Netflix remixing Arrested Development proves the future of TV isn’t fixed

Mitchell Hurwitz, creator of hit TV comedy Arrested Development made a giant transfer to Netflix again in 2013. It was a transfer that saved the cult present from cancellation, with the promise of a Netflix-backed fourth season and the opposite three seasons out there to stream by means of the service alongside it. 

There was an issue, although: the solid have been getting extra well-known and he discovered it troublesome to get all of them in the identical room. Given that the comedy of the present relied on the connection of the whole Bluth household, this was a difficulty. To get round this, he gave season 4 a Rashomon-style narrative specializing in a sure member of the household in every episode. It labored, to some extent, however didn’t fairly shine as a lot because the earlier collection.

This week, Hurwitz made the shock announcement that season 5 was imminent – “real soon,” he wrote in a handwritten observe posted on Twitter. So quickly that we are going to be saying “why are we all just hearing this now?” 

But earlier than the shock fifth season occurs, Hurwitz has carried out one thing that’s a good greater shock – he’s remixed the fourth season, giving it a re-edit in order that it’s extra in line with the a number of narrative threads that followers liked concerning the present.

Comedic experiment

“I pursued it as a comedic experiment to see if new jokes and a new perspective would emerge from a remix that features all the Bluths,” writes Hurwitz. 

In all there at the moment are 22 interwoven tales, as a substitute of the 15 episodes that initially made up season four. Hurwitz’s large experiment has really made the present extra conventional.

When Netflix first dipped its toes into unique TV content material, one in every of its large issues was that as a result of it was an all-you-can eat streaming service, creators may mess around a bit with their concepts. They didn’t essentially need to be the conventional episode size, which was dictated by the position of advert spots. 

This additionally meant that you just didn’t really need to play to those advert spots, so the format of getting a false cliffhanger each 15 minutes or so didn’t need to occur.

This inventive freedom is implausible however only some have made use of it. One instance that springs to thoughts is O/A, the sensible and barmy sci-fi yarn that options and is produced by Brit Marling. The present has episodes that vary from over an hour in size to 30 minutes. It skews the conventions of TV to suit its narrative and never the opposite approach spherical.

Then you might have different experiments such because the Puss In Boots select your individual journey episodes – interactive storytelling that’s doable because of Netflix’s on-demand roots.

Season four of Arrested Development brings this again full circle. What we’ve is a TV present creator that used Netflix to strive one thing new – the unique Rashomon-style season of Arrested Development – after which rip up his personal work and recreate it within the mildew of conventional TV. 

Whatever the true purpose for the experiment, it’s nice to see companies corresponding to Netflix enable for this inventive freedom. Even if the outcome is definitely one thing extra akin to what we might watch on terrestrial tv, it’s as soon as once more displaying that TV’s guidelines are there to be damaged.


Publish Date: 2018-05-02 13:24:51

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