The past seven days

Monday, May 27, 2013

Arrested Development: Season 4 - Review

In the return of Arrested Development, Michael Bluth struggles to start a new life away from the Bluth Company only to have several bumps in the road along the way through a series of unfortunate events involving each member of his family.

I was extremely excited for this show to return and have been anxiously awaiting ever since it was announced. I have been a fan of the show for years. With that said, I have been binging on the show since the premiere and have now watched all 15 episodes in less than 24 hours. And this will have spoilers so sorry in advance.

I hate to say it but this is probably my least favorite season. I'm not saying it wasn't good at all, but it just wasn't the same and in a way I was afraid of that. It isn't because all the actors are noticeably older (that's a given) or anything like that, but I think the way they are trying to make this an obvious road into a rumored movie was... a huge mistake. Here are some of my gripes:

1. Not a single chicken in any of the episodes. COME ON!

2. The returning characters we had were pretty underused and passed over for the new characters. We had Gene Parmesan, Lucille Austero, Sally Sitwell, the gay cops (Officer Taylor and Officer Carter), Steve Holt, Barry Zuckercorn, Bob Loblaw, Lupe, Kitty Sanchez, Annyong, Stan Sitwell, Mort Meyers, Stefan Gentiles, James Carr, Andy Richter (and brothers), Tom, Johnny Bark, Tony Wonder, and Ann Veal. I think the most used was by far Lucille Austero with Barry Zuckercorn right behind. Everyone else was just kind of there. Some of them were so small that you might have missed them if you were multitasking, like Johnny Bark and Annyong.

3. No mention of the banana stand. The only small reference was Michael wearing the yellow shirt with the banana patch on it but it was never mentioned or referenced.

4. I don't know if it is just me, but I felt that the racism was pushed up a notch. I mean, there was always jokes and references that were a bit iffy but this time around it was like they weren't relying on sarcasm to make the reference. It just didn't feel the same.

5. Gob is gay now? Dafuq.

6. The evolution of George Michael (aka, George Maharis) bugged me. It basically ruined the entire character arc that had been previously created just because he banged a married chick in Spain. Lame.

7. The fact that each episode is centered around one character should have worked, but I don't think it fully did. It just repeated footage to fill time and showed you things that you had seen numerous times.

8. The season turned into a giant advertisement for Ron Howard and Imagine. It was funny at first but it got old real quick. The also ties into seeing the same footage over and over again, but whatever. 

9. Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogen playing young versions of Lucille and George. No thanks.

10. There was no J. Walter Weatherman. Personally, that is a deal breaker. [I actually just learned the actor died. That's a shame.]

There were actually a lot of things that bothered me, but I will stop there. How about we mention some high points!

1. The Maeby episode was the best one out of the fifteen. It might just be because Maeby has always been a favorite of mine, but I thought it was hilarious. The way that she was still sacrificing her youth for attention cracked me up because when someone points it out she tries harder to outdo her previous plan and it gets her in more trouble. In this case, she gets arrested for pretending to be a high school student at age 23 and having sex with a 17-year old named Perfecto. It was... perfecto. 

2. The Buster episode. That is really all I have to say. The fact that Buster re-enlisted into Army was great and the fact that they made him a drone pilot doped up on juice was even funnier. And, of course, the new giant hand was just brilliant.

3. I don't know why but the first appearance by Gene Parmesan cracked me up.

4. Sudden Valley turning into the sex offender haven.

5. Maeby being the Shaman that gave Lindsay advice in India. Actually, all of the Funke adventures in India were funny.

6. P-Hound was hilarious. The twin club in the college dorm was great, too.

7. The fact that the Charlie Brown depression and Tobias "blueing himself" came back and that there was a reference to the Cornballer.

I don't know. This is really hard for me to say, but I wasn't that impressed. I had laughs and many smiles but it just didn't feel the same. That and I think the whole green screen scandal is to blame for the ridiculously shitty quality of the streaming video. Either that or it was my Netflix account. I understand that things can't always stay the same, but the overall charm that Arrested Development has is when the Bluths are a family. Having them all separated trying to keep themselves together didn't quite work out the same way. I also want to say I will probably watch the season again just because, but I don't think my opinion is going to change much. Certain parts shined while most of them fell flat. It's unfortunate.


  1. He made a lot of good points, just because you are blinded by your fanboyism for the show doesn't mean his opinion is worthless.. Good post.

    1. Not a he :)

      And the "fanboyism" is kind of the point. The show was brought back for the fans and, in my opinion, they disappointed. The references and characters were supposed to be there.

  2. I know this is a weird thing to complain about but Seth Rogan playing young George Sr. was the dumbest thing ever. At least Wiig played a good Lucille. It was always funny to see the regular actors throw on a wig and makeup to play there young selves.

    I loved the sad parts with the "Hello darkness my old friend" song.

    1. Rogen as young George Sr. was a joke and not in a funny way. I hated that.