Is the New 'Arrested Development' Better Now That It's in Chronological Order?

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The overlapping comeback episodes of Arrested Development didn't live up to the comeback hopes of some of the show's rabid fans. So the rabid fans at Reddit are trying to fix things. 

If you didn't spend your entire Memorial Day weekend obsessing over Arrested Development, here's a refresher: Netflix's fourth season of the show features 15 episodes, each focusing on one character but with intersecting story lines across all eight hours. Our Richard Lawson wrote: "Essentially they've taken a typical Arrested episode, blown it up, and dissected it into fifteen parts. Thus all the swiftness and brisk efficiency has been sapped, each overly long episode struggling to get through a lot of plot in order to justify its existence as a standalone entity."

Reddit users have since taken it upon themselves to re-edit the series so the re-imagining resembles more typical Arrested episodes, by telling the story of the Bluth family's return, chronologically. One user, "morphinapg," has already posted his entire version of the series. Even from watching one episode, you can see how drastically it differs. Whereas the first Netflix episode focuses on Michael Bluth's odyssey—the main storyline features him living with George Michael at college—morphinapg's version picks up right where season three left off. The Reddit episode puts together flashbacks picked up across multiple new episodes, with an in-order plot centering on how each member of the family copes with the events surrounding Lucille Bluth's hijacking of the Queen Mary, starting with Gob's relationship with Ann Veal, which doesn't come until episode seven of the Netflix series. 

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On a thread, morphinapg explains further: 

And he's not alone. Another user, "Clawtrocity," has started posting episodes over at the subreddit "Project Hot Mess," which has the mission statement: "After watching season 4 of Arrested Development I, along with a large group of people, thought it would be fun to see the show in the correct order. This is my mission to recreate an episodic season in the correct order. The end result may appear similar to how the show would have felt on a network. Maybe. Probably not." His two initial episodes cover slightly different material. And obviously, as both The Playlist and The A.V. Club point out, each attempt is likely to infuriate those who feel strongly about copyright. 

Of course, the way the episodes appear on Netflix is the "correct" order, and the overlapping timeline is part of the conceit creator Mitch Hurwitz envisioned. By rearranging them, you undermine creative intention. That said, morphinapg's first episode makes for remarkably enjoyable viewing. Good luck on your second marathon.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.