Tuesday, Ron Howard sent out this tweet:
The tweet reignited the raging optimism over the upcoming Arrested Development season on Netflix. Jason Bateman followed suit on his own twitter feed, declaring:
Fans everywhere expressed their renewed support for the bold and radical concept of a straight-to-Netflix season, due for release in 2013.
It's hard not to get behind the idea of Netflix hosting Arrested Development Season 4, since the two seem like a perfect match on paper. Arrested Development's fatal flaw was that its largely college-aged audience couldn't be bothered to adhere to a primetime TV schedule. Without ratings, no level of genius could save Mitch Hurwitz's creation, and it became the poster child for shows that were “too good for TV.” Now with Netflix taking care of the distribution, even the most punctually impaired fans will be able to tune in.
Of course, there are plenty of other concerns when it comes to the new season. After more than six years off the air, can we really expect the same caliber of comedy? Futurama is the only show I can think of that has ever pulled off something like this, and they had the enormous advantage of being an animated program. The recent seasons of Matt Groening's second best work have been just as good as the earlier ones, but I have some serious doubts that Arrested Development can achieve the same success.
My biggest worry is that Ron Howard and co. are going to get too self-referential. The first three seasons were already ripe with self-awareness, and now all the writers have had a six year stew in their own creative juices. Plus, it certainly doesn't help that everyone's favorite lines have been quoted and requoted countless times. Nostalgic callbacks that try to pass for humor are undoubtedly the worst part of the new episodes of Futurama, so I have some trouble imagining that Arrested Development won't fall for the same trap.
But now is a time for optimism. It really seems like Arrested Development is actually coming back. No, I mean for real this time. Seriously!