Sweet! 'Arrested Development' treats fans

MGN Online
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 1:00am

"Arrested Development" fans can hardly wait for its sweet return on Netflix at the end of this month, so what's a few hours in line to get a photograph with the series-inspired Bluth's Original Frozen Banana stand, making its way around New York this week.

Fresh from touring London, the "popup" stopped by Columbus Circle on Tuesday to promote season four's May 26 release on Netflix. Anyone patient enough to wait in a line stretching around Central Park West and West 61st Street was treated to a chocolate-covered frozen banana for the occasion.

Actor Terry Crews, who joined the cast this season, greeted the throngs. Posing with the two actors serving the bananas, he delivered a famous line from the series: "There's always money in the banana stand."

Like "cutoffs" and the "chicken dance," that line stayed with fans long after it was pulled from the air in 2006. Despite its cult following, the show lasted only three seasons on Fox. And its viewers, though few, were left clamoring for more.

Produced by Ron Howard, "Arrested Development" follows the bizarre moments shared by Michael Bluth (portrayed by Jason Bateman) and his eccentric family. The heart of the sitcom is its over-the-top characters played by Michael Cera, Will Arnett and Portia de Rossi, to name a few.

New co-star Crews says his personal favorite is Lindsay Bluth, played by de Rossi. "The Lindsay character is so pathetic in so many ways," he said. However, he also has a special place in his heart for Tony Hale's character, Buster Bluth.

"You really feel like they're members of your family," Crews said. "And that's what makes it so funny. Because you recognize all the dysfunction, even in yourself."

Crews calls the reunion of that dysfunction a "miracle" and credited the "grass-roots effort by the public and by its creator, Mitchell Hurwitz."

"He put his whole life into bringing this show back for the fans, and Netflix provided the wonderful opportunity," Crews said. "It's an iconic thing, and it's an amazing thing to watch this happen."

Crews -- a fan of the show who said he was thrilled to get the call from Hurwitz to join the revived series -- considers the release of an entire season at once to be a game-changer for the industry.

"In TV, they love standalone, 30 minutes, all-encompassing stories over (series)," Crews explained. "When you try to carry a story on, it's just so hard. With network television, it's almost impossible."

But thanks to Netflix, he said, "You can tell the story as much as you want, and you can follow it as much as you want."

The actor points to the success of Netflix's original series "House of Cards" as proof that releasing an entire season at one time can actually fuel fans' hunger for more. And with only days remaining in "The Final Countdown" to "Arrested Development," questions are already being raised as to what comes next.

"I think definitely the next step after this is a movie," Crews said, adding to Hurwitz's hints that he has tailored the new season to lead to film. "If 'Veronica Mars' can get Kickstarted into a movie, look at what the 'AD' crew is about and what this about. We could make this happen." 

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