“Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together. It’s Arrested Development.”
Fans of the Bluth family were delighted when Netflix announced on May 17th that they had renewed Arrested Development for a fifth season, and now – thanks to an interview that Jason Bateman, who plays exasperated son Michael Bluth, did with EW Radio – we have more of an idea of what to expect when the new batch of episodes hits Netflix in 2018.
The highly divisive fourth season ended with Liza Minnelli’s Lucille 2 dying, and it appears as if the circumstances surrounding her death will hang over the entirety of season five. According to Bateman:
“The central spine of that story of is the death of Liza Minnelli’s character, and a bit of whodunit, who may have done it, who had something to do with it. That’s sort of a central thread around which [creator Mitch Hurwitz] is going to braid in all the colorful plot complications that he knows how to do.”
During the interview, Bateman also seemed to imply that season five may be the penultimate season of the show before it officially comes to a definitive end. He explains that Hurwitz had a “three-act story” in mind that he wanted to tell after the show’s original run came to an end on Fox in 2006.
“The first act was done on the first batch of Netflix episodes [in 2013], and we’re about to do now the second act of that story, and then the act third act presumably will be done if we can all get it together at a later date, maybe in another few years.”
Fans of Arrested Development who were disappointed by the Netflix revival due to the fact that the ensemble comedy isolated its cast so that they barely shared any scenes together (which in turn resulted in a pretty experimental structure for the season), will be reassured that Bateman also stresses that the cast will once again be together in season five. He also explains the reasoning behind the stylistic shift the show took in season four.
“Because of certain limitations we had with actors’ schedules and exclusivities to other shows, and budgetary constraints, [Hurwitz] had to pivot a bit off of that. And also it was an interesting thing for him to do because he was embracing the interface of Netflix, which was fairly new at the time in original programming, and wanted to be able to basically have you click out of one episode and click into somebody else’s episode and see a different view point on this simultaneous action. Ultimately, editorially, it didn’t really come together as well as he wanted it to, and then he had to dictate an order of watching, and it ended up being a little bit more complicated than I think one intended. But we’re still very proud of those episodes obviously — and really excited that we get to be together in these [Season Five].”
You can listen to the interview in its entirety below.
In addition to EW Radio, Jason Bateman also spoke to The Daily Beast recently in which he guarantees that season five won’t shy away from acknowledging the similarities between the fictional Bluth family and America’s current first family, the Trumps – which fans of the show and even some media outlets have frequently been pointing out on social media.
“None of that [the similarities between the Trumps and the Bluths] is lost on Mitch Hurwitz. He’s aware of all of that stuff. And he and his writing staff have been in a cave for the last two or three months crafting these episodes, and they’re going to lean into a lot of that [Trump] stuff for sure. They can’t wait.”
Season five of Arrested Development begins shooting later this summer, and will be made available to stream on Netflix sometime in 2018. There’s no doubt that this new batch of episodes is looking to return the show to the top of its form, and is aiming to take fans on a wild, crazy, hilarious, and satirical ride. I, for one, personally can’t wait.
Are you excited for season five of Arrested Development? Are you looking forward to the show returning to its ensemble roots? Who do you think is responsible for Lucille 2’s death?How do you feel about the possibility of the show ending for good after season six? Let us know in the comments below!