“Arrested Development” season 4 may be appearing on everyone’s TV this Sunday, but it might not be a good idea to watch it all at once. Now that the show is returning with its much-heralded fourth season, all 15 episodes of the season will be released simultaneously on Netflix this Sunday. Fans everywhere have announced their intention to sit down and watch all of season 4 in one fell swoop.
Still, even though most viewers likely binge-watched “Arrested Development” the first time, series creator Mitch Hurwitz says that they shouldn’t binge-watch season 4, even if all the episodes are being released at once. And why is that?
“You’ll get tired!” Hurwitz told Vulture on Wednesday.
According to Hurwitz, watching too much at once drains the show of some of its humor. Essentially, he’s worried that viewers will have an information overload.
“One of the producers came by when I was in post-production recently, and he said, ‘Can I see some of them?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, we’ve got seven episodes.’ ‘Great.’ And I heard him in the other room laughing and laughing, and then I heard him laughing a little less, and then a little less, and then later I saw him getting a drink of water and I said, ‘What do you think?’ He goes, ‘I’m just getting a little tired. I love it, it’s great, but you can’t really laugh the whole time. You have to take a break. There’s so much material,” Hurwitz explained.
In the same interview, Hurwitz also cleared up a few misconceptions about the fourth season of "Arrested Development." When Netflix originally announced the series, Hurwitz claimed that viewers would be able to watch the 15 episodes in any possible order and still follow the jokes and storyline. It was an ambitious undertaking, but Hurwitz says he realized in post-production that it simply wouldn’t work.
“I’m really doing everything I can to put out that misconception that it can be watched in any order,” Hurwitz said. “Although I really did have that ambition at one point.”
So why did Hurwitz end up scrapping the plan to watch "Arrested Development" season 4? According to him, it’s all about the way the brain processes narrative information.
“Our brains like to make stories out of things and that requires order,” Hurwitz says. “I pretty quickly realized everything here is about the order of telling the stories, that there will be shows where you find out a little bit of information and then later shows where you revisit the scene and you find out more information -- and that’s not fun in reverse. To get more information first and then less information isn’t as interesting. I thought, okay, this may not be up for debate.”
Still, while you may not be able to watch "Arrested Development" season 4 in any order, it’s almost a miracle that you’ll be able to watch the show’s fourth season at all.
"Arrested Development” was canceled by Fox in 2006 after three years on the air and steadily built itself a dedicated cult following in subsequent years. For years, fans petitioned the network to bring the series back as a movie. Then, in November 2011, Netflix announced it would be airing a new season online. Fans everywhere rejoiced.
The fan favorite premiered on Fox in 2003. It followed the lives of a dysfunctional wealthy Orange County, Calif., family, the Bluths. Before it was canceled, "Arrested Development" kick-started the careers of Michael Cera and Will Arnett, while revitalizing the then-struggling career of Jason Bateman.
Season 4 of "Arrested Development" is set to premiere early on May 26 exclusively on Netflix. The online streaming service plans to make all 15 new episodes available at once, rather than spreading them out over several weeks.