Netflix just announced that all fifteen new episodes of Arrested Development will premiere on Sunday, May 26, at 12:01 a.m. PST, and you can barely contain yourself, right? But have you noticed that your anticipation is tinged with a little bit of anxiety? Have you figured out yet whether you'll be marathoning all fifteen episodes at once, or do you have a plan to carefully parcel them out (and can you stick to it)? Now that Netflix has upended the usual TV-viewing paradigm, here are the five ways you can consume the new season of Arrested Development, each with its own pros and cons.
You stay up until midnight (or even later in other time zones!) and mainline all of the new episodes until the next morning.
How to Prepare: Be sure to rest up the day before, since you wouldn't want to nod off that night and miss Kristen Wiig's cameo, would you? (At least you won't have to call in sick on Monday, since May 27 is Memorial Day.) And just remember: If you absolutely, positively need to take bathroom breaks or a quick catnap in order to continue … you are a lousy quitter and you should just burn yourself alive.
Drawbacks: You've waited years and years for these new episodes of Arrested Development, and now you're going to watch them bleary-eyed at 4:47 in the morning? This is perhaps not the best way to consume what could be the most important television you watch in your entire life.
You wait until the next morning to begin watching.
How to Prepare: Withdraw from social networking the night before, as the peer pressure to watch these episodes immediately may be too great to withstand. Destroy your television set so that you'll have to wait until Best Buy opens the next morning to get a new one. Leave ominous voice mails about "the final countdown" until your friends and family have no choice but to place you under a 5150 overnight psychiatric hold until the next day ... when you can watch the new episodes well rested and feelin' good!
Drawbacks: It's the Christmas morning conundrum: How do you sleep soundly through the whole night when you know you've got exciting presents to unwrap the next morning? Obviously, the solution is pills.
You throw a party and watch all of the new episodes with friends.
How to Prepare: Since many of the people you know will be consuming episodes at their own pace and thwarting your attempts to discuss the new season in-depth, it's probably better to invite friends over to watch alongside you. Just make sure that your guests have already seen every episode in advance ... do you really want to pause the show to explain what that blue handprint is a callback to?
Drawbacks: What if your friends laugh too much and you miss some of the jokes? What if they laugh too little and you start to wonder whether your friends even get it, really? What if you're about to move on to episode six and then Ashley is like, "Oh, we're really going to watch all of the episodes?" and then she laughs and someone else chuckles just to be polite, and it's like, Ashley, that was EXPLAINED TO YOU on the EVITE, but thanks for POISONING THE MOOD and making everyone question EVERYTHING? Go home. You were only invited because you're dating Ben.
You watch a new episode every week, just like old times.
How to Prepare: You'll need nerves of steel to parcel out Arrested in discrete weekly segments, but there is an upside: You'll get a whole week to turn over each episode in your head, remembering all of the good lines and wondering what comes next. Isn't that a better way to watch than just bingeing your way through the new season in one continuous blur?
Drawbacks: Everyone has that friend who compulsively tweets out his favorite punch lines from New Girl or Parks and Rec, ensuring that once you finally get to those shows on your DVR, you'll see every other zinger coming. Unless you murder or defriend him, get ready for that dude to spoil all of Arrested's best moments weeks in advance.
You just watch whenever you feel like it, over a span of weeks ... even months.
How to Prepare: Are you a monster? How could you? Are you on the right site?
Drawbacks: You're a monster.