Brow Beat

Netflix Will Release Arrested Development Season 4 Again, This Time as 22 Traditional Episodes

Jason Bateman and Michael Cera, in a shower.
Sam Urdank/Netflix

Great news if you were confused by the structure of Arrested Development’s fourth season: Creator Mitch Hurwitz is fixing it. Netflix’s 2013 revival of the cult Fox comedy deviated from the earlier three seasons by focusing each of its 15 episodes on what a single character was doing over a given period of time, rather than letting the members of the Bluth family intermingle as usual. The result, depending on who you ask, was either alienating and dragged out or a worthwhile exercise in delayed gratification, since you’d often have to wait for the punchline to a joke that had been set up 4 or 5 episodes earlier. Assuming, of course, you lasted that long.

Hurwitz issued a letter to fans on Monday with a very vague update about Arrested Development’s fifth season, which he promises will be coming to Netflix “real soon.” But he also announced that he would be releasing a “remix” of Season 4, “shuffling the content from 15 individualized stories into 22 interwoven stories the length of the original series.”

While Hurwitz is making A NU START, that doesn’t mean he’s disowning the more avant-garde version of Season 4. He explained the thinking behind the original Rashomon-like structure:

The goal was that by the end of the season, a unified story of cause and effect would emerge for the viewer—full of surprises about how the Bluths were responsible for most of the misery they had endured. In some ways to be an experience for that viewer, perhaps, akin to eating some toast, then some bacon—maybe a sliced tomato followed by some turkey and realizing, “Hey, I think I just had a BLT.”

Arrested Development Season 4 Remix: Fateful Consequences will be available to stream on Netflix on the Bluths’ favorite holiday, Cinco de Cuatro. (That’s May 4, for the rest of us.)