It took only a few hours for the new season of "Arrested Development" to inspire its first in-joke T-shirt -- a black cotton tee screen-printed with "Showstealer Pro Trial Version."
The 15 new episodes of the long-canceled cult favorite became available for viewing via Netflix at 12:01 a.m. PDT on May 26, and by a few minutes past 3 p.m. that same day an enterprising fan by the name of Eric Striffler had announced that the shirt he'd created was available for purchase.
The reference is to the words that appear as a digital watermark on screen whenever brief clips from the show's original three seasons (which aired on Fox) are used. So far (and I've watched about two thirds of the 15 episodes) there has been no other reference to -- or explanation of -- the watermark, which makes it exactly the kind of meta in-joke the show is known for.
"I designed it quickly when I took a break from binge-watching the new season," Striffler said in an email.
In the week since, lots of other folks have followed Striffler's lead and tried to make hay with the new season's many in-jokes (including T-shirts advertising a faux action sports brand called Halliburton Teen), but the fake software (which now has an unrelated but equally faux homepage -- showstealerprofessional.com) may be the most inside of inside jokes to ever make it to a T-shirt.
Striffler's $16.95 T-shirts are being sold through a website called beobscure.com, which sells a range of tees that similarly key in to other movies and TV shows, such as a "Shawarma" T-shirt that references "The Avengers," and "White/Pinkman 2016" ("Breaking Bad").
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