One month from now, all of your questions will be answered. What dysfunctional disasters have befallen our Bluths since we last saw them in 2006? Did Buster survive that last seal confrontation with his other hand intact? Is the stair car now a hybrid? (Probably not.) And, oh, yes, will the new Arrested Development episodes scratch that seven-year-wait of an itch?
But maybe you can’t wait another month. You need some answers now. So make yourself a breakfast of champions — vodka rocks and a piece of toast, perhaps — and check out this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, which celebrates AD with three collector’s covers (click through to see the rest) and fills you in on the revival of one of this century’s most beloved cult comedies. On May 26, Netflix will release 15 new episodes of Arrested all at once, and they are intended to serve as a set-up to that long-anticipated movie (which is not yet greenlighted). We spoke with all nine cast members as well as series creator/executive producer Mitchell Hurwitz about the surprisingly emotional reunion, what to expect from this batch of episodes, and more. “This year is about the enduring entanglements of family,” Hurwitz explains of the new season. “They are 10 years older than when we met, so that means emotionally they’re, like, two years older than we met them. Amazing things happen when one goes from being emotionally 12 years old to emotionally being 14 years old.” Or, as Will Arnett, a.k.a. misguided magician Gob, declares: “It’s the story of shame, cunning, thievery, dishonor, backstabbing, deceit, bold-faced lying, one-upmanship, psychological torture, lust, financial ruin, and magic, all supported by a very broad beam of dysfunctional love.”
This batch of episodes won’t play out exactly like the Arrested of old, as the producers worked around the limited availability of the actors, who were tied up with other projects. Each installment chronicles the adventures of a particular Bluth over the last seven years, with several other characters making appearances as well. The episodes are designed to work as a whole — as jokes and plots from one episode may pay off in a later one — taking advantage of the Netflix paradigm. “When Mitch started to get his arms around how all the action could happen simultaneously and there was an ability to stop one episode, start another, and have all this crossover and braided plotting,” says series star Jason Bateman, “it became clear that he was going to try to accomplish something incredibly ambitious, the kind of escalation that the audience would expect from him.”
For more on what to expect from Arrested Development, pick up a copy of this week’s Entertainment Weekly, available on newsstands on April 26. And to see two photos from an upcoming episode, visit our Facebook page.