Bluth family fans, I hope you're ready to fire up your couches for a marathon viewing session, because the Arrested Development season four premiere is finally almost here. Some seven years after getting booted from broadcast television, the cult comedy is ready for its comeback through Netflix's instant streaming service, and it's pretty much custom-designed for a big old television binge.
Starting this Sunday May 26th, the entire 15-episode season will be available on Netflix. In addition to the launch time (reportedly 12:01 AM PST), here are 5 extremely important things to know about the brand new season:
It's exclusively available through Netflix instant streaming. Meaning, if your Netflix account is like mine and doesn't include streaming (I'm on the 3-discs-at-a-time plan), it's time to update your settings if you want to access the new season on Sunday. It's an extra $7.99/month for unlimited streaming, and I can confirm that it's super-easy to add that service because I just did so in a different tab as I was typing this sentence. (Sweet. Now I can finally watch House of Cards, too.) Creator Mitch Hurwitz has confirmed that 20th Century Fox owns the property and may release DVDs in the future, but for now, it's Netflix or nothin'.
The guest cast list is AWESOME. Confirmed guest stars include:
- John Krasinski (The Office)
- John Slattery (Mad Men)
- Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, Anders Holm, and Erik Griffin (Workaholics)
- Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation)
- Chris Diamantopoulos (Up All Night)
- Isla Fisher
- Conan O'Brien
- Seth Rogen
- Mary Lynn Rajskub as Heartfire
- Natasha Leggero as Anchorwoman #1
- Busy Philipps as Anchorwoman #2
- Brian Grazer as Himself
- Maria Bamford as Debris
- Terry Crews as Herbert Love
- Kristen Wiig as a young Lucille Bluth
Each new episode is written from one character’s point-of-view. While all of the 15 installments will take place within the same timeframe, each episode will focus on one character. This was done in no small part because of the logistical difficulties in filming. According to Hurwitz,
There was no reality where we could get everybody for a full 7- or 8-month period. That gave birth to the form we came up with for the new series.
The episodes should be watched in order. Hurwitz wanted characters and story lines from different episodes to intersect, and resorted to some digital trickery to make it happen:
In a quarter of the scenes, someone is green-screened in. If two characters are having a conversation in one of those characters' episodes and that character's life changes, then in the other character's episode you show the other side of the conversation and the result of it on THAT character.
The effect was originally intended to make the series something you could watch as you see fit, rather than a traditional episode progression.
Mitch made it a choose-your-own-adventure season, in that you can watch any episode out of order and it makes sense but, depending on which order you watch them, the series kind of tells a different story. -- Portia de Rossi
(…) the action across the episodes is happening simultaneously. If I'm driving down the street in my episode and Gob's going down the sidewalk on his Segway, you could stop my episode, go into his episode, and follow him and see where he's going. -- Jason Bateman
However, it seems Hurwitz has had a change of heart since production wrapped, and now suggests that fans should watch them in order so all the jokes work:
Avoiding watching them all in one slack-jawed viewing unless you really, really want to. Planning on mainlining all 15 episodes on Sunday? Just be careful you don't venture into burnout territory. Hurwitz says,
Don’t feel obligated to watch it all at once. It’s not Lord Of The Rings. Comedy takes a lot out of you.
Sure, sure. And a pint of ice cream has four servings. Whatever. We're all going to slip into a television overdose and you can't stop us. STEVE HOLT!
Will you be watching the new season of Arrested Development on Sunday?
Image via Netflix