Arrested Development: Trailer, Netflix, and the Culture of Binge-Watching
Arrested Development’s entire fourth season will be released on Netflix in two weeks. Are you ready?
By Marisa LaScala
If there are any NYC commuters out there, I envy you. Not for your long rides to work, but because you will be in proximity of the Bluth Original Frozen Banana Stand, which is taking up residence today near Radio City Music Hall.
The fast-food stand, for those of you who don’t know your chicken dances from your cornballers, is a publicity stunt to announce the new season of Arrested Development. Here’s the trailer:
As you can see, the video points out something that makes this season of Arrested Development different from all of the others: It’s debuting on Netflix. That means every episode — 15 of them — will be available all at once, starting on May 26.
This has sparked a lot of discussion on how to watch it. Do you dole out the episodes on a measured basis? Or do you cancel all your Memorial Day Weekend plans and watch them marathon-style?
On one hand, if you do the responsible thing and ration the episodes, you leave yourself open to spoilers from the people who gobbled them all down in one sitting and immediately took to the Internet to log their reactions.
On the other, sitting through eight hours of television in one sitting is tough, especially on a (hopefully) lovely Memorial Day weekend.
Binge-watching TV is a phenomenon that’s been around as long as TV on DVD has. (Just ask my mom, who caught up with Lost on DVD a couple seasons in, and then couldn’t stand watching them in real-time with commercials and one-week breaks between episodes.) But Netflix and other streaming services have made it even easier to watch entire runs of shows in as many hours as you’re able to devote to them. Binge-watching also have that thrill of being totally immersed — possibly obsessed? — with a certain world and a certain set of characters.
So, are you a binge-watcher, or is it just too much? What’s your episode maximum? Let me know in the comments.
Associate Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come back and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.