Oh, my poor, dear, dead unwatched show. It’s ridiculous, mostly, to include it on this list. A mere five episodes aired in 2006, and they were back in January and February, when FOX had cut back the third season order to just 13 and it was clear that Arrested Development wasn’t long for the world. Still, I maintain that an episode of Arrested Development is better than almost anything else on TV, even these last ones, which suffered a bit as Mitch Hurwitz and crew had to condense plotlines to wrap the series up.
You can certainly argue that there’s no way the show would’ve remained as consistently good if it’d stayed on the air, but I’m not sure I agree. My favorite TV shows tend to spring forth from a single, possibly crazy creator who is so involved in his production that he burns out sooner than you’d think or want—David Milch and Deadwood, Aaron Sorkin and Sports Night… And while Mitch had said he was tiring from fighting for the show, I think if it’d been on HBO or Showtime, if he’d been allowed to make it without constantly have to justify his choices or appease FOX (and, you know, if a few more people had watched it), it might’ve gone forever. Obviously a moot point now. So I guess I just need to be grateful for the time it had and for the DVDs, which are truly worth the investment. I constantly look forward to some unspecified weekend in the future when I’ll have time to watch them all again. As I’ve mentioned in various episodes of this here podcast, I have trouble with TV comedies/sitcoms for a host of reasons, but Arrested Development was by far my favorite ever. I miss my Bluths.