Arrested Development Is Back And Internet Fanboys Are Still Impossible To Please



Arrested Development

If you’ve never seen Arrested Development, Mitch Hurwitz’ s critically lauded sitcom, you’re in the same boat as a lot of people, in that you’ve wasted the use of a perfectly good set of eyeballs.

Initially broadcast in 2003, the show starred Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth, the most normal member of the millionaire Bluth family. His father is an embodiment of everything that is wrong with corporate America; corrupt, dumb, arrogant and lecherous.  His mother is a manipulative, drunken shrew. His older brother is a wannabe lothario with dreams of being a magician, his twin sister a vacuous, brittle socialite with a string of failed charities and a secretly gay husband. Their younger brother is a creepy, Oedipal man-child and Michael’s son is desperate for an incestuous relationship with his cousin.

Factor in the Iraq war, a sexually deviant lawyer and occasional racist puppet shows and, on paper, you have the stuff of trauma counselling. On screen, however, it was gold. Dazzlingly written, staggeringly layered and constantly surprising. At its best, it recalled the gag rate of classic era Simpsons mixed with the convoluted genius of Joseph Heller.

It bombed, of course. TV audiences weren’t used to something as frivolous as a sitcom actually requiring attention or repeated viewings – sitcoms are expected to be light and fluffy and neat. We’re supposed to pretend to wonder whether Ross and Rachel end up together (spoilers: of course they fucking do), whereas in Arrested Development, they’d have had Schwimmer and Aniston sneaking into a pregnant woman’s house to steal her urine.

Cancelled after three increasingly shortened series, the show found its natural home online and in boxed sets, where fans could watch the episodes in order at their leisure. Then, against all odds, enough people began to see the comedy light. Word of mouth began to spread. With internet streaming services going from strength to strength, Netflix finally stepped up to the plate and decided to bankroll a whole fourth series.

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Fans were ecstatic, but when Netflix released season 4 into the wild in its entirety on May 26th, things went predictably downhill.Season 4, for the record, is good. It has some minor flaws – trying to cover missing years of continuity means the chronological jumping around can be awkward, Seth Rogan is wasted, and Portia De Rossi has fallen through a cosmetic surgery wormhole and aged 20 years to everyone else’s six – but generally, the show is better than fans had any right to hope for.

Portia De Rossi changed face
Except Arrested Development now belongs to the internet, and blowing up over minor flaws is what the net does best.

Within ten seconds of the new episodes going live, comments sections everywhere lit up with parades of incensed, “worst episode ever” Comic Book Guys who pilloried the show for not being completely perfect in every single detail.

Never mind that the show is, after all, in its fourth series and can therefore never feel as fresh as it did ten years ago; everything is absolutely awful, according to fanboys, and this is ultimately why the internet shouldn’t be allowed to have nice things.

Fans of Arrested Development pulled off an honest-to-god miracle. The show rose like a Phoenix and actually came back to us, with the entire original cast, and was still funny. Even the worst episodes are still a hundred thousand times better than The Big Bang Theory, a show so stupid it can’t be viewed by pregnant women without causing brain damage to the foetus. [ is not a doctor. Citation needed. Big Bang Theory sucks.]

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People should be hugging in the streets that the smartest, funniest show of the last ten years got the second chance it deserved, not nitpicking from their keyboards whilst contributing nothing to the world.

If you haven’t seen the show, do it. Do it do it do it do it do it. Do it right now. Start with series one.

For the rest of us fans, we should be glad that the A.D. resurrection came about, because it’s a game changer. Smart shows with small, dedicated fanbases might have a chance in the brave new world that the Bluth company built. Maybe then we can finally send witless shite like Big Bang Theory to the Milford academy, to be neither seen nor heard.

All we need to do to make this dream a reality is not blow it with fanboy snarkiness.

So let’s try not to be dicks, okay?!

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