‘Arrested Development’ Season 4: Mitch Hurwitz Explains Future Episode Format, Editing Difficulties
Now that ‘Arrested Development‘ season 4 has come and gone, with even the most casual of fans having gone through the episodes, opinions continue to divide on Netflix’s successor to the family that won our hearts 10 years ago on Fox. Series creator Mitch Hurwitz recently spoke with reporters on the new season’s strengths and weaknesses, but what format would future episodes, or even the movie take?
Those turned off by ‘Arrested Development’ season 4’s disjointed, character-centric approach may be in for a rude awakening, as Mitch Hurwitz would likely do more of the same in a fifth season. “The bad news is I’m going to do it next time too,” said Hurwitz of fan response to the one-character-at-a-time approach. “I like the idea of playing with the form and finding a new way to get at the themes of the family.”
Hurwitz had initially told fans the episodes could be viewed in any particular order, though late into editing near the release, Hurwitz changed his mind and insisted the story wouldn’t work unless played in order. So, what changed? According to Hurwitz, lead actor Jason Bateman‘s schedule made it impossible to shoot a final Michael-centric episode, forcing Michael’s story to be doled out in pieces over multiple episodes. The change in plans necessitated a sequential view, as Hurwitz says, “what emerged was that if you hoped to tell with a beginning, middle and end, randomness is your enemy.”
As for future content, Hurwitz reminded that Fox owns the rights to ‘Arrested Development,’ and would need to develop a feature film themselves, as Netflix had yet to explore the idea of developing movies solely for its streaming service. Even so, additional content may pop up on Netflix particularly now that fans have begun to create their own edits of the new episodes. “We have a lot of material that we’re planning on putting out on Netflix at a later time, probably, to tie in there.”
Well, what say you? Would you accept another experimental approach to a fifth season of ‘Arrested Development,’ or should the next chapter return to the old format? How would you like to see the franchise continue after season 4?