Tag Archives: Arrested Development

ShowStealer Pro

Featured in Arrested Development Season 4, this is the software that lets you:

  • Get copies of your favourite TV episodes easily
  • Use them in your own remixes and mash-ups
  • Break copyright protection and DRM quickly
  • Export directly to your film editing suite

Mitch Hurwitz and company are still sweating the small stuff. Click through for the feature list, testimonials, and more. And click here if you have no idea what I’m talking about.

We Watched the New Season of Arrested Development

Giano Cromley writes:

At one point, maybe five or six episodes deep, I looked at my wife and said, “I’ve missed this.” The this I was referring to wasn’t the show itself. What I’d missed was the pleasure of not quite knowing what was going on. Watching the first three seasons as many times as we had gave us a god-like knowledge of every episode, a mental catalogue of each inside joke. It was at once discomforting and liberating to watch the Bluths with absolutely no idea what they’d do next.

I’ve had the same experience with the new episodes (I’m about halfway through the season so far). It’s been a long time since I’ve seen these characters and not known exactly what was happening. If anything, Arrested Development‘s fourth season is even more densely-plotted and chronologically shuffled than the first three were, which makes for a tough reintroduction, but as I get deeper and deeper in, the connections get clearer and the show gets more rewarding. And the best part is knowing that when I rewatch it from the beginning, I’ll pick up on jokes that were set up later in the season.

The new episodes aren’t perfect – you can see that they had less money to spend, and the actors’ limited availability clearly resulted in some compromises – but the first three seasons weren’t perfect either. What they were then is what the show still is: a truly unique, ambitious, demented, and hilarious sitcom built for repeat viewing.

In the last 7 years a lot has changed for the show, for its characters, and its viewers, but after all this time it’s good to have it back on my television. I look forward to seeing how it turns out (and immediately starting over at the beginning).

Arrested Development’s Mitch Hurwitz Talks About Getting the Bluths Back Together

Another extensive interview with Mitch Hurwitz:

I do think the biggest difference is I really very quickly stopped making this as shows and started making it as an eight-and-a-half hour Arrested Development. And so my recommendation would be to sort of take it as a whole. But my other recommendation would be that people don’t feel compelled to watch it all at once. There might be certain social pressures on certain groups to do so—which I would say is wonderful and flattering. I don’t take any of that for granted.

But I just worry that, you know, you can watch all the 24s back to back because it’s action and you can stop when you get a little burnt out. Comedy requires something of the human body, you know. And you can get tired of laughing. I hope they’re laughing. But I also hope they don’t get tired of laughing, you know. So, really, it’s okay with us if you take your time. It’s yours now. That’s the whole thing with Netflix. It’s yours. Do with it what you want.

That “social pressure” is the primary reason I think Netflix is making a mistake releasing Arrested Development all at once.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes defends cable-business status quo

Don’t look for HBO to take a page from Netflix and make an entire season of one of its hit series, like “Game of Thrones,” available to its subscribers in a single instant.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference in Miami on Monday, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes dismissed the idea of releasing an entire season of a TV show that way. 

“We don’t want to put it up all at once, we want the water cooler effect,” Bewkes said.

I understand what Mr. Sandoval is getting at, but HBO’s method (air shows serially, but make episodes available on HBO Go in perpetuity) seems like the obviously correct way to go. You air an episode at a time, but give people a chance to stay current on a show (or catch up on their schedule) without needing to check out of society for a day or two.

Big Data might prove me completely wrong on this, but I think Netflix really dropped the ball with House of Cards by releasing it all at once. It stifled public discussion of the show because everyone who was watching was on a different episode, and everyone who wasn’t watching was exposed to commentary and spoilers about the entirety of the season. It basically gave everyone except the hardcore a severe case of FOMO.

Obviously House of Cards did well (though we don’t really know quite how well), but I think it would have been better, both in terms of “ratings” and in terms of viewer enjoyment, if Netflix had released it serially. People who like watching once a week could do that without worrying about spoilers, and people who like to binge could do that, too (either periodically during the show’s “season” or all-at-once at the end of the season). The only people hurt by this are those who would have watched the whole season right away – but, especially after the novelty of the business model has worn off, how many people really want to do that?

So I wish Netflix would take a page from HBO and give its subscribers an opportunity to watch their shows at a sensible pace without feeling left behind. I’m really looking forward to Arrested Development, but I am not looking forward to the mess that will result from its release en masse. 

There’s still plenty of room for experimentation: What if Netflix released 4 episodes at a time, every 2 weeks? Why not release an episode a week for a calendar year? How about a puppet episode (just kidding, that is a stupid idea)? This is a great, rare opportunity to reinvent the way we watch television – let’s not waste it on all-at-once season availability.

Talking to Arrested Development’s Composer

Fun interview from Vulture with David Schwartz, who does all the music for Arrested Development. Mostly about season 4 but good stuff about earlier seasons, too. 

Here’s “Getaway”, which is supposed to sound like a Justin Bieber track:

Netflix currently in negotiations for another season of ‘Arrested Development’ – The Verge

Looks like we may just get more Arrested Development – I assume that they wouldn’t say anything publicly about negotiations if they weren’t pretty far along.

There had been talk about a potential movie follow-up to this latest fourth season as well, but the fact that Netflix is pursuing a full new season’s worth of episodes is even better news for Arrested Development fans — and a clear sign that Netflix was more than happy with the reaction the show received.

On the whole I was pretty happy with the fourth season, but I don’t necessarily agree that a hypothetical season 5 is even better news than a hypothetical movie. The actors’ limited availibility for the last season was a major obstacle – one that Mitch Hurwitz worked around as well as he could. I certainly think it was worth it, even if it led to a lot of greenscreen work and a lot of episodes without some of the main characters, but I don’t think it would work again. The whole point of the last season was to bring the characters back around to a situation where they were all together again (whether they like it or not) – the next chapter, if there is one, needs to actually follow through on that. So if the question is whether I prefer A) a movie shot with the entire cast on set; or B) a season shot the way the last season was shot, count me in for A).

But as I’m sure everyone involved knows, the best case scenario is a new season of the show shot the way the first three seasons were shot (albeit probably with fewer episodes and a smaller budget) – so let’s cross our fingers for that.