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Why “Arrested Development” Will Turn the Internet Into a Train Wreck

…and I’m Going to Love It.

Arrested Development.

To the educated television/comedy fan, those two words ignite a flurry of mental images, laughter, and fond memories.

NeverNudes. “No touching!”. Mr. Manager. “I’ve made a huge mistake.” And so on.

To the uninitiated, Arrested Development was a television show that ran from 2003-2006. It won awards for being the best comedy on television in its first season. And yet, viewers never came. The FOX Network had little understanding of how to market such a show, and being the time before DVRs and streaming video became mainstream, a show that rewarded repeat viewings with inside jokes and recurring gags simply wasn’t going to last.

For seven years, those of us who have loved Arrested Development and hold it up on a pedestal, rightfully so, as one of (if not THE) greatest television shows in history sat back, saddened. We rewatched the 53 episodes that we were blessed with, and we grew sadder as we watched Jason Bateman act in mediocre movies. We watched Will Arnett go through failed comedy after failed comedy. We chuckled and shouted “BUSTER!” whenever Tony Hale popped up in some show. We watched Michael Cera essentially play lesser versions of George Michael Bluth in everything he did.

And mostly, we grieved. Because we felt that there was no hope for more, and we thirsted for more of the Bluth family.

Rumors came and went. A movie is coming! They’re working on a script! And yet… nothing happened.

Then, all of a sudden, at a cast reunion, show creator Mitch Hurwitz announced he was developing not just a movie… but a full fourth season. Except that he didn’t have anybody to air it yet.

So we tweeted. We hopped on Facebook. We shared the announcements. “ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT IS COMING BACK”, we said. And we got giddy. And we went back and watched those 53 episodes again, for the 15th time.

But still… we doubted. We didn’t believe it in our hearts.

Then, Netflix made the announcement: a fourth season. Ten episodes. The entire cast, plus almost all of the guest stars. Back. Again. It’s happening. 2013 will be the year the Bluths return to television.

We celebrated. We danced (mainly bad chicken dances, however). And we rejoiced. Our loyalty and praise of this show has resulted in a new season.

Since that announcement, little bits and pieces popped up. Photos on Twitter of the set being rebuilt. Leaked pictures of the family back in-character here and there. News bits about what guest stars were returning.

And then, on Monday, a trailer. A glorious, glorious trailer. The first real, tangible, video proof for legions of fans that Arrested Development is coming back.

These weren’t photos of a couple members of the family. These weren’t actors reuniting on the red carpet. This was, for the first time in 7 years, the Bluth Family. Together again. In full-bore insanity.

We shared this trailer everywhere. We celebrated more. Our stomach leaped with excitement. It’s actually coming. It’s actually coming. It’s actually coming…

…except now, there’s something called “internet fans”. And they are cynical, my friend.

99% of the press and reaction to the trailer has been undeniably positive. But once you glance at the comments, you see it: the cynics.

“It looks like they’re just rehashing the same jokes.” “Buster has gone into full-on mental disability.” “I didn’t laugh once.” “It didn’t tell me anything.”

And that’s where the fun of being on the internet is going to be, at least for me. You see, we’ll beg for something. Plead for it. Pay for it, if we have to.

But when we get it, we will tear it down. Complain about it. Tell everyone how we would have “done it better”.

Scores of reviews from cynical fans will come in, complaining about repeated jokes and plotholes. And I will sit back, and laugh.

They did it with The Dark Knight Rises. You can bet your bottom (“*giggle* My BOTTOM!”) that they’re going to do it with Arrested Development.

All I can say is that you’ve been warned. I don’t know that I have an end to this post, other than to say, “Don’t do that.”

But I’ve said that before, and I’ll say it again. Just chill out. Watch it. Enjoy it. Savor it. We’re getting a gift that devoted fans don’t normally get. We’re better off for it.

And most of all, heading into this: trust the cast. Trust the writers. Trust Mitch Hurwitz. The show they put together was darn near perfect. Even if this new season doesn’t reach the greatness of the previous three, it’ll be pretty doggone close.

arrested development, cynicism, television