The Subtlest Joke in the New Arrested Development

Slate's Culture Blog
May 31 2013 10:19 AM

The Subtlest Joke in the New Arrested Development

Watch the clip above. It’s from “Red Hairing,” the eighth episode of the new season of Arrested Development. (There are no spoilers—it’s only 10 seconds long.)

Notice anything strange?

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Six seconds in, there’s a little ding on the soundtrack, which sounds like the noise Facebook makes when it has an alert for you—a chat, a new message, etc. Emma Roller pointed this out to me in our TV Club discussion of the episode, which will be posted on Slate later today.

I heard it on my first viewing, but, like everyone else I’ve asked about this, I just assumed I had a tab open to some site that made such sounds. Which, I assume, is the joke: Mitch Hurwitz and his writers know that people are mostly watching these episodes on their computers, so they decided to have a little fun with us. (It’s a bit like the Showstealer Pro Trial Version watermark that runs across the scenes from earlier seasons.)

If you think there’s anything more going on here—something to do with FakeBlock, perhaps—let us know in the comments. Roller says there are other strange sounds that pop up on the soundtrack occasionally. What have you heard?

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

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