Recently, we learned that Arrested Development's fifth season was going to arrive much sooner than expected - May 29th, in fact. The announcement was met with much rejoicing from Arrested Development fans, even those of us who weren't totally in love with season four: if nothing else, season five would bring the show's various characters back in steady contact with one another, and that's something we could all agree on as a plus.
Well, here's some news for everyone who already sent out invites for their May 29th viewing parties (via Entertainment Weekly):
"The 16-episode fifth season of Mitch Hurwitz’s irreverent, ultra-dysfunctional comedy will be split in half, with eight episodes arriving on May 29, EW has learned. The second half of the season, which also contains eight episodes, will debut sometime later this year."
You're probably wondering why Netflix would do this. Apparently it's for awards consideration, of all things:
"Netflix has split seasons on such comedies as The Ranch and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, whose first six episodes of its final season will debut May 30. The streamer is releasing those first half-seasons of Arrested and Kimmy just in time for Emmy consideration, as the deadline is May 31."
The glass-half-full angle on this is, Netflix must be feeling pretty damn confident about the quality of these new episodes if it's willing to split the season up like this. The glass-half-empty angle is basically, "But I wanted all of Arrested Development season five immediately", which - while impatient and entitled and kind of silly - is a totally understandable way to feel; Netflix binge watching has conditioned us to expect all the things, all at once. But, hey, we'll all get over it.
Anyway, now you know: the first half of Arrested Development season five will still be along in a couple of weeks, but your viewing parties will end much sooner than expected. Please plan accordingly.