The power of the internet can be completely amazing. It can destroy the millions of dollars’ worth of publicity that a studio puts into a movie or television series in a blink of an eye, it can get movies made (such as the case with the recent Veronica Mars movie), hell, it can even bring back the dead. Such was the case for Arrested Development, the 2003-2006 FOX sitcom from Mitchell Hurwitz. Seven years after its initial cancellation on FOX, fan outcry brought the series back from the dead for a fourth season, which premiered on its new home, Netflix. The question of when or if the series would return for a fifth season has been the subject of debate but it looks like fans of the Bluth family finally have a definitive answer. Kind of.
During an interview with USA Today, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, confirms that he is “positive” that season five is on the way, and “It’s just a matter of when”. As fans of the series are well aware, the most of the cast of the series, which includes Jason Batemen, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, and Will Arnet, to name just a few, have become very sought after in Hollywood since the series originally ended back in 2006. Because of this demand, filming an entire season of the series becomes an exercise in patience and determination.
Netflix’s season four of the series was panned for creating unnecessary character subplots in order to focus on the actors who were on set and also used green screen to complete scenes, which created a very uneven viewing experience. Sarandos recognizes that critics who point out these flaws are bringing to attention a “fair criticism”, “that the cast didn’t appear on screen often enough together”. Considering the fact that the actors that carry the series are continuing to gain star power, it will likely make it even tougher to get them together in the future, so the sooner they get the gang back together, the better.
Hurwitz, for his part, continues to do his part to get the next phase of the Bluth family saga out to the public and continues to insist that season five will “definitely” happen. However, it is possible that the next phase will come in movie form, since getting the actors together for a movie shoot that may last a month is easier than trying to secure the talent for an entire season’s worth of filming.
Season four was a definite step backward in the eyes of most fans and the interaction between the characters that fans came to depend on was choppy, at best, in season four. Even beyond that, the heart that the show once had has slowed down to almost a whimper, which is discouraging for those who want the series to return to its former glory. Hopefully, once a schedule is figured out, it will allow the cast to fall back more comfortably into the characters that make Arrested Development one of the best sitcoms in recent years.