It has been 7 years between the end of Arrested Development as we once knew it and the release of Season 4 on Netflix. It is a show packed with quick dialogue, inside jokes, and extremely elaborate plans. Season 4 did not live up to this reputation though, reviews have been less than flattering. Here is a compilation of the ways that Arrested Development has disappointed us all.
The season begins with us finding out that Michael Bluth is no longer the man he once was. Once a moral compass for the rest of the extreme characters to orbit, he too has dissolved into the madness. Without his consistency the show has lost the redeeming characteristic of "lessons learned." Without Michael keeping the family together, the characters all spin off into self destruction.
It was not until the 4th episode that it became clear that the series was going to be creating new inside jokes for this season. Before that it was confusing and grating to watch, continually hoping that the next joke would recapture the magic. Although the plot and the intended jokes do come together, this season is simply more resigned.
Hurwitz, Arrested Development's producer, is so sure that a movie is still on the horizon he left this season on a cliff hanger yet again. We waited years for a movie that never came, the least he could do was answer all our questions! If it didn't happen in the past 7 years what is going to change? Now we just have to cross our fingers for a movie.
The previous three season spiraled together to create a narrative. In this new season the jumps in time between episodes and the specific focuses on characters is significantly more misleading and raises more questions. Season 4 had to be different than the first three seasons, the characters are older, so much time has passed, but it did not have to recreate itself.
Episodes used to be about 22 minutes, Netflix wanted the shows to be longer. This is why each one feels incredibly drawn out, because it is. Episodes that might have been bearable for 22 minutes become unbearable when stretched to 30 minutes and longer. Pacing falls by the wayside and, as anyone familiar with Arrested Development would know, timing is everything.
The characters were not allowed to have as much interaction with each other in this season because the actors have much busier schedules than in the past. For this reason the episodes are broken up to focus on a specific person each time. Further, many scenes are green screened in. That's why the signature improvised give and take that we love was not nearly as present in Season 4.
We aren't saying you shouldn't watch it, we're saying you shouldn't expect to be taken back to the days where the money was in the banana stand, the days when Kitty was glasses on hair up, no glasses off hair up, did we already try it the other way?