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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Has ‘Development’ been reinstated?

Published: October 7, 2011
Section: Arts, Etc.

At this point, I am sure that many of my lovely and devoted readers have heard the hype surrounding the darkly humorous TV series, “Arrested Development.” For those of you who don’t know what the show is, Google or Netflix it and you can thank me in person later.

Now that we are all caught up, let’s discuss the new revelation: According to a tweet from Jason Bateman (which has been collaborated by The LA Times, tweets from Will Arnett, etc.), the show’s creator will be working on a new season consisting of nine or 10 episodes, each of which will focus on one of the main characters and what has happened between the end of the last season and the present day. This will all supposedly culminate in a new movie that will allegedly come out in 2013.

Why then, does this article seem less thrilled than it should? A show hilarious in its inception and they are bringing it back? Well, unfortunately, I have some bad feelings about it. First and foremost: Other than a few very special exceptions, when has this ever worked? Even when a TV show or movie series intentionally made more than one movie (see the “Harry Potter” series), when did the sequels catch the magic of the original? Now, I do realize that they will attempt to give the show an interesting twist but let’s be serious. Let’s think back to our childhoods for a moment: How great was “Aladdin”? Now think a bit more recently and how much worse was “The Return of Jafar”?

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But Pete,” you say, “this isn’t a movie at all! It’s a TV series and the characters can easily fall back into the same shenanigans that they were doing before.” Well, confused reader, it saddens me greatly to disagree with that opinion. Let’s look at Michael Cera, for example. His acting, whether it’s obvious or not, has changed a great deal since that show began. He, as a real human being, has grown up and moved into his own right as an actor. How will this transfer to the newest episodes? It might be funny, but I truly have no idea if the changes in each of the real actors’ styles will be a positive or negative.

Of course, as much as I would like to, I cannot see the future. Who knows, maybe this TV series revitalization and movie will be the best thing since bread (yes, even better than sliced bread). Maybe the show will become an even bigger sensation than the original and the movie might even win an Oscar. But my hope that this show will catch the real magic and dark humor that the original three seasons had is weak, at best.

Not only that, this show falls under the category of “over-anticipation.” After waiting for five years, they are now just releasing information about the series, which won’t even come out for another two years? The build-up is almost too much and we will inevitably think the show is going to be funnier than it actually will be. This unfortunate conflict between expectations and reality will leave a lot of viewers upset, and it’s really only a question of how many.

Now, I’m really looking forward to seeing it, good or bad. Honestly, though, I really don’t expect all that much from the series or the movie. Yes, the actors and actresses in the show are still great in their own right and yes, I can’t foretell the future. Those things being said, there is a lot of precedence pointing me to believe that this will really not live up to my near-Godlike expectations.

If you still don’t understand, might I recommend “Pirates of the Caribbean”?