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Anyone who has ever seen an episode of Arrested Development knows that it is about a selfish and totally messed up family who loses their fortune and gets into wacky shenanigans while coming to terms with their new monetary status. This is what Arrested Development was about when it aired on Fox, and again when a new season was produced for Netflix. However, recently creator Mitch Hurwitz announced that originally Arrested Development was based around two clear premises that never made it into the final version of the show. You can find out what they are, below.
“You know, sometimes the original ideas fall away. And two of the original ideas that I really was going to base the show on, kind of aren’t in there anymore. One was that there was a conservative brother and a liberal sister, which I thought would be kind of an interesting idea for a show. And you’d be hard-pressed to like even get to that description or Arrested Development now, right? “
I can see what Hurwitz is saying. Arrested Development is hardly a comedy that is politically motivated, although you can kind-of see how Michael Bluth and Lindsay Bluth were formed from the ashes of those original descriptions. Michael is buttoned up and always comes through in the series, putting family values and finances, first. His sister, Lindsay, is intrinsically selfish and always trying to get up to random “save the world” sorts of causes that are egotistically motivated (including protesting at Camp Pendleton after her stylist gets called up by the Army). Neither character fits a typical liberal or conservative role, but both are diametrically opposites.
Hurwitz also tells Pretentious Film Majors that the show was originally pitched as a series that was a little more poignant.
“The other was… if a family had stopped developing because they had money and then they lost all their money and they go kicking and screaming to a new life. Like losing their money is the best thing that every happened to them. Also, arguably, not in the show. But it made for a good pitch.”
He notes that this would have been a bit more “high-concept” and probably would have included more plots along the lines of Lucille having to work at Burger King, etc. Obviously, the Arrested Development we know and love is a little less plot-driven and a little more character-driven, and it’s definitely better because of it.
As for whether or not there will be a fifth season of the hit series? That is still likely to happen, eventually, although Netflix and Hurwitz don’t seem to have a timeframe for new episodes, yet.
You can catch the full interview on the next page.