New “Arrested Development” season extended

The cult TV show’s return on Netflix will include even more episodes than before.

Mack Hayden , Writer

In 2006, the most dysfunctional family on television was discontinued. “Arrested Development” was a show ahead of its time and unbelievably hilarious. Fans rallied around the show for years, bummed about the disappearance of what they saw as the greatest show on television. This year brought the news that the Bluths will be returning at last, and Wednesday let us know their initially announced 10-episode run was expanded further.

Cancellation upset fans and left them longing

Rumors that “Arrested” was to return have been circulating since the show went off the air in the first place. For a while, the idea that the show was going to be be picked up by Showtime was circulated among media aficionados but show creator Mitch Hurwitz quickly put such murmurs to rest.

Cut to Oct. 2, 2011 at the annual New Yorker festival. It was here that Hurwitz and the entire cast reunited for what was presumably just a little get-together, something between appeasement and remorse over what might have been. Toward the end of the discussion though, after memories had been rehashed and laughed over, Hurwitz nonchalantly dropped a bomb many didn’t even think had been designed yet. “Arrested Development” was returning after all for a 10-episode run which will lead into a long-rumored movie. On Aug. 7, 2012 stills from set began revealing themselves as whispered hopes finally gave way to absolute certainty that the Bluths were returning. Wednesday made all these exciting instances all the more vibrant. So much material was shot that the run is extended to 12 or 15 episodes, all of which will be released on Netflix in one go.

Creativity on “Arrested” unparalleled

What makes “Arrested Development” fans go so crazy over news like this? The best art is always that which is aware of the heights a particular medium can achieve. If Monet tried to achieve in a landscape painting what Dvorak was aiming for in a symphony, it would collapse in a hurry. Mitch Hurwitz never wanted to achieve the same accolades as a film director or playwright. He simply understood that he could take the sitcom and bend it, mold it and take it to every absurd nook and cranny imaginable. Jokes were set up seasons ahead of time, puns were there aplenty. The creativity was limitless.

Additionally, the show was clearly smiled upon by the casting gods. “Seinfeld” is another notable series where every peripheral character was perfectly cast and the four leads had chemistry incomparable to anything else on TV at the time. “Arrested” took the same idea but hit the maximize key. Instead of four perfect main characters, there were nine. Guest stars added their own charm while also joking about the shows they were more famously on. Each part was perfectly written and executed.

If the show was so perfect then, why was it canceled in the first place? “Arrested” can really only be enjoyed if its seen from episode one and followed to the end. The comedy is so multilayered, the episodes so dependent on each other for their success that to not have been there from day one would have confused or frustrated the casual viewer. It was a show much more British than American in its sensibility as well. You had to be on the lookout for all the subtle humor because even though there were plenty of bold instances of slapstick, the show’s genius lay in its quieter moments of hilarity.

We’re in for more episodes than we could have expected. If you don’t have Netflix yet, now’s the time to sign up because come spring 2013, that’s where the laughs will be.

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