In anticipation of the triumphant return of cult sitcom Arrested Development this weekend, Joe Kwaczala takes a look at the 12 most important and groundbreaking letters from the show's landmark title.
A - The one that started it all. How can you even begin to start saying the title without "A"? It was a brave move to have the first letter be a vowel, but you really appreciate the choice after you see the letters that follow. This is more evidence that the title had everything all planned out from the beginning.
R - The letter "R" was such an obvious success out of the gate, there's no wonder it was immediately brought back for the next letter. But why was that the end of it? The combo was working so well early on, it will forever remain a mystery why we never saw them again.
E - Speaking of multiple letters, how about Hall-of-Famer "E"? A fan favorite among the recurring letters, this one pops up five times: twice in the first word and three times in the second! Many die-hard fans insist that this is the title's only true lowercase vowel, after the controversial experiment with "O" in the second word.
S - The title could have used this one for pluralization or possession, but it wisely utilizes "S" in a way that shows off its skills without getting too fancy. While this is the only appearance of "S" in the title, there's no denying its crucial role in the groundbreaking first word.
T - And where would we be without "T"? Working together with "S", it signals the beginning of the last syllable of the classic first word. When rereading the first word, this is where real fans can see that they're laying groundwork for the end. SPOILER ALERT: The title returns to "T" for the emotional finale.
D - This is widely considered to be the perfect conclusion to the classic first word. It's hard to imagine "D" not being there -- many argue it would no longer even classify as a word without it. "D" proved to be such a reliable player, that it was immediately brought back (in capitalized form!) to open the historic second word.
V - The deepest into the alphabet the title would ever go, "V" was the first new letter of the second word. Coming off of the critically-acclaimed third installment of "E", this was a bit of leap for the title to make. It was the first "one-off" letter in the second word, of which there would be many.
L - Believe it or not, "L" actually only appeared in the second word. It feels like such a first word letter, but it made its official debut much later. Many cite its occurrence as a deliberate choice by the title to show that new, more common, and "word one reminiscent" letters could still happen, even after letters like the fanciful "V" or the fourth "E."
O - Here it is: the controversial "other" lowercase vowel. "O" is the kind of letter you either love or hate. While some appreciate that the title wasn't afraid to try new vowels, many others believe this type of experimentation was what made the second word pale in comparison to the first.
P, M, and N - Unlike vowels, new consonants were typically much more lovingly embraced by the fans. P, M, and N brought new sounds to the table without challenging the core of what was so beloved about the title. M and N, in particular, were praised for their work with the fifth and final "E." And although "T" returned to conclude the title on a high-note, it can't be overlooked the support "N" provided.