Your save the date for the Bluth family reunion has arrived. Netflix officially announced Thursday that all the new episodes of Arrested Development will be arriving on May 26 at 12:01 a.m. PDT, and that we'll be getting one more episode than expected. Yes, fans previously believed that there would be 10 episodes in the resuscitated fourth season, before it was made known that there would actually be 14 episodes, but now those clever folks at Netflix have cheekily revealed that there will actually be 15. (They said they made a "huge mistake"—ha.)
So now it's official. You have a little over a month to prepare, and prepare you must. Like so.
Make Sure You've Seen Every Episode (or Re-watch Every Episode)
This may sound obvious, if you've got 53 episodes' worth of time on your hands between now and Memorial Day weekend. But you'll want to make sure you're extra brushed-up on your Bluth family history, because each of the Netflix episodes is dedicated to the perspective of one character. Jason Bateman's Michael Bluth will be the only one to appear in all of the new episodes. You might be a super fan who has already watched this series five times. Or you might be afraid you've missed some episodes. Or—Gob forbid—you've never actually watched the whole thing.
All three existing seasons are currently streaming on Netflix. You know the drill.
Plan How You're Going to Watch Season 4
This is key. Netflix, as has become their big thing, will release all 15 episodes in one weekend dump. Plus, they're being released on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. That means you have the opportunity to down them all on your day off. But is that really the right move? We evaluated the pros and cons with House of Cards, but Arrested Development is a different beast. If you're a fan you've been awaiting these episodes for a long time. You might want to savor them. It's the difference between reading each new Harry Potter in one night, regulating your consumption so you make the book last longer.
You also get to choose your own adventure here. Bateman told GQ that there is a "suggested" order, but that "the action across the episodes is happening simultaneously. If I'm driving down the street in my episode and Gob's going down the sidewalk on his Segway, you could stop my episode, go into his episode, and follow him and see where he's going." Plan accordingly, or at least think ahead once the episode descriptions arrive.
Decide if You're Going to Tweet Your Viewing Experience
Be wary, you could make some people mad in the process.
May 26 will be the day everyone livetweets their #ArrestedDevelopment marathons and makes me quit Twitter.— Ryan McGee (@TVMcGee) April 4, 2013
Select Your Preferred Recipe for Bluth Frozen Bananas
Get to Know Your Guest Cast
The original Fox show was always good for guest stars, but Netflix and show runner Mitch Hurwitz have lined up an impressive roster for this new season. New additions include Seth Rogen, John Slattery (aka Roger Sterling), Conan O'Brien, and Kristin Wiig, who will be playing a young Lucille Bluth, which will be amazing. She's already played a young-ish Liza Minnelli who plays Lucille Bluth's friend/nemesis Lucille Austero. It's perfect casting.
Also: narrator/executive producer/Opie Ron Howard will be appearing with executive producer Brian Grazer in a scene where they get stuck in an elevator with Michael. Mind you, the last episode of the initial series ended with—spoiler alert—Howard telling Maeby that he doesn't see her family's story as a TV show, but instead as a movie. Which brings us to...
Talk About the Movie!
Bateman and creator Hurwitz have been talking about the movie in Arrested Development's future for a while. At the Television Critics' Association meetings in January, Bateman explained that a) you shouldn't call it season four and b) it leads to a film. He's even been gabbing about it recently, in that GQ interview:
So Mitch [Hurwitz, the show's creator] was always planning on writing a movie. Every time he went to start a movie script, there was so much work to be done just to fill the audience in on where the family had been since the end of the show, and to also initiate the uninitiated about who these characters are. So he thought: The only way to tell a story of this size is to do the first act in episodes. So it's really a hybrid distribution of one big story. The episodes are simply act 1, and the movie will have act 2 and act 3 in it. So one does not work without the other.
At a talk with Michael Cera last month, David Cross (aka Tobias Fünke) threw some water on the fire: "I don’t know if there's going to be a movie."
...and Make Some Cut-Offs
You know, just to be in solidarity with Tobias.