Posted by: ckckred | June 3, 2013

Arrested Development Season 4

I review the new season of Arrested Development

I review the new season of Arrested Development

Editor’s Note: I’ll be reviewing the entire fourth season in one post since I don’t have enough time to write a review on each episode.  There are no spoilers except for what happened in previous seasons.

From 2003 to 2006, Arrested Development ran on FOX and became the most beloved sitcom since The Simpsons and Seinfeld.  The show’s fans were few in numbers, but the fans were obsessed with Arrested Development.  Since it left air, the show’s become a hit on DVD and sites like Hulu and Netflix.  And no wonder (pun intended).  Without commercials, Arrested Development was easier and more addictive the see, plus every episode is instantly rewatchable.

And like most die-hard fans of the show, I was ecstatic to hear that creator Mitchell Hurwitz was relaunching the series on Netflix.  I had some concerns and for a while believed it would be a blemish to the show’s previous perfection.  Indeed some of the early episodes in season 4 are a little uneven.  But soon afterward, Arrested Development becomes as funny, clever, and original as it was beforehand.  I haven’t laughed as much watching the series in months.  While it had a few bumps, Season 4 was well-worth the seven year wait for Arrested Development maniacs.

The storyline of Season 4 takes a different approach.  While seasons one to three acted as an ensemble series, season four instead takes the same approach Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon did.  Each episode focuses on an individual character of the series, Michael, George Sr., Buster, and chronicles the Bluth familiy’s plight since 2006.  Since then, the world has suffered a severe economic recession and the Bluths haven’t gotten any better as well.  After hijacking a boat, Lucille turns back to shore, where she is quickly arrested and charged with serious lawsuits.  The rest of the family tries to recover from past events, be it George Michael and Maeby resolving their relationship, Lindsay comes to terms with her adoption, and Michael tries to get rid of himself with the family.  The Bluths set high ambitions for themselves, too high to accomplish.  One again all of them will end up lying and trying to cover up for their tracks.

Season Four has everything an Arrested Development fan can want.  The show’s nonstop joke a second formula is present here and well missed.  Old running jokes come back (“I just blued myself” and “I’ve made a huge mistake” have welcome returns) and some new ones enter (“Anustart” and “Getaway getaway” make solid entrances).  Old faces reenter the show as Andy Ritcher, Carl Weathers, and Harry Winkler (back as the Bluth’s incompetent lawyer Barry Zuckerhorn), and new ones enter as well (John Slattery from Mad Men enters as George Sr.’s doctor).  And the nonstop pop-culture references continue, from Mystery Science Theater 3000 to Being John Malkovich to pretty much everything in Ron Howard’s filmography.

Which brings me to another major plot point, Ron Howard’s role in the show.  Howard (playing himself) expresses interest in making a film about the Bluth family for Imagine Entertainment, teased at the end of season three.  He just needs Michael to get his family to sign away the rights.

While I’ve heard some label the new season as disappointing, I loved watching every single episode.  Perhaps it wasn’t necessary but Arrested Development’s new season was everything I wanted to see, from Tobias’ hilariously misunderstanding quotes to Gob’s magic tricks (excuse me, illusions) to the cornballer and stair car.  Call the new season fan service, but great fan service it is.  While I would have liked to see all the cast members having significant roles in each episode (which due to scheduling issues couldn’t happen), I’m pleased to say season four is a great addition to TV’s best sitcom.  The final episode teases the audience, and I’d be happy to have another season, or who knows, a movie.

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Responses

  1. My television watching is so pathetic. I can at least say I’ve seen an episode of this but maybe only one or two.

    • Oh, I highly recommend Arrested Development, it’s one of my favorite TV shows. Start with season 1 because the later episodes feature many running jokes.

  2. Excellent work here!!! I loved the new season. My only gripe would be that there wasn’t enough “ensemble” action, focusing on single character episodes too often. Oh – and no “chicken” : ( : (

    • Thanks! Yeah, I would prefer it the episodes were ensemble based, but I guess they couldn’t get all the actors for each episode. You’ve just reminded me that the new season didn’t include the chicken dance. How I miss that.

      • Best youtube insert EVER!!!!

  3. I hope the end was a tease for more as well. I enjoyed S4, I thought it was a worthy comeback… the fact that they couldnt get people together for each episode WAS disappointing, like you say, but it was still a worthy comeback! 😀

    • Yeah, I thought it was strong as well. I was a little disappointed that they couldn’t get all the actors for each episode but I really enjoyed the season.

  4. They really need to get the cast together for te next one

    • Yeah, I would prefer it if everyone had an equal role per episode. It still was pretty good though.

      • Still better than most things 😀

  5. I love Arrested Development as a series. I started to watch season 4 but couldn’t get past episode 4. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll try later.

    • The first few episodes are a little slow, but it gets much better after that. I’d say some of the episodes rival the show’s best. Thanks for commenting.

  6. I am watching through it but having a hard time. It’s not as entertaining to me as the previous seasons. But I am working through it. I can’t put my finger on it. It took me a minute to realize that indeed it still is Portia playing LIndsey.

    • The first few episodes are a little slow but the show gets much better afterwards. I prefer the early seasons a bit more but I really enjoyed the new episodes. Thanks for commenting.


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