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Arrested Development to return next month

David Cross, who plays Tobias Fünke, is among the Arrested Development actors who will resume their original roles on the show. (credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) David Cross, who plays Tobias Fünke, is among the Arrested Development actors who will resume their original roles on the show. (credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

After a seven-year hiatus, the critically acclaimed television comedy Arrested Development will return with a new season starting on May 26. The show, originally produced by and aired on FOX, was cancelled in 2006 due to low ratings and a lack of viewers — even though it won multiple awards, including six Emmys and one Golden Globe.

For years, there were rumors that a spin-off movie based on the show was being written and produced, Arrested Development has remained off the air and the screen since 2006. Now, the show is back — but as opposed to airing weekly on FOX, the fourth season will premiere solely on Netflix, which will release all 15 episodes simultaneously.

Renowned for its tongue-in-cheek attitude toward issues like homosexuality, incest, alcohol, and tax evasion, but Arrested Development focuses on the drama surrounding the Bluth family — drama that they cause and inevitably exacerbate. Sometimes touching and sometimes just plain weird, the show has one constant: quirky charm.

Its charm is largely due to the cast of the show, and when it was announced that the show would be revamped, there were concerns about maintaining this originality. However, despite the six-year gap since the last episode was filmed, most of the original cast will be resuming their original roles, including Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth, Portia de Rossi as his sister Lindsay Fünke, Jessica Walter as their mother Lucille Bluth, Michael Cera as Michael’s son George Michael Bluth, David Cross as Lindsay’s husband Tobias Fünke, and Jeffrey Tambor as the patriarch of the family, George Bluth, Sr. The show also features Ron Howard as the voice of the narrator in addition to his role as producer.

Many of the guest characters featured on the show are also returning to the now Netflix-exclusive series, including Liza Minnelli and Ben Stiller. In addition to the returning characters, the show also boasts a Hollywood-hefty playbill for the new season, including guest stars such as Isla Fisher, John Slattery, and Kristen Wiig.

It’s both surprising and praiseworthy that, after such a long break, the show would attract not only such a star-studded returning cast but an influx of such well-known guest stars. Perhaps even more surprising is the amount of public attention and hype the show has gained in anticipation of the new season. New memes based on the show are circulating and quotes from the show are popping up in conversation: It’s clear that people are talking about it.

While it had its shortcomings, perhaps the show’s absence has made viewers realize how much they missed the quirky Bluth family. Though the show’s past main problems have been low viewership and audience ratings, Arrested Development has always received respectable reviews from critics. Hopefully, the new Netflix exclusive series will return with a bang and make the comeback even more exciting than the original series.