Fake TV Shows from Arrested Development Now “Available” on Netflix

Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 19 2012 3:27 PM

Fake TV Shows from Arrested Development Now “Available” on Netflix

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If you’re a diehard Arrested Development fan, you’re undoubtedly familiar with such television programs as Wrench, Girls With Low Self-Esteem, and Boyfights—the fake shows interspersed throughout the real cult hit. Since revealing the joyous news that the prematurely cancelled sitcom would return with additional episodes airing this spring exclusively on Netflix, the cast and crew have proven adept at drumming up anticipation for the continued adventures of the Bluth family. To tide us over until 2013, Netflix now brings us those memorable AD TV shows we never got to see. Sort of.

In addition to the programs listed above, World’s Worst Drivers, Mock Trial With Judge Reinhold, and others have also been added to Netflix—but in description only. (For a full list of the shows, check out Splitsider.) Earlier today, when you chose which show you wanted to watch—and it didn’t matter which one—you’d get an 11-minute video filmed mostly outside what looked to be a fancy apartment complex. At the 3:30 minute mark, a man in all black ran around with Netflix envelopes in hand, tumbled, and moonwalked while holding a laptop. A few more minutes of nothing went by before the man lurched into a monologue from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, as spoken by Marullus* in Act I, Scene I: “Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home? / What tributaries follow him to Rome / To grace in captive bonds his chariot-wheels?”

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What in the world was going on? I’m not sure. As of this publication, the links now jump to the moment in the original AD episode where the particular fake show was first mentioned. And while it is a bit of a letdown when you are expecting a real-life episode of Scandalmakers (or at least some approximation thereof), the descriptions of each show are entertaining in their own right. (Les Cousins Dangereux, for example is about two cousins who “flee to a sleepy, provincial town in France but are forced to hide their incestuous affair from the prying eyes of local villagers.”) And it’s nice to think that Netflix’s promotional team understands the spirit of the show that the streaming service will soon bring back to life.

Correction, Dec. 19, 2012: This article originally misspelled the name of Marullus, the character in Julius Caesar.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.