Arrested Development was one of the first shows to hop on the “nostalgic show revival” bandwagon. It was prematurely canceled in 2006 after only 3 seasons despite critical acclaim, albeit from a small cult audience. That small cult audience grew over several years as the show gained some momentum on the Internet, and right on time for the millennials who miss the 90s and early 2000s to demand that it be given the credit it was wrongfully denied.
After much fanfare and a seven-year hiatus, Netflix swooped in and resurrected Arrested Development for one season in 2013 to mixed reviews. Not that it was a failure, but that it lacked the speed and sharp humor of the first few seasons. We can blame this mostly on the fact that the cast of Arrested Development couldn’t all be available to shoot together at once, and the writers therefore had to dedicate one episode to each character, weaving storylines in and out of each other. It was a creative workaround considering the circumstances but part of what made Arrested Development work was the butting of heads between each uniquely obnoxious member of the Bluth family. An episode revolving around Michael (Jason Bateman) can’t work because the “straight man” character can’t be funny if he has nobody to roll his eyes at, which was Michael’s role throughout 90% of the show.
Cut to four years later, Arrested Development was again revived for a 5th season to be released on Netflix in 2018. The stakes are high, as this season will be compared to both its acclaimed first three seasons and its less well-received fourth. All we can do now is wait a year and hope it maintains the sharp farcical comedy that Arrested Development excels at.