With The Wire, All in the Family, Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm (essentially two versions of one show), The Simpsons, Big Love, WKRP in Cincinnati (still my personal favorite), M*A*S*H and a bunch of other classics dotting the resplendent history of American television, it might be a stretch to say that Arrested Development is the best TV show of all time, at least among those produced on these shores.
But it isn't a stretch. I've watched a little TV in my time--I had a set in my bedroom when I was six--and I can say with all the objectivity I can muster that Arrested Development is the best TV show I've ever seen. (It's still not my favorite--that honor will always belong to WKRP--but it is the best.) The fact that it got the axe after just three seasons and 53 episodes almost cements its legend; it never got stale, never tried too hard and never betrayed its ridiculously quirky premise.
The incredible cast, the writing, the wit, the characters, the cameos--if you haven't seen the show, it'll be hard to understand what I'm talking about. Let me just say this: Even though Arrested Development (yes, that was an Amazon ad in that link...more on that in another post later on) was very much a serial in which every episode tied heavily into the ones that came before and after it, individual episodes of the show now rerunning on the Independent Film Channel are eminently re-watchable. Try watching a single episode of, say, The Sopranos at random--it's all out of context without being part of the greater story of the series, and the single episode isn't really all that entertaining. But Arrested Development works every time, regardless of the episode or the context.
So, with all of that on the record, I felt compelled to express my delight in reading today that the long-rumored Arrested Development movie might still be clinging to life. (It even has an IMDB entry, for what it's worth.) Granted, I'd rather see a return of the TV show, but that's highly unlikely to happen, especially given the fact that that many members of the cast have gone on to do movies and achieve enhanced stardom. Plus, I don't know that a return to TV for Arrested Development could possibly live up to my expectations for it. A movie probably won't, either, but it would be better than what we have now--reruns. Excellent reruns, but reruns nonetheless. Here's hoping that those good folks in Hollywood can get a movie together and give Arrested Development the proper send-off it deserves.