Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks: Season Four of Arrested Development Is Coming. Does Anyone Care?

This sounds familiar:

"Arrested Development's" long-awaited fourth season will appear on Netflix early next year, Netflix chief Ted Sarandos told reporters at the National Assn. of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday. But it won't unfold on a weekly basis like a regular TV series; instead, Netflix will make all 10 new episodes of the cult favorite available simultaneously, as people have come to expect when they stream a TV series on Netflix.

Series creator Mitch Hurwitz was also on hand to describe a bit of what fans will see in the new episodes. As reported by Vulture, Hurwitz said that though his initial conception of the fourth season was to do it as an anthology, with each character getting his or her own episode, the current incarnation is closer to the style of the first three seasons. [...] The new episodes are set to start production this summer with an early 2013 debut date that hasn't been set yet.

Seems legit. Then again, we've been hearing similar tidings -- mostly regarding an AD feature film -- almost since before the last original episode aired in 2006.

When last we left the Bluths, George Michael had confessed to dad Michael about fooling around with Maeby. Lindsay found out she was adopted (thanks to Mr. Sitwell) and was about to turn 40, and Michael was trying to convince everyone not to sell their share of the family stock, with Lucille suggesting blackmailing them to keep them in line. Oh, and Hello ratted everybody out to the SEC. At the end, Lucille had fled on the Queen Mary while Michael and George Michael took off for Cabo with $500K in cashiers checks.

In short, it isn't like Hurwitz and company couldn't pick right back up where they left off, but so what? It's been six years; are people really clamoring for more Arrested Development? I mean, yeah, there were online petitions and blah blah blah when the show went off the air, but has that kind of thing actually worked post-Cagney and Lacey?

Since AD's cancellation, other comedies have popped up for geeks to rally behind (*cough* Community *cough*) as have other shows for Fox to cancel. Does anybody remember Dollhouse? Should they?

Maybe I'm understating interest, or maybe this particular AD fan is sick of getting jerked around. How many times did we hear a feature film was in the works? As far back as 2008 it was getting ramped up. Hey, did you hear (in 2009) that Michael Cera had finally agreed to sign on? Or that it was supposed to be out in 2011? But wait, it's going to be a small, Fox Searchlight effort. But then later that same year David ("Tobias Fünke") Cross said he hadn't heard anything, but that "everyone wants to do it." Then it was Jason Bateman telling us a movie would be shot in 2011. Yeah, that's the ticket; Hurwitz was going to shoot it last year. Hold everything, now Will (Gob Bluth) Arnett said Hurwitz was in the process of writing it.

Jesus christ.

They've even gone back and forth on the upcoming 4th season, with Hurwitz describing it as a lead-in to the movie, which now seems about as likely as that third Ghostbusters. Hurwitz has even retreated on what he said less than a year ago about each new episode focusing on a single character.

So it's hard to get very enthused, if you're so inclined. Hell, we don't even know if the cast is that gung-ho anymore. What's the likelihood the original cast would even want to go back there?

Jason Bateman: Has parlayed a career playing variations of Michael Bluth into successful films like Horrible Bosses (and less successful ones like Extract and The Switch. Still seems to be one of the film/series' biggest champions, probably because memories of those lean post-Hogan Family years are still too raw. Odds of Returning: 98 percent

Portia de Rossi: The former Lindsay Bluth Fünke has been more famous in recent years for marrying talk show host Ellen Degeneres. I'm also still pissed off at the cancellation of Better Off Ted, but adults move on. Odds of Returning: 90 percent

Will Arnett: Arnett has carved out a pretty decent movie career to go along with his new series (Up All Night). There can be no AD movie without Gob, however. Odds of Returning: 80 percent

David Cross: For all the comedian's self-righteous bluster, he'll do anything for a buck (and then angrily defend himself on his web page). Odds of Returning: 150 percent

Jeffrey Tambour: Jesus, this guy is in *everything*: both Hangovers, Archer, Bent, Entourage...I think he just waits for the next script to drop into his box. Odds of Returning: 99 percent

Michael Cera: George Michael was a cute character until you realized Michael Cera is incapable of playing a character that isn't Michael Cera. Once the elusive holdout for an AD movie, box office duds like Year One and Scott Pilgrim vs the World have made him a bit more open to the idea. Odds of Returning: 75 percent

Alia Shawkat: "Maeby" has done little besides bit parts in TV and movies. Which is too bad, because her story arc was one of the more amusing ones. Odds of Returning: 1000 percent

Tony Hale: Hale's kept himself busy since cancellation, but it's hard to imagine a new season of AD without Buster. Odds of Returning: 85 percent

Jessica Walter: I forget Walter played the whack-job Evelyn in Play Misty for Me, because I'll always remember her as PCU's President Garcia-Thompson. Odds of Returning: 70 percent

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar