It’s been more than a week, so I feel like plot spoiler warnings are no longer needed but still… PLOT SPOILERS( Maeby…)
I started the new season of Arrested Development with a passion as burning hot as the Bluth’s defective cornballer.
But by the time I finished episode 15, I realized that Netflix had made a huge mistake. I wouldn’t say they entirely blue it, but my experience with Season Four ended on a sour note.
Since it would be narcissistic to Storify my own tweets, here is a fake journal of my AD experience:
Day 1 ( 3 a.m.)- “THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT
IS BACK. IS THAT A SEAL ON THAT MURAL?” (Episodes 1-2)
Day 1 Afternoon- “This is still so great, I could watch all the episodes in one day”
Day 2- “Finally, a GOB episode”
Day 3-“This is terrible. I’ve never hated Michael so much. WHY ARE YOU
DOING THIS TO ME MITCH HURWITZ”
And so my feelings progressed. Why did the new season betray the anticipation that had been building since I started watching the series my senior year of high school after a friend quoted the episodes so many damn times at the lunch table that I gave up and finally watched the show?
And yes, I know that sentence has to be more than 25 words. Marry me!
But I started the season in bliss and ended it in mild disgust. I mean, which is pretty natural since the entire Bluth family is supposed be unlikable. But the things I once loved about the characters were turned upside down. The irony of Michael putting family first but always rejecting or begrudging his family was no longer funny when the family member he was betraying was George Michael.
Mostly, the characters just seemed a little desperate. And not in a quirky, funny way. Maeby no longer seemed clever, just a little sad. Lucille was defeated. And G.O.B was confused in more ways than one.
Maybe it’s the binge-watching format of Netflix, but even spacing the episodes out over four days was not enough space in between to make me excited for the later episodes. I became bored.
And as someone who owns seasons 1-3 on DVD, I can assure you it took at least 4 viewings of each of those seasons for me to become bored with those episodes. As many critics have already pointed out the episodes spend so much time recapping pieces of the earlier episodes in order to reveal new information that the pace is slower than previous seasons.
The episode recaps on Grantland point out that Michael seems less together. Which, since he is the glue that holds the Bluth family together, doesn’t really work. I also agree with this analysis because I’m obviously biased and like Michael as a character. At least I used to.
Maybe it varies person to person why the new season was less enjoyable than the older ones. But the new episodes didn’t live up to the hype. And it was the hype that set up even the most die-hard fans for disappointment.