The stair car is gassed up and ready for a few more hop-ons. Netflix on Tuesday announced that Arrested Development will return for the second half of its fifth (and final?) season on Friday, March 15. The eight-episode drop comes nearly 10 months after the first batch of Season 5 installments, which were released back in May.
To go with the big announcement, Netflix also shared a poster for Season 5B (below).
As previously reported, the odds are not in Arrested Development‘s favor to return for a sixth season (particularly in the wake of that disastrous New York Times piece). “I’ve learned to say ‘Never say never,’” co-star David Cross recently remarked on a potential Season 6, “but I can’t see it happening again, I think for a number of reasons.”
The first half of Arrested Development Season 5 closed with at least a half-dozen dangling plot threads. Among them: Lucille’s plan involving Lucille 2’s disappearance was falling apart; Michael was on the verge of incriminating himself; Lindsay was still M.I.A.; and Tony Wonder was probably dead (read finale recap).
Arrested Development originally aired on Fox for three seasons from 2003–2006, and it was a much-praised critical darling and Emmy winner that never did particularly well in the ratings. Netflix revived the show for a fourth season in 2013, but many members of the cast had become significantly more famous since 2003. The show’s primary stars include Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Will Arnett, Jessica Walter, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, and David Cross as members of the formerly rich, rapidly disintegrating Bluth family. Their shooting schedules were difficult to combine, and the fourth season focused on individual, isolated adventures rather than collective ones. Reactions to the fourth season were mixed at best, and for the fifth season, Hurwitz returned to the show’s more conventional ensemble interaction.
But a series of sexual harassment allegations against Tambor, which resulted in him being fired from the Amazon show Transparent, dogged Arrested Development’s reemergence, and a troubled collective New York Times interview with the cast ended up dominating the story around season 5’s first-half release. In that interview, Walter wept while talking about Tambor screaming at her on set, as Bateman, Hale, and Cross all downplayed his behavior. Shawkat was the only one of the group who stood up for Walter. While Walter said she was “over it” and had forgiven Tambor, the gender dynamic around the conversation sparked extensive discussion on social media and a host of apologies and further interviews with the cast, focusing more on the set dynamics and confrontations than on the show.
The other main focus of media attention around season 5 came from a plotline that felt particularly relevant when the show was shot in 2017: the Bluth family’s involvement with the building of a border wall between Mexico and America. That subplot apparently continues in the second half of the season, and with the recent government shutdown over border wall funding still in recent memory, it’s no less relevant now than it was two years ago.