"The Bluths are in real deep doo-doo." So says Jeffrey Tambor, George Bluth himself, summing up the fourth season of Arrested Development at the show's April 30 premiere screening at Hollywood's famed TCL Chinese Theatre. The show, which follows the ridiculous exploits of the dysfunctional family, was revived by Netflix after being canceled by Fox in 2006.
Tony Hale, who returns as the awkward, hook-handed Buster, describes the 15 new installments as "a comic matrix in the mind of [creator] Mitch Hurwitz. One surprise after the next." Those surprises include Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogen popping up in flashbacks to the early years of Lucille (Jessica Walter) and George's marriage. "And tonight at the premiere we have an ostrich walking the orange carpet. What the hell is happening?"
Good question. Michael Cera — who plays George's grandson, George Michael — is also a writer-producer this season, and even he admits he has "a hard time keeping everything straight." One scene finds his character, now in college, sharing a shower with his father, Michael (Jason Bateman). "They had a smoke machine inside to make it seem like it was steaming," he says, "so we were worried about breathing that in — plus the possibility of electrocution."
In one of Tambor's favorite scenes, George and Lucille try to reignite a romantic spark by donning clothes from an earlier era. "We're getting divorced but are still attracted to each other," says the actor, hinting that Lucille may be unknowingly bedding George's twin, Oscar.
Portia De Rossi, whose Lindsay is the focus of Episode 2, walked the arrivals carpet with wife Ellen DeGeneres but skipped the after-party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The soiree featured a Forget Me Now cocktail patterned after what another Bluth son, Gob (Will Arnett), drinks to forget his shameful exploits; an early scene suggests Michael has caught his brother in a gay sexual encounter, and there seems to be something inappropriate going on between Gob and nephew George Michael. "The incest this season branches out in all directions," teases Cera.
"There's a lot going on beneath the surface," Arnett adds. "We always knew Gob was an interesting guy."
Interesting does not begin to describe the adventures awaiting all the Bluths when the new episodes become available for streaming on May 26. And it's the cast's hope that a feature film will soon follow. "It would make sense," Cera says, "because the story is left open-ended and there are a lot more places to go."