When Arrested Development first came out, in 2003, I remember that I had a dial up internet connection and a laptop that weighed about 20 pounds. It would take something like 5 minutes to load a page and I was definitely still calling people instead of writing them emails or texting them. You all, my techie friends, were probably long into communicating via email only, but I’m sure you were still stuck at your desks doing it. It was possible to rent an entire series back then, at the local video store; I had gone through Sex and the City and The Sopranos that way, but only well after they had aired.
Arrested Development came on on Sunday nights, in a lineup with The Simpsons and The Bernie Mac Show and I think it was the last thing I ever looked forward to, and planned my week in order to be able to watch, on television. Half and hour felt crazy, like my appetite for the quirky insanity of the Bluths was only just whetted and then it was over, but to skip the weekly dose and wait for it to come out on DVD was unthinkable.
And now, suddenly, after waiting six years instead of six days, I can sit down and watch a whole new season of the exact same show? Are any of the rest of you feeling confused by this possibility? I feel like my enjoyment of this show was based on a whole other model of TV watching, first of all. Second of all, the fact that I could, in one night of binging, be back exactly where I had been just earlier in the day, which is with no more Arrested Development to watch ever again, feels very imperfect. And yet, my habits have adapted with the current technology. I no longer accept the longing for more that the end of an episode leaves me with. Instant gratification is the new norm. I don’t know what to do and so I’m avoiding it. How are all of you handling this?