Posted by: ckckred | May 28, 2013

The Arrested Development Watch: Flight of the Phoenix

I review the first episode of Arrested Development's new season

I review the first episode of Arrested Development’s new season

Editor’s Note: I hope to be going through each episode of season 4 of Arrested Development.  As of now I’ve only seen the first one, and I ask other viewers from refrain from spoilers.

It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since we’ve last seen the Bluth clan.  Arrested Development had a short run, living for only three seasons on FOX, but it’s been the most influential sitcom of the past decade and also the best.  Since 2006, the Bluths have lived on on DVD and online on Netflix and Hulu and has gained a massive cult following.  Indeed, it was a show fit to be seen without ads, as Arrested Development relied on complex plotting.  So it seems natural the show would return on Netflix.

I was excited when I heard that creator Mitchell Hurwitz and the cast members were returning to the show, but I tried keeping my expectations low.  Hurwitz never managed to replicate Development’s critical praise in his other works, and I was worried the return of the show would be just a cash grab.  Fortunately, my fear went away about ten minutes through “Flight of the Phoenix,” the first episode of season four.  While “Phoenix” isn’t a great episode of Arrested Development, it’s a strong start for the show and has me eager to explore the new episodes.

As time went on in reality, so has it for Arrested Development.  The show has always been able to comment on live events through its references of corporate greed and the Iraq War.  “Flight of the Phoenix” has the Bluths strapped in the same economic trouble they’ve been in since 2003, and the housing crisis in 2008 hasn’t helped.  “Phoenix” focuses on Michael and his son George Michael living together in a college dorm.

The first part of the episode was slightly uneven, but after a while the show gained a quick pace the defined seasons 1 to 3.  There wasn’t as much nonstop laughter as I wanted, but it was a great reminder of the greatness of Arrested Development.  I’m a little worried about the future episodes since each one will focus on different members of the Bluth family where the show always acted as an ensemble comedy, but I have great hope Hurwitz can pull it off.


  1. The first episode is one of the worst of season 4. Definitely doesnt put the season’s best foot forward. Thankfully, it gets way better.

    Im with you though, I wish they had gotten the cast together somehow. The One family member per episode thing is pretty weak. 😦

    • That’s good to hear the season gets better. Yeah, I kind of wish Hurwitz had gotten the cast for each episode. The funniest part of Phoenix had GOB in it and he was only on for thirty seconds. Thanks for commenting.

  2. The wife and I just spent two days watching every episode. It’s definitely better when they are all together but I thoroughly enjoyed them. Very much so.

    Anus tart!!

    • Nice to hear. I’ve only seen the first so far but I plan to watch the rest in a few nights.

  3. I like this idea for posts. I too loved Arrested Development and am now watching the new season. One episode per day so I can savor each one. Watched two so far and the 2nd is actually worse. Uh oh! Hope they improve.

    • Thanks! That’s not a good sign. I heard the season improves in the second half, and I would prefer if the show featured all its characters in an episode instead on focusing on a few, but even a weak Arrested Development episode is better than what most TV shows can produce these days.

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