Why bring a show back after being off the air for seven years? As Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter) would say, I don’t understand the question, and I won’t respond to it. Simply put, Arrested Development was TV comedy at its finest, and we finally get to catch up with one of the most dysfunctional clans in history—including “analrapist” Tobias (David Cross), failed magician Gob (Will Arnett), ice cream sandwich-loving patriarch George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor), mother-fixated amputee Buster (Tony Hale), inventor of Hot Ham Water Lindsay (Portia de Rossi), terminally innocent George Michael (Michael Cera) and his cousin(?) Maeby (Alia Shawkat). Will any burning questions from the first three seasons will be answered? Who cares? Here are the real reasons we’ll be parking ourselves on the couch come May 26:
1. Original songs. Over AD’s three seasons, its creators have shown an affinity for short, silly ditties (“Big Yellow Joint,” “All You Need Are Smiles,” “Yellow Boat”), and it would be just plain foolish not to expect them to pen a few more.
2. The return of some great recurring secondary characters. Please, just one more scream from Lucille upon seeing Gene Parmesan take off a disguise, one more “Baby, you got a stew goin’!” from Carl Weathers, and one more “Say goodbye to these!” from Kitty.
3. Great lines everyone can remember. Only a show this inventive can make less-is-more dialogue like “Annyong,” “Come on!” and “Her?” recognizable to any fellow acolyte. Here’s hoping this season adds more to the lexicon.
4. The chance to spot clever pop-culture references. Few TV moments were more in-joke than when Henry Winkler’s scummy lawyer, Barry Zuckerkorn, hopped over a shark in Season 2—a nod to Winkler’s Fonzie jumping over a shark tank on Happy Days (which spawned the term for when a show has officially run out of ideas). Of course, the show’s creators know we’ll be looking, so they might be a lot harder to catch this time around.
5. A show structure that demands—and rewards—multiple viewings. AD’s creators demonstrated a genius for using intersecting storylines, foreshadowing and meta references, all tied together with Ron Howard’s uncredited narration. Season 4 promises to be a different animal, with all 15 episodes focusing on an individual character and organized in such a way that a character’s mysterious actions in one episode will be clear once you’ve watched another. Oh, and all the episodes will be available at the same time. As Jason Bateman’s Michael Bluth would say, no one’s gonna top that.