And now, the story of a team of superfans who researched every single recurring joke in Arrested Development and the one website that had no choice but to visualize them together.
Recurring Developments is an interactive visualization of the running jokes in Arrested Development, the uniquely hilarious and self-referential television comedy created by Mitchell Hurwitz and available on Netflix. It was created by Beutler Ink and programmed by Red Edge.
Recurring Developments first launched with the arrival of Season 4 on Netflix in May 2013. It was conceived by longtime fan Chris Doty, designed by the digital marketing company Beutler Ink, and coded by digital advocacy firm Red Edge. In May 2018, Recurring Developments received its first major update to coincide with the launch of Season 5.
On the desktop version: More than 100 of the show's memorable recurring jokes occupy the left-hand column of the website. The show's 70+ episodes are found on the right. Clicking on a joke reveals all episodes where it occurs. Clicking on an episode reveals all of the jokes contained within it. All jokes have some kind of description and they are scene-specific where possible. Some episodes contain additional information about one-time callbacks and other fun things, including notable cameos. On the mobile version: all the same information, but different navigation. Episodes and jokes are presented as lists, and clicking on one will reveal the other.
New jokes for Season 5, more than 300 new joke instances across all five seasons, a mobile version that works better on touch-based devices, a refresh of the site design, and timestamps for almost every single joke in the whole series to date.
Original research was led by Chris Doty, with Beutler Ink team members filling in as needed. For the Season 5 update, we tapped into a network of Arrested Development superfans to help us find jokes we'd missed, correct ones we'd botched, and identify timestamps for the rest. Please join us in thanking our Recurring Developments Research Fellows. There are dozens of them!
From airing on Fox, to release on DVD, to its new permanent home on Netflix, Arrested Development's episode order has never quite agreed with itself. Our episode order is the one that makes the most sense to us. Hey, maybe someday we'll be canon!
Speaking of canon, consider us a little perplexed by Mitchell Hurwitz recutting season 4 and Netflix positioning it as the only one that matters, burying the "Original Cut" in a menu labeled "Trailers & More". This complicates things, but we're working on an update to let you decide which is the right way to watch.
No touching! But actually, this thing is huge and still in a state of… ah, development, and we're sure improvements can be made. Think we've missed a joke, butchered a description, or muffed a timestamp? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll look into it.
Actually, we're working on a poster that will be released after the second set of episodes drops later in 2018. It won't be a freebie, but it will be worth checking out. Sign up to get an email update when this becomes available.