Because there's very few new TV shows on during the summer (other than reality and cable shows), I've been obsessively watching season 4 of Arrested Development over and over. It's great how the season builds and how you notice new things on rewatch, such as the Mexican shop having a warning sign for a "roofie circle" on it.
I don't have time enough to restart any of my old unfinished AD fanfics now, though I did think about writing a short Michael & Gob scene set in 2009. Unfortunately when I tried to start that, I discovered that I can't figure out this damn timeline.
I've checked out more than one timeline on the web, and I also tried to figure out the dates myself. Unfortunately they don't seem to work after all. As an example, Buster rejoins the army on the day that Don't Ask Don't Tell ends, i.e. September 20, 2011, and then six months later as a drone pilot, he destroys an art museum in Madrid. This drone strike in Spain is meant to be the impetus for the Spanish woman to seduce George Michael. Yet George Michael can't be in Spain in September 2011, much less March 2012, six months later. George Michael is back on campus at UC Irvine from fall 2011 to Spring 2012.
Also Maeby is shown moving to the model home within days of her missing Lucille's trial. But if that happened in 2008, then why is the model home empty? Michael doesn't move to George Michael's dorm room until Thanksgiving 2011. He should still be in Sudden Valley. It's stuff like that which makes the proverbial house of cards fall. Damn it, I wish these dates worked out better, or that they had provided years on the TV screen, so that we could follow the chronology better. I was not expecting AD to be as bad at chronology as Watson is in the Sherlock Holmes canon.
So this is the reason why I can't write any AD fic in season 4, because I can't even figure out what anybody is even doing in 2009. It's as if time compressed 2008 to 2012 so that only "one year" passed during that interval. How disappointing.
Edit: Here's another timeline at masspire. He also loves season 4 despite its timeline faults. I do hope the show gets a new season or movie soon.
I've realized that there is a way to resolve Maeby living in the model home if Michael has moved to one of the other houses in Sudden Valley, and just somehow never runs into her. But there's still a ton of years that are missing in other character's timelines. I wish I had time to do something graphical, but I've only got a rich text file with 242 bullet points, so I don't know if it's worth posting here.