So I’ve let it sink in for a couple of weeks, you know how first impressions can sometimes be addled by Skip’s Scrambles, cornballs, chocolate bananas, and vodka tonics (all of which we had during our viewing party), as well as the fact that I straight-up binge-watched the season. but I feel I can make an accurate assessment now. And it’s actually fairly similar to my original assessment. Season 4 of Arrested Development:
Now I didn’t love everything about it, and I’ll be a little more in depth, but on the whole, the new season delivered. And that’s hard to do. Fans have been waiting for this for, I believe the figure is, seven years.
Also, and I’m just gonna mention this and move on with my life, there’s been a fair amount of “hating” on the new format, aka the Netflix release, but none of the studios would pick it up, so I say party on, Netflix. Especially considering that it’s being made by all the same people, cast and crew. It’s a little different, it may take some adjustment, but the future has arrived, let’s give it a fair shake.
I’ll get the negative stuff out of the way, cause there was really only one very major (and it is pretty frakking major) thing that I didn’t like about Season 4: Michael. As I’ve mentioned before, Michael is my favorite character in Arrested Development. And he’s the only thing that kept the family going as long as it did. In the end of season 3 he says, screw it, they have to take care of themselves for awhile, but the character who has fallen from grace the most is him. Bittersweet and ironic? Sure. But his character also got annoying. Maybe the rest of the family finally rubbed off.
The fact that he was living in George Michael’s college dorm room pissed me off more than I can really understand, and was uncalled for even in the rules of their universe, but it did send him back to the model home, an important plot point. Although, George Michaels’s Dad, crossed out and changed to Michael, note, was personally, my biggest, “awww, how sad,” moment of the season (if you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about). His stuff with Isla Fisher was cute, but Michael’s character has fundamentally changed and I want the old Michael back, if there’s any way to swing that.
Also, more Maeby please. She was another favorite of mine and she only got one episode, and rarely crossed over into the other character’s episodes. Hers was one of my fav’s this season for sure. Possibly even my most favorite.
-The Quatro de Mayo climax to every episode
-The way all the episodes tied in so closely together
-Original series tie-ins (but not overdone to the point it felt annoying or kitschy)
-They didn’t try to act as though no time had passed
-Changing the opening every episode (but not so much that you couldn’t say it along with Ron Howard)
-The Google car in place of the stair car
-The fact that they couldn’t use the word “Google”
-That Lindsey got plastic surgery (but Portia de Rossi didn’t)
-Tobias may not be gay after all
-But GOB might be
-The Imagine vs. Jerry Bruckheimer jokes
-They poked fun at Fox, and noted Netflix (as they should), but only a couple of times (as they should)
-John Beard continued to play himself
-Ron Howard continued to play himself, as well as the narrator (who are most certainly not the same entity, as far as the show is concerned)
-The same old mouth-covering I-can’t-believe-they-just-said-that-humor as always
-It felt like the same show
And that’s really the most important thing.
Although the bastards ended the season on a cliffhanger and I can’t wait another seven years to find out what happens next!!!!