Netflix Gets Creative With Arrested Development Promos

Like most of the armchair critics in the civilized world, we regard Fox’s tragic Arrested Development as the second-best sitcom of all time. (Before you object, consider the fact that Seinfeld had nine seasons to develop–and if you even mention Friends, we will unfollow you on Twitter.)

We were both excited and skeptical last year when streaming king Netflix, in something of a PR coup, announced that it would produce an entire season of new episodes including everyone’s favorite characters like ham-lover Carl Weathers and always-capable attorney Barry Zuckercorn (aka The Fonz), who might just get a chance to jump that infamous shark one last time:

This week, Netflix got creative in its efforts to build the hype for Season 4, which will debut some time in 2013. In a sly move uncovered by the experts at SplitSider, Netflix added some of Arrested Development’s greatest fake shows and movies to its Instant Watch collection.

That’s right–members can now search the site for such classic titles as Girls with Low Self-Esteem, Caged Wisdom, George Michael’s (very) guilty pleasure Les Cousins Dangereux and our personal favorite, Boyfights featuring Baby Buster. Here’s the best part: clicking on these titles will send users straight to the scenes in which they originally appeared. It’s a great way of reminding everyone why they liked the show in the first place and encouraging them to get excited about the re-boot.

Like we said before, we were initially skeptical about the whole project: How could a re-launch compete with the original? If the new episodes are lackluster, won’t they spoil our memory of the show? Why can’t Netflix just leave well enough alone?

But the company really endeared itself to us with this brilliant marketing move. As the great Tobias Funke once said (in one of history’s most excellent product placement campaigns),  “It’s a wonderful restaurant.”

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.