I am an Arrested Development NUT….those who know me can attest to my fanaticism. I’ve seen each of the episodes in the first three seasons over 10 times and have been through season 4 on Netflix twice now (after staying up until 2am to watch it the morning it was released).
Tonight I have been reading through the Reddit “Ask Me Anything” with Mitch Hurwitz (the creator of Arrested Development). He talks a lot about the stories behind the running jokes, keeping timelines straight, directing amazing character actors, reigning in even more amazing writers, cameo appearances that didn’t happen, how the internet and social sites like Reddit are changing television plus so much more.
For those who don’t know, Arrested Development was canceled in 2006 after the show had failed to gather a following of the masses. The creators and writers of the show aimed to do something never seen on network TV…after 2.5 amazingly hilarious seasons, network TV execs decided it was a failure leaving cult fans like myself completely upset (only to squeal with joy to hear that Netflix revived the series for at least one more season in 2013).
There are a lot of easter eggs in Mitch’s discussion with the internet but I find this question and answer between a random Reddit user and Mitch Hurwitz extremely insightful on risk taking:
Question from Reddit User: On February 11, 2006 What were your thoughts of continuing the Bluth story? Did you think you had a shot in hell at ever telling more?
Answer from Mitch Hurwitz: On February 11, I DID. There’s an audacity that comes with any creative enterprise. I mean, I don’t think I would have written my first spec script if I had known how unlikely it was to get a writing job. And I don’t think I would have tried creating ARRESTED if I really thought “look at the data of what’s already been developed. they won’t make this.” but I should have – that was the evidence that existed. I don’t think I would have included all the stuff about Saddam Hussein in Season 1 if I’d done the math on the likelihood of getting through an entire season to reveal the punchline. And I think that everyone has to jump off that cliff and make that assumption in their own work – because the truth is, even if it doesn’t happen, you have a more interesting life if you’re to sit down and write a novel than doing the math on the likelihood of it getting published.
We are all challenged by the “What If”; data, peer pressure, the risk of something not working and the way things have always been.
Stop doing the math….embrace your audacity…make an assumption on your own work…
You’re probably right.