The binge is over, the (mixed) reviews are in, and it appears that Netflix is open to hosting a fifth season of Arrested Development. But if we're going to commit to the idea of more Arrested Development, so should all of the not-that-busy actors involved.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said on CNBC yesterday that if the talent is willing he's "sure we would be willing." That echoes what chief content officer Ted Sarandos told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview last week: "We would love to do more, and we have a deal in place that says that there could be. The problem is logistics."
Of course, Netflix's new season of Arrested Development managed to circumvent that logistics problem... but that might contributed to exactly the problem so many people had with it. Indeed, the story structure of Arrested Development season four—each episode is focused on a single character, with intersecting story lines therein—was borne largely out of the difficulties of getting all the talent in the same place at the same time. Just read Mitch Hurwitz's Q&A in Rolling Stone to understand how much of a pain in the ass production really was last year. The unavailability of the actors forced the production team into a frenzy of rewrites and green screen. And you can bet any potential future seasons would be just as tough to wrangle. Tony Hale is on Veep. Will Arnett is on the new CBS comedy The Millers. Jason Bateman has a number of movie projects lined up. None of that will make filming easy.
Despite the not-so-enthusiastic reviews, there remain legitimate reasons to be interested in a fifth season. As Megan Masters points out at TVLine, Bateman has indicated that the 15 new episodes are part of a bigger plan. (Movie talk has always been in Arrested Development's orbit.) James Poniewozik, in his review for Time, makes the case that if we're going to get more from Arrested Development, it should be on Netflix. "Things fall apart in Arrested Development — the Bluth family, the American economy and sometimes this adventurous but flawed season of risky storytelling," Poniewozik wrote. "Which is exactly why, if Hurwitz really wants to resolve the Bluths' story, I'd rather see him try it on Netflix if at all possible, applying what he learned from the first attempt."
And, yeah, sure, it would be interesting to see Hurwitz and his crew try Arrested Development again in the character-centric format, as a way to discover whether they can work out the kinks. On the other hand, if we're going to get a season five, shouldn't it be—for the actually famous people—more than just an afterthought for a long-time labor of love? Couldn't these people just get up and go to work, like Kevin Spacey's doing right now on the House of Cards set? So, yeah, maybe it's impossible, but better to do the final push 100 percent if there is to be a final push at all. Or maybe the best solution is the final line of season three, back in the old days of network TV: "Maybe a movie...."