All of the hooplah surrounding Arrested Development Season 4′s debut on Netflix last weekend got me waxing nostalgic for another beloved series that was all too short-lived: Paul Feig‘s Freaks and Geeks. When you consider its impressive shelf life, it’s hard to believe the series only aired on NBC for one season and consists of merely 18 episodes. For the sake of comparison, ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager will air its series finale this Monday and will finish with five seasons and 121 episodes in hand. Continuing down that path, Freaks and Geeks averaged just above 6.5 million weekly viewers during its run while Secret Life‘s most watched episode to date (the Season 2 premiere) garnered a little over 4.5 million viewers. In addition to the frustration I feel for having 103 more Secret Life episodes to never watch than Freaks and Geeks episodes to cherish, this also provides an interesting example of the ratings expectations/requirements of a network series in comparison to that of a cable series.
I could go on and on doing my best Brendan Bettinger: Stats Genius impersonation but the real reason I’m here is to present this week’s Top 5. In this installment you have at your disposal our visit to the set of Man of Steel, Allison watching the Indiana Jones movies for the first time, After Earth interviews with Will and Jaden Smith, another set visit for The Wolverine, and Matt’s review of the aforementioned fourth season of Arrested Development. As you’ve grown to expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above makes its home after the jump.
Was it six years of anticipation for a fourth season of Arrested Development or was it desire? If it was the former, we saw possibilities beyond the show’s ending. If it was the latter, we simply didn’t want the show to end, and we would accept it any form. “Maybe a movie,” Ron Howard suggests at the close of the third season when Maeby (Alia Shawkat) pitches her family’s story as a TV series. Now the show has returned for a fourth season that is radically different from anything we’ve seen on television (perhaps the closest cousin being the time-travel season on Lost). What begins as a brilliant new approach to storytelling on television becomes a season that demands a chart to follow the crisscrossing plotlines that begin to get in the way of enjoying the show’s humor. Thankfully, despite the heavy weight of the show’s ambition, Arrested Development is as funny and clever as past seasons. But this time, it may be too clever for its own good.
Arrested Development returns this Sunday for a fourth season after a seven-year absence. Ever since the announcement of season four (and a possible movie), I’ve felt a mix of excitement and anxiety. Season 3 ends on a great note. It brings the series full-circle, and has Michael (Jason Bateman) realizing that there’s really no saving his family, and it’s time to start the Bluth legacy anew with the timid but good-hearted George Michael (Michael Cera). Will Season 4 find a way to reopen this story? Will it find a way to at least meet the thematic strength of the final episode? And most importantly, will it possess the same qualities that made the show such a hit? We know these characters, and we can all quote our favorite lines, but Arrested Development is so much more.
Hit the jump for six things we might expect from the upcoming season of Arrested Development, which will air all 15 episodes at once on Netflix starting at midnight on Sunday.
The new season of Arrested Development has already lined up some great guest stars such as Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter, John Slattery, Terry Crews, Isla Fisher, and fan-favorites Henry Winkler and Carl Weathers. Today, THR is adding two more names to the list: Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogen. Accoring to Vulture, Wiig is set to play a young Lucille (Jessica Walter), and the idea of that is amazing beyond all reason. Each episode will be center on an individual character (the season kicks off with Michael (Jason Bateman), and he’ll also appear in every episode), so I’m wondering how much of Wiig we’ll see when the fourth season comes around to Lucille. As for Rogen, his character is still a mystery, but I’m sure creator Mitch Hurwitz has come up with a great role for the actor.
13 to 14 episodes will all be released at once on Netflix this spring.
Netflix has released two new images from the upcoming season of Arrested Development. I’ve been re-watching the show, and it’s strange to see how much Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat have grown up. You can get a sense of that from the new image of George Michael (Cera) driving the stair car. At his age, he should definitely be aware that he’s going to have hop-ons. Speaking of the ages of Cera and Shawkat, I’m intrigued at how creator and showrunner Mitch Hurwitz plans to do their individual episodes. A couple days ago, we reported that the new season picks up immediately after season 3 ended, but I don’t see how that will work with George Michael and Maeby (Shawkat).
Hit the jump to check out the images. Arrested Development returns in May. Click here to read our interview with Hurwitz.
Last year, we reported the joyous news that Arrested Development wouldn’t be getting just a new movie, but a new season as well. The full cast is aiming to return for season four, which will run ten episodes and premiere on Netflix. The fourth season, which will lead into the movie, was originally set up as more of an anthology where each episode would catch up with an individual character. But speaking to an audience at a Netflix-sponsored event in Las Vegas, creator Mitch Hurwitz revealed that he’s tweaked the plan for the new season.
Hit the jump for what to expect in season four, and which beloved supporting character will be making an appearance. [Update: We've updated the article with video of Hurwitz speaking at the event.]