I’m the first to admit that I didn’t watch Arrested Development when the show was on air. As much as I’d like to say that I discovered it, I didn’t. I remember my friend introducing it to me in 2007, the summer I came home from my first year of college. We went on a road trip with two of our other friends to Sanibel Island and giggled about the running jokes throughout the trip.
Since then, I’ve watched seasons 1-3 two more times and fallen in love with different characters, catching references that I missed the first time, and studying the character development. As the years passed, everyone jumped onto the Arrested Development bandwagon. It used to be rare to find someone that had heard of the show, never mind liked it. Now, six years later, Arrested Development has developed itself into a cult classic but in a less cult-y way and in a more everyone-and-their-mom-has-seen-it kind of way.
So the long awaited Arrested Development Season 4 was released on Netflix–15 fresh new episodes for us fans (everyone in the world?) to fawn over. I hate to say that I was disappointed. Here are a couple of things I hated about the new season (SPOILERS AHEAD):
Too Much Ron Howard
In the previous seasons Ron Howard lent his voice and narrating abilities to the show. It worked well–filled in the gaps for the audience, and even added to a lot of the jokes. This time around I felt like it was The Ron Howard Show. His narration was wayyy too strong. I would say that he had the most lines out of any character, and he, of course, appeared in this season as well, playing himself. Like, okay we get it, you produced the show. I also feel like his part in this season was so thrown together and unnecessary. In fact the whole Bluth movie story line seemed forced and dumb. Especially since nothing came of it.
Confusing Story Line
Maybe it was just me, but I was constantly trying to keep everything straight with these episodes. It felt like the writers were trying to jam in so many different views and new characters and old characters that it didn’t really seem cohesive. The time frame was also confusing for me because in one scene it would be “6 months earlier” and then the next minute it would be “a year later” and then they would show a clip from last season. Like, am I taking crazy pills? I feel like they could have simplified things and it would’ve given them more room for conversational jokes rather than depending on comical situations.
Michael Is a Completely Different Character
Umm is it just me or did Michael morph into a totally different person? Wasn’t he the only sane, sarcastic one out of his entire family in seasons 1-3? This time around he seemed immature, desperate, and frankly, stupid. I’ll admit that the part where he lived with George Michael in his college dorm was pretty funny, and probably one of my favorite parts, but it didn’t seem like a choice that the Michael Bluth from seasons past would’ve made. I didn’t like how George Michael was suddenly more confident and self-assured than his father, so much so that he punched him in the face and I felt like Michael deserved it. Which brings me to my last point.
I thought more of the story was going to be wrapped up in the last episode. I felt like most pieces of the season were there for absolutely no reason (ex. building the wall on the border of Mexico, the sweat lodges, the Bluth movie, Gob and Tony Wonder, Lindsay taking over for Herbert Love, Lucille Austero’s 700,000, Lucille in prison etc.) because nothing came from them at the end. It just seemed like the story could have been more succinct. Compared to previous seasons, it felt too busy and messy with no direction.
What did you think of Season 4?