Arrested Development. How ironic that the title of the show fully describes what happened to the show?
AD was 10 years before its time and it suffered for it. With only 3 seasons, it’s development had been arrested for the last seven years.
Like most people, I came into the AD scene after the show had been cancelled. There’s no point in describing how much I love it; anyone who has watched it in the history of ever has felt the same way I do about it. It’s funny. It’s ridiculous. It’s sweet. It’s clever.
And now it’s back. Netflix has given us 15 more episodes of Bluth shenanigans.
I suspect that many of you don’t like it. It’s understandable; season four starts off incredibly slowly. Michael’s all weird and clingy and utterly helpless. George Michael feels a lot less like George Michael and more like Michael Cera (and believe it or not, there’s a difference). George Senior is a shell of his former self. Lindsey looks like she’s had some facelifts that make her look like a monkey.
These characters that we grew to love are both the same and different at the same time. I think it’s a reflection of the show, rather than the characters.
The show has adapted an almost absurdist style for season four. The characters are more exaggerated than ever. The situations they find themselves in are equally as ridiculous.
It can be hard to get into at first. But, like the first three seasons, I think it is again ahead of its time. S4 has one of the most intricate storylines I have ever seen in any medium. The writers were so incredibly meticulous in intertwining these character’s stories. What happens in GOB’s story affects Tobias’s story which affects Lindsay’s, Michael’s, etc.
Admittedly, seeing the Cinco de Cuatro scene from a different perspective for a 10th time can get a little old, but you have to appreciate the effect it ultimately creates. Everything comes together pretty nicely in the last two episodes.
You have to realize that this isn’t the same show it used to be and I think that’s fine. It really picks up with the Tobias and GOB episodes. I might even argue that the GOB episodes are some of the best the show has had.
Season Four ends sort of interestingly, without much of a resolution nor a cliffhanger. It just sort of…ends. I think this is the writers’ best intention to leave the show with its uncertain future. It could pave the way for a movie, as Mitchell Hurwitz has always expressed interest in making (there are endless jokes about it throughout the new season), or another season, or it could just be how the show ends. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, I can fully appreciate season four for what it is. I enjoyed it a lot, with all its quirks and innovations. I hope to see more AD in the future. What did you think? Leave a comment, let’s discuss.