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'Arrested Development' season four split

Pro season four

Staff Writer

Published: Sunday, September 8, 2013

Updated: Sunday, September 8, 2013 22:09

Few sitcoms have ever reached a level of pure comedy nirvana, as accomplished by the widely acclaimed series “Arrested Development” during its abbreviated three season run on FOX from 2003-2006.

Despite featuring some of the absolute sharpest and wittiest writing television has ever seen, complimented by one of the most well cast and talented comedic ensembles ever assembled, the show was a notorious ratings failure.

However its critical success garnered a cult fan base and following the series’ widespread availability of instant streaming services such as Netflix, a revival was considered a strong possibility. In one of show business’ most unlikely turn of events, a fourth season of Arrested Development was produced and released on Netflix this past summer.

The million dollar question remained: would the program return and still deliver comedy genius?
The short answer: Yes
While the show’s new season gets off to a slower start than one would hope, Lindsay Bluth’s (Portia de Rossi’s) appearance seems a bit “off” during the first half of the season, and every now and then a punchline falls flat, on the whole the program nails a solid half hour of comedy with every episode and can still be called nothing less than comedy genius.

Seeing George Michael drive into the Michael’s development community, blissfully unaware that the houses have been populated entirely by sex offenders?

Seeing Gob’s ridiculous faux magic show (complete with an imitation of a crucified Jesus) as a ploy to get out of a wedding to Ann Veal?

Watching a still in high school 23 yr. old Maybe get arrested for sleeping with a 17 year old boy, thus making her a sex offender?

Seeing Tobias’s attempt at an unlicensed Fantastic Four musical performed by addicts?
The best idea ever.

Arrested Development’s fourth season is filled with more hilarious moments like these, and when coupled with the return of some of the show’s best guest stars, Henry Winker as Barry Zuckerkorn, Scott Baio as Bob Loblaw, and Andy Richter, among others, the show is a recipe for success.

Despite this, many would claim that they believe the new season has lost much of its previous greatness.

Perhaps some are disenchanted with the series’ new style of focusing each episode on individual characters rather than the entire ensemble (a style adopted to accommodate the busy schedules of the cast). And while it is a rough transition at first, I wouldn’t say that the new style is “worse” than the old, it is simply different. Not to mention the new style lent itself to numerous hilarious moments only possible through its use. For example it would be hilarious to see a character in one episode perform an action, only to see in a later episode that said action was responsible for the misfortune of another character (i.e. seeing Lindsay kick the seat in front of her on an airplane, only to find out a few episodes later that unbeknownst to her, Tobias was the unfortunate passenger sitting in front of her).

While I cannot respectably serve my position as a critic and tell you that the new season of Arrested Development is as pitch perfect as the prior three had been, I can honestly say that despite a few shortcomings, Arrested Development’s fourth season is insanely great, hilariously funny, and remains far more entertaining than any other sitcom currently airing on network television. Rest assured the Bluths have most definitely returned with a bang.


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