NEWSER) – Netflix’s new season of Arrested Development, which will hit in May, could be a massive breakthrough for the service—and not (just) because we’re all eager to see the Bluths again. At the Television Critics Association press tour, creator Mitch Hurwitz revealed that this batch of episodes, each focusing on a different character, could be watched in any order, with events becoming clearer as viewers watched more episodes. That’s a bombshell, writes Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress, because until now, TV has fundamentally been a linear medium. Netflix is uniquely suited to change that, because it releases episodes all at once, and doesn’t need to hang on to viewers week-to-week for advertising purposes. Episodes will also vary in length a little, something Netflix could be much more daring with (imagine a 37-minute episode followed by a 2-hour one) than even HBO. “Up until these announcements, it’s really seemed like Netflix was simply chasing broadcast television,” Rosenberg writes. Now, she’s wondering how some episodic books—World War Z for example—might look as Netflix series, “a thought that has literally never occurred to me about any material before.”
Obviously the notion of week-to-week television is probably never going away. But its interesting to see someone try to scrap that and reinvent the way we watch TV. Imagine a TV show where episode order didn’t matter? Thats wild. I don’t think I even understand how it would work really. Its like a modern television version of Choose Your Own Adventure. Basically having episodes varying in length and order and availability is the complete opposite of broadcast TV. Just some real backwards type of shit that the world has never even thought of.
Literally one of my favorite things to do now is park myself on the couch for a Saturday and bang out a season of a new TV show I haven’t started yet. If Netflix and TV shows start catering to that, I’ll be in fucking heaven.