Arrested Development and Party Down Might Come Back
It doesn’t matter if brevity is the soul of wit, a good thing cut short for the makers and takers can cut pretty deep. The genius of some television shows may have been conserved due to penny-pinching execs and their premature cancellations, but of course that’s all relative. I’m talking shows like Freaks and Geeks, Party Down, and obviously the constantly brilliant Arrested Development. This week’s “confirmation” of AD coming back for a tentative season and a greenlighted movie threw comedy fanatics from all ’round into a tizzy, and rightly so. Arrested Development is basically a generational epic, so the lightning fast Facebook/Twitter/Blog groveling was to be expected. Conversely, a few months ago at a Party Down reunion in Austin courtesy of Alamo Drafhouse cinemas, a possible movie was announced and only those who cared, well, cared. Tickets to the Arrested Development cast reunion at the New Yorker Festival sold out in 20 seconds.
I personally would love a Party Down movie. The show fell into an obvious cult status pretty quickly after being snipped from Starz after two seasons (soon to be cut from Netflix too because Starz doesn’t feel like paying alimony anymore) and another chapter of these jaded, but quietly hopeful actors humiliating themselves as caterers for douchebags of all kinds would be great. And everybody loves Adam Scott. Finding financing for the film could be pretty tricky, but if Arrested Development can pull it off they might be able to ride that tiny diminishing part of AD’s tidal wave way at the end before it crashes back into the massive ocean of obscurity. Even with every news source wildly proclaiming AD’s return to television, we still don’t know for sure that any new movie or television will be made.
Creator Mitchell Hurwitz has been working on the film’s screenplay for a few years and is currently preparing to approach studios for money. In that case, even with the entire cast onboard (including Michael Cera who only pretended to be holding up production with a page torn out of the Andy Kaufman handbook) and the script practically finished, Arrested Development is still in the “might” phase. I think it’s okay to be optimistic though because hopefully studios and production companies have realized by now the tantamount amount of power and lure attached to this program. I, along with everyone who’s updated their status in excited all-caps, would be grossly disappointed if studio execs gave Hurwitz a tawdry “eh” response.
No matter what, the excitement over a limited season filling in what members of the Bluth clan have been up to in the past few years and a motion picture (probably but hopefully not exclusively a limited release) will continue right up until the family hits the airwaves once again. There are already rumors of a Ben and Jerry’s “Tobias Fünke’s I Just Blue Myself” ice cream, which again is just fanfare and not at all an announcement from the Vermont duo’s ice creamery. Expect more of this. Just come home already, Buster.
[Update: Since this article was originally published, Arrested Development has been slated to have a short series run exclusively on Netflix in 2013 to prepare viewers for the subsequent film. Way to go, Netflix. In other news, March marked the end of Starz Play on Netflix Instant Watch, meaning no more instant Party Down. Boo, Netflix.]