Netflix has released new promotional posters (can they be called "posters" if they're just hanging on the walls of the Internet?) for the return of cult-hit mid-'00s sitcom Arrested Development. Fifteen new episodes of the beloved show will debut on the streaming site on May 26, an event that has many excited, yes, but many worried, too. What if it's not as good? What if it tarnishes the memory of the old episodes? It's been seven years since the show went off the air, can the old spark still be alive? The optimist in me wants to say yes of course, genius doesn't just disappear. But the realist says we shouldn't expect much. These new posters sorta support the latter inclination.
They all look a little non-professional, don't they? A little slapped together by an only-sorta-proficient Photoshop user? It's Netflix, so we shouldn't expect a huge promotional bonanza, but then again House of Cards certainly got the expensive royal treatment. Why not Arrested? Was the slightly chintzy aesthetic deliberate? I suppose that could be the case, but if so that's not really a great joke.
Speaking of jokes, some of these just aren't good. My least favorite is the Lucille Bluth one, with a joke about relapsing and pills. Yes, Lucille was was one of the grand boozy/pillsy moms of television, but there was a lot more depth to the character than just pill-popping. I know these are just one-sheets and they can't really communicate all that, but a lame, too-easy joke about relapsing just feels... well, lame. The tone is off here. A little too easy, or low-brow even.
This whole "Never Say Never" allusion to Tobias Fünke the never-nude is cute and all, but it makes me worry that we're just going to get sad rehashes of all the old jokes that made us laugh seven, eight, nine, even ten years ago. Bringing back some of the old hits is fine, but let's hope they're not just resting on laurels. Again, I realize these are just promo posters created by Netflix, not by Mitch Hurwitz and the gang, but as advertisements for this strange rebirth of the show, they're not all that enticing.
Anyway, here are some more. Take a look and decide for yourself. Of course I will voraciously devour the new episodes when they drop next month no matter what, but right now I'm not sure that means I will love them. I have hope, but I have fear too. What if they've made a huge mistake?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.