Netflix found money in the Banana Stand.
The company said in a letter to shareholders on Monday that it added 630,000 members in its second quarter ending in July, and attributed the increase to the fourth season of "Arrested Development."
"The show already had a strong brand and fan base, generating a small but noticeable bump in membership when we released it," Netflix said in the letter. "Other great shows don't have that noticeable effect in their first season because they are less established."
"Arrested Development" originally aired on Fox for three seasons before it was canceled. Netflix released all 15 episodes of the fourth season on Memorial Day weekend. The show was nominated for three Emmy awards last week.
The company also said in the letter to investors that it would "be delighted" to produce another season of the show.
Netflix, which costs $7.99 per month, finished the second quarter with 29.8 million subscribers in the U.S and 7.75 million in its international markets. It added 530,000 members in the same period last year.
In which we meet J. Walter Weatherman, the one-armed man that George Bluth uses to teach lessons meant to make them more responsible. Given how the Bluth kids turned out, that worked out pretty well! Weatherman was part of an elaborate pot bust at the Bluth boat, a sequence that showed the comedy using one of its signature moves -- escalating, farcical confrontations among different sets of characters -- to hilarious effect.
A classic thanks to the insane fight among Buster, Michael and GOB, a conflict that began with Michael's attraction to GOB's girlfriend Marta, progressed through a misunderstanding about the word "hermanos," and ended with the Michael and GOB rolling around on the grass and Buster shouting, "Will someone please have the decency to punch me in the face?" Contains this classic exchange between an angry GOB and an actor on the set of Marta's telenovela: "Como?" "Oh, you're going to be in a coma all right!!"
"The One Where They Build a House"
A classic if only for the side-splitting scene in which GOB and Michael stage a rock-paper-scissors battle with a giant boulder and gigantic scissors (Ron Howard's bone-dry narration: "Unfortunately, the whole incident was covered by the paper."). But there's lots more to love in this gem from the second season, which found the show at the height of its game: There were the scathing Iraq allusions, Lindsay's crush on Thomas Jane, whom she thought was a random homeless guy and the specter of GOB being put in in charge. By the way, Michael "does not have a problem with that."
The gang's excursion to Mexico could have seemed frenetic had the storylines and jokes within them not been so well-orchestrated and gleefully deployed. But by that point in Season 2, the writers, directors and cast had built the "AD" machine up to the point that they could throw it into high gear and all the parts moved together beautifully; everything in "¡Amigos!" was pleasingly synchronized and delightfully ridiculous. As members of the clan hit the road to find George in Mexico, chicken dances erupted, mistaken identities abounded, Ice melted Lindsay's and Ann (her?) was accidentally left behind. It was a veritable plethora of amusing Bluth insanity.
The winning "Good Grief" ably demonstrates how "AD" managed to locate real heart inside all its dizzyingly constructed silliness. The show's appealing narration and folksy music balanced out its wackier elements, and here, the many references to the beloved "Peanuts" canon gracefully communicated a certain kind of bittersweet disappointment. There's so much to say about this ambitious half-hour -- which featured George as a witness to his own funeral, which GOB of course bungled -- that Ryan McGee and I did a <a href="http://talkingtvwithryanandryan.libsyn.com/webpage/watching-tv-with-ryan-and-ryan-episode-4-arrested-development-good-grief" target="_hplink">whole podcast on the episode</a>.
Never let it be said that "Arrested Development" shied away from going big and broad -- it did so effectively here, with an episode that built to a car slipping on a banana peel and Buster trying out his new crane-game skills on his own brother, who happened to be wearing a banana suit at the time. And any show that dwells on family member singing the lyrics of "Afternoon Delight" to each other has a firm grasp on cringe-inducing yet hilarious wrongness.
"Out on a Limb"/"Hand to God"
A two-parter jam-packed with delightful hijinks, in which Michael meets a "blind" lawyer named Maggie Lizer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), Buster wonders who his real father is, Lucille begins to like Ann (<em>her</em>?), Maeby struggles with her "Young Man and the Beach" movie, and the youngest Bluth brother famously encounters a "loose seal." Like many of the best episodes of "AD," these installments are dense with interconnected stories that skitter through the Bluth family like Buster on a juice-box rampage.
Lucille's attempt to make George Michael into her new Buster via the creepy Motherboy dance is stymied by Buster himself, who does all he can to save his nephew from his emotionally stunted fate. And the "loose seal" that ate Buster's hand, as it turns out, was eaten by a shark, which Barry Zuckerkorn jumped over (a deeply meta reference to the shark-jumping moment in "Happy Days" which gave rise to the term).
When someone gets what they want on "AD," it usually turns out to be a nightmarish experience, as is the case when George Michael and Maeby finally kiss and she says, "Hey, look at that, we didn't get swallowed up into Hell" -- and of course, part of the model home collapses into a pit. At the courthouse, there's another Michael-GOB donnybrook and a member of the Bluth family is finally put (back) in the slammer. It's not the George Bluth, of course; it's his hapless brother Oscar.
Worthy of inclusion in any "AD" Top 10 just for the scene in which Det. John Munch (Richard Belzer) leads a scrapbooking class (one designed to get the ever-gullible Tobias to share incriminating Bluth documents). The brothers Bluth finally make it to Iraq, where they find several Iraqi men -- all of them Saddam Hussein stand-ins -- living in a Middle Eastern version of the model home. Though the CIA wants to bust them, somehow Buster saves the day, and for once Operation Hot Brother is a massive success.
"Immaculate Election," which featured Mrs. Featherbottom and Buster's dalliance with a Roomba; "Missing Kitty," for general Kitty Sanchez nuttiness; "Spring Breakout," for Howard's deadpan evisceration of the narration of the melodramatic program "Scandalmakers" ("Real shoddy narrating. Just pure crap."); "Sword of Destiny," in which we meet Tony Wonder; "Meet the Veals," for the crazy series of confrontations among the Bluths and the Veals and for some memorable Franklin moments; "Mr. F," for the destruction of Tiny Town sequence -- giant mole, jetpack and all; the season 3 finale "Development Arrested," one of the show's more frenetic outings, but it brought the loony story of the Bluths full circle to the infamous boat party that began it all.