I Heart NPR

Mitch Hurwitz Loves NPR

Mitch Hurwitz at NPR West. i i
Melissa Kuypers/NPR
Mitch Hurwitz at NPR West.
Melissa Kuypers/NPR

If you're anything like me, you probably spent some quality time with your Netflix account earlier this year when, after a seven-year hiatus, Arrested Development released an entire new season all at once. The whole Bluth family is back, along with much of the clever wordplay, subtle jokes that get better on repeat viewings and narration by Ron Howard fans have come to expect. This time, though, each family member gets their own episode. Mitch Hurwitz, who created the show, came in to talk to Fresh Air Host Terry Gross about the favorite dysfunctional family.

The Bluths are a family that always had money, and used it to avoid learning a lot of the more practical things in life. And they're not always very nice to each other. But Hurwitz explains in spite of all these downfalls, there's a hopefulness to their dynamic and underneath it all, the family loves and needs one another.

During the interview, Hurwitz said he likes that Arrested Development addresses family dynamics and lore, and says that its the basis for many of the running jokes and themes about incest you find through the episodes. And speaking of jokes, Hurwitz says that a lot of the best ones come when the show's writers paint themselves into a corner, and have to find a way out.

It's difficult to talk about Arrested Development without talking about one of its producers and its narrator, Ron Howard. Hurwitz fought for him to voice the program because, he says, "I suddenly realized that this is the most American trustworthy voice that I could possibly think of. You know, this voice, these rhythms have been in our heads for 40 years."

As Mitch Hurwitz was on his way out, my boss happened to mention that he and his wife are expecting their first child. Hurwitz got a big smile on his face and said, "You're gonna love it. It's just great. You're really gonna love it." Despite the incompetence and misanthropy of one family Hurwitz created, somehow it doesn't surprise me that he feels so strongly about the real-life ones.

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