View Full Version : Arrested Development Season 4

05-28-2013, 12:40 PM
Since the release of Arrested Development Season 4, I've had the chance to watch the first 6 episodes of the season and I have thoroughly enjoyed them, but I am reading very mixed feelings online. Some love it, some hate it. I am curious to see what all of you think.

Considering that I am only on episode 6 at this time, I would prefer NO SPOILERS, so please talk about things in a general sense (but feel free to say what episode you liked or which character's episodes you liked).

The thing I see most people complain about is how each episode shows how a character's role intertwined with the other character's episodes that you have already seen. The odd part is that I LOVE this aspect. Momento is one of my favorite movies because I love puzzling things together.

So, what are your thoughts?

05-28-2013, 02:22 PM
Yesterday I hear Dan Harmon is probably going to return as showrunner for Community, and today I learn they brought back Arrested Development?

If tomorrow they announced Firefly would return, I could die of happiness.

05-28-2013, 03:10 PM
I always like the A.V. Club's reviews (http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-complete-fourth-season,98241/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=standard-post:headline:default). There aren't many spoilers in the review, but be wary. From what I gather, it's a good season that has several flaws. I haven't seen any of the episodes yet due to not having Netflix but I'll try to check them out soon. Honestly I just want to see more Jessica Walter because Lucille is the best character on the show, period.

06-12-2013, 01:59 PM
any chance this'll eventually release on dvd? I like having physical copies, and online streaming and downloading services such as netflix don't run consistantly on my pc/ps3

06-12-2013, 03:30 PM
Saw it. Struggled with it but appreciated it. Saw it again. The experience was about the same. Some jokes register on future viewings, but enough of them are there for the taking if you pay attention or are familiar with AD's past seasons that you can see their trappings without getting the joke, which turns the joke into more of a "noticed it" than a "laughed at it". That was a little tiresome.

Length and editing are issues. I could never dislike any episode of Arrested Development when it does so much so well. And I would love more of it. But AD4 is a little bloated. It takes advantage of the instaview binge nature of Netflix but loses a lot of its tight, snappy pace by not having to cram down into the old school 22-minute commercial break format. Network TV metrics may have doomed the broadcast version of the show but it also constrained and pushed the writing in clever, meta ways that just couldn't happen with Netflix, because there was no airing schedule, no feedback loop with ad execs or network execs or ratings experts or the audience to influence a show currently in development. It's almost comedy in a vacuum. It happened, it was filmed, and we got to see it after everyone packed up and left. We can observe it and discuss it, but it's less organic than how past seasons were created and experienced.

They could only get the whole cast together legit for a few scenes, and ended up using green screen effects, doubles and clever sound editing to tie things together in other scenes. Some jokes are exclusively engineered to work with this, with off-camera squalks and coughs and shouts and lines here and there. Built for repeat viewings, but you can too easily see that's what they're doing. It's a puzzle which is fine when you're into puzzles, but not as great as past seasons, when you didn't even REALIZE you were doing a puzzle. (I always loved foreshadowing in seasons 1-3, though it was more mind-blowing back in the day because we weren't conditioned to look for it.)

So that's me. I don't mind any of the above much, they did great with what they had. Some fan editing could bring 10 hours over 15 shows down to 5 hours over 10 shows, cutting out certain tedious gags and a whole lot of redundancy (AD4's narration and recapping gets dense to the point of absurdity, and really doesn't need to be there, ESPECIALLY with the Netflix instaview format).

I hope it comes to DVD as I want to own it proper. I hope there's a movie, as general consensus suggests there will be.