apart and everyone on the show moving on and getting different parts. So getting everybody together for what we’ll call, loosely, an anthology or series, was to to dedicate each episode to a different character’s point of view. And that became a really fun, interesting, engaging creative challenge. We started finding out that the stories would intersect. You’ll later come to see a scene again, but from the other perspective you’ll get all this other information. So there’s kind of an evolution to the storytelling that’s necessary.”
“And all of that conspired to just make this one giant Arrested Development,” Hurwitz smiled. “One giant 700-minute Arrested Development.”
“This acts, as we’ve alluded to before, as basically just the first act of what hope to continue and complete in a movie, which would be Act 2 and Act 3,” star Jason Bateman explained. “But these episodes set that up. One does not work without the other. I think it was mislabeled early on by some blogger, or somebody, that this was Season 4, when, in fact, it is not that. We should probably make that clear. There is certainly a satisfying conclusion to these episodes if for some reason the movie does not happen. But they are all meant to work within one another, as part of a hybrid package of Arrested Development stuff.”
Hurwitz then talked a bit about the construct of the new Arrested Development “stuff.” “There is an order,” he remarked. “There is absolutely an order that we have put together to create the maximum amount of surprises. But that’s just part of the storytelling. So if you watch in the order that we prescribe, you’ll get to episode 4 and say ‘So that’s why he did that back in episode 1.’”
14 new episodes of Arrested Development will debut in May, all at once, on Netflix.
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