The Bluths are back!

The family who are good at absolutely nothing are back for a fifth season, with the first eight episodes of the new season of Arrested Development airing on Netflix on May 29th. We’ll have to wait until later in 2018 for the rest of the season.

After the show was dropped by Fox in 2006, it was picked up by Netflix for season four which was met with mixed reviews, and it has recently been recut and re-released for anyone who can’t wait until the end of May for their next installment of Bluth family antics. The original season saw each episode centered on a different member of the family over the same period of time and could be watched in any order. This fairly bold solution to the actors’ scheduling problems didn’t go down well with some critics and fans, so creator Mitchell Hurwitz has recut the episodes so the story is told in chronological order, and features more than one family member in each one. Whichever version you prefer, now seems like a great time to revisit season four ahead of the Bluths’ big return, and the show’s star Jason Bateman has confirmed that season five will pick up directly where season four left off.

All the main characters are back for season five, including the Bluth family’s patriarch George Sr, played by Jeffrey Tambor, which is something of a controversial decision after he left his role on Transparent because of allegations of sexual harassment.

Michael, played by Jason Bateman, is the weary, reluctant caretaker of the Bluth family, and he is brought back into the fold (again) because his twin sister Lindsay has announced she is going into politics. “I want to be part of the problem,” she tells Michael. The Bluths are also giving themselves the “Family of the Year” award, which seems like something they’d be unlikely to win even in an alternate universe.

Arrested Development Bluth family

The Bluths are back! Photo courtesy of Netflix.

The Bluths are a heady mix of incompetence and cluelessness, and Lindsay’s political campaign will thrust them back into the public eye, which surely cannot end well for anyone. She is spoiled and incredibly shallow, her husband Tobias is clinically odd, and their daughter Maeby is a reckless attention-seeker. There’s also Michael’s brother Gob, the laughably unsuccessful magician; panicky younger brother Buster, who lost his hand in a freak seal attack; and his awkward son George Michael, who tries so hard but inevitably gets most social situations horribly wrong. Presiding over them all is their volatile, spiky mother Lucille, who cares only about money and vodka. Poor Michael is the most normal member of the entire family, and so he gets stuck with the job of trying to keep them all under control.

Whatever season five has in store for the Bluths, it’s probably going to include financial problems, legal grey areas and a whole host of social awkwardness that makes the viewer cringe from second-hand embarrassment. I can’t wait.