Long-awaited return of Arrested Development on Netflix


Tobias (David Cross), after suffering repeated back and head injuries, and his wife Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) discuss the matters of the dysfunctional Bluth family in the new season of Arrested Development, now available on Netflix.

Hallie Whitman, Opinions Editor Emerita

After nearly seven years of waiting, eager Arrested Development fans rejoiced over the highly anticipated start of season four.  On May 26, Netflix released all fifteen new episodes of the beloved but poorly rated show, which was cancelled in 2006.

Since then, the show has gained a cult following of obsessive fans, many of whom have been counting the minutes until the Netflix release.  Each of the fifteen episodes follows one of the nine main characters (six characters have two part installments) of the dysfunctional Bluth family.

Overall, Arrested Development, known for its brilliant writing, witty narration, and amazingly clever humor, upholds its reputation as a gold standard of comedy in its fourth season.

The combination of old running jokes and novel storylines helped keep the plot fresh and exciting while ensuring that humor from the past seasons was not overused.

The basic story line follows the Bluths after their fall from prosperity.  In the first episode of season one, the Securities and Exchange Commission arrests patriarch George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) on charges of embezzlement and fraud.

In the previous three seasons, the show explored messy family dynamics and eccentric but loveable characters.  Arrested Development has continued to challenge the concept of traditional television with its unique style and edgy humor.

At the same time, the fact that season four was released seven years after season three ended did create some controversy.  The large gap in time between seasons clearly caused some confusion for a lot of viewers.

The writers attempted to ease the confusion by replaying some of the same events in each episode from different characters’ perspectives.  This helped to reduce the confusion and provided for more uniformity.

In addition, the presence of a star-studded lineup of guest stars including Kristen Wiig, Seth Rogen, and Ed Helms was not fitting.  It came across as a forced attempt to make the new episodes more relevant, which achieved little success.

Despite these flaws, season four of Arrested Development should satisfy most fans’ cravings for more, hopefully enough to tide them over until producers figure out what Arrested Development’s future holds.