Arrested Development -- Do I have to watch it in order?

Because my library is not NetFlix, or even NetFlix’s much lamer Canadian counterpart,, it has not mastered the idea that a person who puts a hold on the individual components of a 3-disc DVD set wants them in a specific order, and not, say, disc 2 and 3 before disc 1. I tried to manipulate my hold queue to ensure I’d get them in order anyway, by only holding 2 and 3 once 1 was already in transit, but that turned out to be an epic fail, because 1 is still in transit, but I had to pick up 2 and 3 today, as they’d already been waiting at my local branch for me for a week.

So now, I have discs 2 and 3 of season 1 of Arrested Development, but not disc 1. So, is the show more arc-ey or more standalone? Can I just go ahead and watch these two and catch up on the first 6 episodes later? Or should I wait and hope I get disc 1 before I have to take these two back?

I would watch it in order but I’m kind of anal about that. It’s not terribly arcey, but there are a ton of callbacks. Things like J. Walter Weatherman and the cornballer, for instance, keep coming up, and if you miss the original setup the references aren’t going to be nearly as funny.

It’s best to watch them in order. Not because of story arcs, but because jokes often build on or refer back to previous episodes.

It makes sense out of order, but you’ll miss things.

My personal opinion is that you have to watch them in order. I’d seen disembodied AD episodes and been unimpressed, but it wasn’t until I started from the beginning and followed it through to the end that I realized how awesome it really was. It’s not the plotlines that are so important so much as the jokes. There are a ton of jokes that reference past episodes that will fly right over your head unless you watch from the beginning.

That’s 3 people simulposting almost the exact same thing, jacquilynne. It’s a sign. Watch them in order.

Another vote for watching them in order. There are subtle jokes that refer to events in past episodes.

I know no one had mentioned it yet, but I’d watch them in order. But that’s just me.

I think I’d watch them in order. Not just any order, though. I’d start with Season 1, watching the first episode first, then continuing to the season finale. Next, you should move to Season 2, again starting with the first episode and watching them in chronological order until the season finale. Lastly, watch Season 3 in the same manner as the first 2 seasons.

Everyone has it wrong. The series was setup from the outset to be watched ‘Memento-style’. Meaning that you need to watch the series finale first and move backwards through the episodes until you get to the series premier where everyything is explained.

While an interesting idea, I’m surprised it was as popular as it was, given that all the answers are known after the first show.

In order. The first one I watched was Beef Consomme, and I couldn’t understand why everyone was so gaga for this show. Thank goodness, I gave it another shot with the first episode some time later.

Even more importantly, you need to watch the entire series TWICE to really catch everything and see the brilliance of it.

“This is George Michael, and this is his cousin, Maybe.”


I’m just finishing season 2, in order!

And I just now got that.:smack:

Seriously, that kind of stuff is aaaaaaaaaallllll through the entire series. That’s why I say to watch it twice.

Now, who wants a banger in the mouth? (No, nothing deep or clever on that one, just funny)


But make sure to take periodic breaks between episodes, with an intense feeling of dread that you might not be able to watch the next episode. That way, you can fully simulate the experience of watching it as it aired.

“And that’s why you always leave a note!”


Every line in that show, throughout the series, is a joke. And the deeper into the series you go, the more jokes there are that refer back to past episodes.

I don’t think it has been recommended yet…but definitely watch the series in order.

I believe you may have just won the thread.

At least if the undeniable pain that resulted from the very loud snort I gave upon reading this post is any indication.

Thanks, folks. I’ll watch it in order.

Just FYI, your library’s ILS system might be like ours is. Patrons can’t reserve specific discs in our system, but we librarians can because we have a different interface. Have you tried asking about it?

I can reserve specific disks – I have to, because each disk is a completely different item in the catalog. I just can’t ensure that if I reserve all 3 at one time, I’ll get them in the order I would hope for, because as far as the hold system is concerned, they’re just three items, all of which I want whenever. I tried manipulating the timing on the holds so I would get disk 1 first, but it didn’t work out.

Maybe the Librarians can do something more powerful, but I’m not sure my TV addiction is really worth bothering them with. I don’t do well with asking questions, and I like the fact that I can reserve things, pick them up, check them out and never speak to anyone at any point.

There are A LOT of in jokes you would completely miss out on watching out of order.