Arrested Development can be considered a “cult TV” show that achieved great levels of success in it’s mission to entertain. As it began it’s third season we began to see ratings dropping and the show’s popularity decrepitly slithering on within a die-hard group that any major network would determine “small”. Yet, the small following continued to show interest in the show and not until seven years later did we see Netflix step up to provide funding for a fourth season. As Will Leitch from Vulture.com put it “Then it was over, like it had never happened. It was an ignominious and, of course, entirely apt finish. Arrested Development, the story of possibly the most dysfunctional family ever produced by American wealth, was replaced on the Fox schedule by Skating With Celebrities, a fate so bizarre and perfect it sounds like something the show would have come up with on its own.” It is almost too perfect to be true. The show that had that small group of people running for their couch each week to connect with the Bluth family for that half hour was gone but why did they create such a lasting mark on the American Sitcom? How did they create a “Cult”?
First lets give a quick definition of “Cult TV”. “Cult” can be defined as many things, but if you reading this for my opinion, (which you, I think you are), then it is the notion that a television show connects with you as an individual in such a way that you are inspired to not just watch the show but in fact do something about it. When I say “do something” I mean you use quote from that show in your daily life, you relate situations from this show to what is around you, you write letters to networks begging for the shows return, or perhaps after someone says something to you; the theme song from Arrested Development just seems to hum along in your brain.
So why this show? What makes this show so quality that it can entertain crowd to the degree that we see episodes in production seven years later? Cult status on media really started to become a canon with movies prior to this shows release. Those hard to find movies that certain people enjoyed amongst a small “cool” group was a trend. Let’s just put it this way, if you didn’t know about “that” movie, you might not be as “cool”. Arrested Development was on the fore-front of creating “Cult TV”. The show, let’s just call it “she”, was in many ways ahead of her time. Let’s do a quick intel of how she was so cutting edge.
Arrested Development was perhaps a show that in each 22 minute bite was still to big to swallow. It is littered with reoccurring jokes, themes, cameos, and symbols that the first time watcher might not appreciate but upon further inspection can understand. When Season 3 was released in 2006 there was no such thing as Netflix, GIFS, or youtube. The question that is raised from that era is “How do we get our fix?? How do we get to connect with Arrested Development when it only shows its face on TV once a week?”. The shows popularity really sky-rocketed when all three seasons were put on Netflix so you could stream them continuously in a binge watch. As a once a week show, it was too much to swallow.