While much of the marketing of the new Arrested Development episodes has emphasized how many old jokes they will contain, one of the most frequent used talking-point for what's new is that all 15 episodes would be interlinked in such a way that you can could watch them in any order you want. Jason Bateman had said that there would be a "suggested" order, but explained that there was some element of freedom in choosing your preferred viewing plan, which sort of fits the Netflix binge-watching paradigm. Well, on Wednesday creator Mitch Hurwitz squashed those plans. He tweeted in succession: "Done! Just finished the final mix last night. In two weeks Arrested Development will be yours to do with as you please. Except for 1 thing! You gotta watch them in order. Turns out I was not successful in creating a form where the setup follows the punch line." While some of Arrested Development's brilliance has often been attributed to its breaking out of the "setup followed by punchline" form, Hurwitz apparently has conceded that he hasn't figured out a way around one of the laws of comedy physics.
The new Arrested Development will still undoubtedly be different than most of what runs on TV. Each episode is still apparently dedicated to one character's perspective, which means moments in the story can recur through the episodes from varying points of view. But your binge-watching will now be simpler. What does all this mean? Well, for one thing, with this revelation coming so late in the game, it indicates how much of a work in progress the new season has been. As recently as this Monday Portia de Rossi was on Jimmy Fallon's show telling him that you can binge watch "in any order, actually. They are all kind of standalone and depending on the order you watch them in kind of gives you a different perspective. So it's pretty cool."
We're not saying this won't work, but, listen, this is another reason to manage our hopes and expectations. No one is looking forward to the May 26 release more than we are, but relax, breathe, and watch. No matter what happens you'll always have those first three seasons.
Now back to your regularly scheduled squealing. Here's a Seamless page for the banana stand.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.