Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

The Arrested Development Movie Is a Lousy Idea and It's Your Fault

Ron Howard has casually tossed some fuel on the Arrested Development movie fire by talking about how Mitch Hurwitz is totally going to make it now:

"What happened is that [Hurwitz] became such an important television superstar that he began developing a lot of pilots and he really wanted to follow through with that," Howard said. "So he put in a couple years doing that — always letting the Arrested Development movie percolate — and now he's done that. I think this is really now front-and-center in his mind."

The years working in TV have also given Hurwitz, who had never directed an episode of the series but who had always been on tap to helm the Arrested Development film if — nay, when — it came to fruition, time to get some directing experience under his belt.

"He's also directed some of the TV, so I think he's feeling confident about that, and we all want him to direct the film," Howard added. "I think it's a real priority for him now and can be in his life."

Ugh. Guys, can we all take a deep breath and actually think this through for a second?

Look, we all loved Arrested Development. It was an amazing, amazing show, one that is completely unique and will remain a fan favorite for years and years. It deserves all of the praise that is heaped on it! But why do you people want a movie so damned badly?

What is it that makes superfans of shows and movies both greedy and shortsighted? We got three seasons of AD! Thats two more than we got of Freaks and Geeks and one more (and way more episodes) than we got of Party Down!

And if you guys don't really remember, the show was sort of starting to go downhill at the end there. Once they wrapped up the story arc that was the entire premise of the series, they would have had to have really stretched things to keep it going. Hell, Hurwitz was given the option of continuing it on Showtime but turned it down! The show was done! It wrapped itself up nicely, and it stands as an example of quitting while you're ahead and going out on top.

So why this excitement for an Arrested Development movie? Here's what will happen: expectations will be absurd, and the movie will be just OK. It won't be awful, I'm sure, but it will not live up to the ridiculous expectations people will have for it. And then there will be backlash against Ron Howard and Mitch Hurwitz for fucking with the legacy of this perfect show. And it will be your fault, superfans, because your clamoring is the only reason this movie even exists as an idea.

It's the same idiotic mindset that gets people so amped up for what will surely be a childhood-memory-ruining Ghostbusters 3. Don't you know how this story goes? It happens pretty much every time something that is truly beloved gets milked beyond its potential due to the greedy urging of fans. Unless you're a huge fan of Indiana Jones and the Magical Nuke-Proof Refrigerator.

So really, can we call this whole thing off? We all have the Arrested Development DVDs, or can stream them from wherever. Can't that be enough? An Arrested Development movie will not bring the show back. It won't be the same. It will make you feel sad. So why do you want it so badly? Just be happy with what you have for chrissakes.

Sponsored Content
  • Kelly Conaboy

    Yesyesyesyesyeseyesyesyesyesyesyesyes. This could only end disappointingly.

  • http://jennifermorris.co.uk jennifermorris

    I wouldn't say it's a lousy idea. Obviously it's impossible to replicate the magic of the show on the big screen (actually, a better reason not to want it is that stylistically it probably won't translate well and will look and feel too different) but things like the recent Seinfeld "reunion" on Curb shows that it can be awesome to have a bit of a much-loved old show back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Morgan-Evans/674961395 Morgan Evans

    I disagree. I mean, Arrested Development is in a completely different league than Party Down or Freaks and Geeks in my opinion. I think it's just a much better show.
    Whether or not they make a movie won't have any effect on three seasons of great television. It's not really going to soil it.
    I didn't like 'Fire Walk With Me' all that much but 'Twin Peaks' is still one of my favorite shows. The idea that I got to spend ANY more time in the universe of that show was a good thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Newstedt/100000178655331 Jason Newstedt

    "But why do you people want a movie so damned badly?"

    Because the show ended before we were satisfied. Any time you have an audience for a show, and then stamp the word "cancel" on it, people will want more (obviously). In contrast, Seinfeld ran its course and ended on a high note, ending nine seasons. (Although, I think I would actually murder someone to see a movie based off of the reactions they all had from their prison term and how they dealt with the sentence they were given.)

    At any rate, you're lumping AD with typical shows that get canceled. Wasn't watching AD enough for you to realise that the writers could be smart enough to surprise you? After all, they did with the show itself. Don't short change them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riley-Hamilton/5256424 Riley Hamilton

    I disagree. You don't want to see Gob one more time? You don't want to see what kind of plot they will come up with to justify an entire movie? You don't want to see George Michael as a 22 year old?

    • http://twitter.com/petegaines petejayhawk

      I don't think it's not about wanting those things. It's that we all collectively might be disappointed when we see the answers to these questions, and they're not as awesome/hilarious as we built them up to be.

  • Christopher Scott

    Even with the thought that I miss those characters, do I need a feature film? Or would I be totally satisfied with a web series? I think the later.

  • http://www.collegehumor.com/user:328495 Chase Mitchell

    I think Adam has very reasonable, pragmatic reasons for not wanting to see this happen, but I would still argue that there is more that can be done with these characters. I don't know if the movie will successfully accomplish that, but I do think the possibility is there. While it got more episodes than Freaks and Geeks or Party Down, I think all three series had more stories to tell. Remember, Hurwitz only opted to wrap things up because he bet in advance that it was ending. Apatow and Enbom/Thomas/Etheridge/Rudd just didn't see it coming as soon.

  • Ben

    "And if you guys don't really remember, the show was sort of starting to go downhill at the end there."
    I disagree completely. I've always thought Season 3 was the funniest and the smartest.
    For my money, Prison Break-In, S.O.B.s, Fakin' It, Family Ties, and Exit Strategy are as good as AD episodes get.
    Also, Bob Loblaw is one of my favorite gags of all time, and Warden Gentiles and the Richter quintuplets are two of the funniest bit characters from contemporary comedy.

  • http://facebook.com/dorothyjean Dorothy Jean

    But don't you see… if all goes as planned, the movie will come out, it will just be OK, everyone will blame Hurwitz for ruining the AD legacy… and then ALL AD fans, in unison, can admit it together: "I've made a huge mistake." THAT'S why. I can't wait.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Graffam/1409671705 Tim Graffam

    I dont know, I think I have to agree with Adam here as well. Even though I get as giddy as a school girl every time I read the latest story about whatever AD cast member was quoted in saying "its still happening", deep down I know its a bad idea.

    Like most here, I would love nothing more than to see this ensemble together one last time, but when I start thinking about it all that comes to mind are the made for TV movies of old TV shows like the The Brady Bunch and Dallas. Even if you didnt like the shows originally most could agree the movie certainly didnt have nearly the charm as the series.

    I also think one of THE greatest things about AD was the ongoing "inside jokes" throughout all three seasons. I think this was one of the biggest things that made the fans become super fans, secretly knowing (or maybe even not so secretly) that they were in on the joke (and on the flip side probably one of the main things that lead to the shows demise for the majority that werent). What Im getting at is that where it's been as long as it has since the show was last on it will either end up trying to hard to incorporate those jokes or, worse yet, not include them at all.

    As much as I hate the thought of never seeing this fantastic ensemble again, I really dont think there's a great chance of something truly fantastic – and most importantly – as great as the original series.

  • http://mattpayton.tumblr.com/ BobSacamano

    A-fucking-men! I have been saying this for years. I'm fine with the same group getting together and making something new since, you know the amount of talent and creativity that group has is pretty incredible.

    Also, let's think here for a minute: has there ever been a TV series to feature film adaptation that has improved upon itself? Or even been as good? The Brady Bunch Movie doesn't count.

    • http://splitsider.com Adam Frucci

      I really liked the Strangers with Candy movie. I think that may be the sole exception to the rule. Although I wouldn't go so far as to say it was better than the series, just up to the same standards.

      • http://mattpayton.tumblr.com/ BobSacamano

        That's the response I've got before and I argue that the SWC movie is perfectly fine I guess (I've forgotten practically the whole movie except for the scene where Colbert yells 'Goddamnit!' at the new student), but not up to the same standard as the series.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Newstedt/100000178655331 Jason Newstedt

        na, you can't say that one movie is "the sole exception." If it happened just once, it can happen again.

        • http://mattpayton.tumblr.com/ BobSacamano
    • JoshUng

      The South Park movie. Now, since that move came out, I'd say there have been episodes that have been better, but at the time, the movie was the pinnacle of that show.

      • http://mattpayton.tumblr.com/ BobSacamano

        True, but that movie was made while the show was still in its infancy and wasn't made as the coda to the series. It right into the timeline and made the show better. I'm talking about TV series that ended then movies were made to milk whatever was left out of them.

  • migraineheadache

    I think the solution would be to combine all characters from Arrested Development, Party Down, Veronica Mars, and Freaks and Geeks in a single feature film, maybe a long the lines of Mad Mad Mad Mad World.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Josh-Kurp/46301792 Josh Kurp

      Can we add the cast from My So-Called Life, too?

  • gonzo234

    The movie is a bad idea. Deep down I know that. I think we all do. It's just hard because I want it so damn much.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Newstedt/100000178655331 Jason Newstedt

      You're not stating WHY it's a bad idea. I think that was the point of the article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Max-Boschert-Zielsdorf/1061137029 Max Boschert Zielsdorf

    Oh you hated Indiana Jones 4, and you point to the fridge thing? How interesting. What an interesting post you made.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-Brown/100000125787018 Brad Brown

    Some of the comments have pretty much said what I was going to say, but I'll go ahead and reiterate some of the problems with this thinking:
    – Comparing Arrested Development to Freaks & Geeks and Party Down isn't a valid comparison because one show wasn't a comedy fully, and the other show, in my opinion, was good but not nearly as good or detailed as Arrested Development.
    – If you're going to say "And if you guys don't really remember, the show was sort of starting to go downhill at the end there," then you need to back that up. If anything, the last half of season 3 are some of the best episodes.
    What I'll add to that is that this article doesn't make much sense because in the end, even IF the movie ends up sucking (I doubt that would happen anyways) it won't take away from what the show already is: the best sitcom of all time. Is that just my opinion? Yes, but the article plays off your opinions as if they're facts.
    Also, there are quite a few story arcs that don't have an ending:
    – George Michael and Maeby
    – George Sr. going with Michael and George Michael in the end
    – Lucille trying to run

    Just because the case with George Sr. got wrapped up doesn't mean that there is plenty of ground to cover, and I think it's pretty dumb to think that the writers who brought over 25 hours of incredible storytelling and side-splitting humor would "ruin" the legacy of the show that they created and love.
    I'm surprised that so many people are agreeing with you on this.

  • JoshUng

    Wow, don't think I've seen 18 comments on an article here before, maybe "Arrested Development Movie" can be to this site was "iPhone 4" is to the tech sites.

    To me, the Arrested Development move doesn't need to be everything that I've been missing since it was cancelled, it just needs to be good. I believe they can make a good movie. Even if there are some downs, I will usually sign up for a few lows if it means more highs. For example, I think the Office may have ran a little long, but I think the UK version was too short. IMO season 3 of the US version was best, and I'll trade off some of the bad episodes for getting the "extra" ones that were good, as opposed to it going the UK route and ending after two years.

    jennifermorris said it well, the Curb/Seinfeld reunion showed that something with high expectations can still satisfy.

    And while I love this site, I'll probably always side with Hurwitz in these types of articles, no disrespect to you guys, but you are kind of out of your league in your siding against Hurwitz (And I say that with the utmost respect, please don't take that insultingly)

  • http://www.twitter.com/becca_oneal Rebecca O'Neal

    I only got into Arrested Development once it started airing on IFC, so I can't say I've been among the rabid fans clamoring for a movie. Maybe it's because it's all so fresh in my mind and I've gotten the whole series in the course of a little over a year – but I think a movie is a horrible idea.

    If I'd been one of the original fans and were suffering from withdrawal as everyone else seems to be, I'd feel differently.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tj-Brustowicz/1351746213 Tj Brustowicz

    You nailed it, Adam. 'Nuff said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Branden-Howard/636499837 Branden Howard

    I've made a huge mistake..