Fans of Netflix’s heavily hyped return of “Arrested Development” early Sunday were baffled by text watermarks, supposedly for video piracy software, in flashback scenes — a joke that misfired for some.
Watermarks with the text “Showstealer Pro Trial Version,” which appear in footage from the show’s run on Fox, are a prank pulled by the show’s producers. “Arrested Development” was canceled by Fox in 2006 after three seasons.
The streaming video company made all 15 episodes of “Arrested Development” season four available at 12:01 a.m. Pacific on Sunday, May 26. The premiere had garnered significantly more buzz than any Netflix original to date, and execs have counting on the skein to prop up second-quarter numbers.
A Netflix spokeswoman confirmed that the watermarks are intentional.
But many users didn’t get — or appreciate — the joke. Numerous “Arrested Development” fans took to Twitter to complain about the watermarks immediately following the episode dump: