By Frazier Moore Associated Press
Portia de Rossi only believed it was happening when her agent got the good news from the producers. Michael Cera only believed it was happening when the cameras rolled.
It happened all right. After years of clamoring from fans and rumors firing them up while the cast hung on for a green light, “Arrested Development” has risen from the dead with 15 half-hours premiering en masse on Netflix in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
“Arrested Development” is the cock-eyed comedy blessed with a king’s ransom of talent and the twisted vision of its mastermind, Mitch Hurwitz, that aired on Fox for three seasons as a cult favorite, then was canceled for low ratings — and maybe because it befuddled everyone who wasn’t hooked on its lunacy. (Those original three seasons are available for streaming on Netflix, too.)
“I think the show scored some ‘cool points’ for dying before its time,” Cera said. “But there are still a lot more places for it to go.”
Yes, “Arrested Development” died young, but its fans weren’t ready to bury it. And said so.
“Clearly a lot of people didn’t like the show,” Jason Bateman said, “so I guess all we were hearing from were those who do — and that happens to be a brand of people who are not afraid of speaking their minds.”
Now reanimated by public outcry, “Arrested” is going new places.
“Mitch and the cast didn’t want to do something not as good as the old series,” said Bateman (who plays Michael Bluth, the fractious family’s would-be mediating presence). “We didn’t want to do something lateral or just a retread.”
“I think it’s new at every opportunity,” said Cera, “while retaining the show’s original heart.”
Besides de Rossi, Cera and Bateman, the cast of “Arrested” Redux brings back Will Arnett, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter, who reconvened in a strategic yet catch-as-catch-can fashion.
The 15 episodes dwell on characters during the six-year span from when the series was canceled in 2006 up through 2012.