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Universal acclaim- based on 262 Ratings

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  1. Negative: 21 out of 262

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  1. May 27, 2013
    Be warned: it will take you three or perhaps four episodes to warm to this series. By the fifth, you'll begin to feel yourself hooked in as the setup scenes from the beginning start to pay off and by the seventh episode you realise that you're watching something very special indeed.

    It's ironic really those who will criticise this series of Arrested Development will do so without
    acknowledging what made the first three series a mainstream failure yet a sleeper hit if you judge it based on one or two episodes alone, you won't get it. It just won't work for you, or for anyone for that matter. It's the little things for example, and to avoid spoilers, when Michael says something about Lucille 2 in Episode 1 when she falls over, you won't find out why he's used that exact phrase until episode seven/eight when George Sr. starts his "health retreat" fiasco.

    Hence why the early review websites looking at Episode 1 in isolation were severely missing the point. If Episode 1 was a pilot show I'd never seen before, I'd be scoring it a five, because the pacing is off and the jokes aren't there. So I understand the negative reviews for an episode but they're plain wrong when reviewing a series. Indeed, if you take the rose-tinted spectacles off, the first ever episode of AD, in isolation, is fairly underwhelming. But we all know what that led to same story here!

    The reality, this is a work of art. There's nothing quite like it on TV anywhere else. It's lost none of its wit, it's sharp writing, the overpowering enthusiasm for the project that runs from writing cast to the smallest acting role is unparalleled, bouncing off the screen.

    This isn't a fan boy review I was expecting to be severely disappointed with this series because the expectations for it were impossibly high. Yes, there's very little Annyong, Buster is featured not often enough and there's a few minor irks with cameo appearances (the airport staff were grating and unnecessary; a blip on the acting talent in the show), but these are very minor nuisances that are barely worth mentioning.

    In summary it's a breath of fresh air, the best comedy in years and one which I'll be watching on repeat for a long, long time, along with the three series before it.

    Is it the best series? Well, who knows, I've only watched it twice! And as all AD fans know, it takes quite a few viewings to get the subtleties of a series.
  2. May 27, 2013
    Show is brilliant. Almost perpetually spurtive and fresh; even recycled jokes (a plenty) are met with observed aberrance and wit. Mitch Hurwitz was awarded free reign and with such power enlisted a new style of narrative--one that is as complex and self-reflexive as ever. Awesome.
  3. May 26, 2013
    One of the greatest American comedies of all-time picks up right where it left off seven years ago. The writing and wit are as sharp as ever, and the fantastic cast seems right at home playing these wonderfully shallow, self-absorbed characters. Thank you, Netflix, for bringing back the Bluths!
  4. May 27, 2013
    An epic, masterful, brilliant achievement. A true game changer season for american television complex, fresh, riveting storytelling that takes work and time to be appreciated. Like all previously seasons of AD.
  5. May 28, 2013
    Found the negative reviews to not be very helpful. I wonder if many of these folks even finished the series first. I think it is very hard to critize this show's comedy. As the whole thing needs to be consumed before you can fully "get it". Shame on you reviewers who watched only a couple episodes, then came here to rant.

    I was much like you, after consuming a couple of episodes, I
    really wondered what happened to this series, but after about 4 episodes in I saw what they were doing and then finally started laughing out loud again.

    This is a marathon, not a sprint you people with "episodic" dysfunction... finish the series and call me and apologize I'll take your call.
  6. May 26, 2013
    Arrested Development returns in top form. The format is changed but everything that made AD great is still in tact. The new format lends itself to binge watching so judging it by a single episode does it a disservice. Jokes are setup in episode one that do not pay off until episode ten. As the season progresses the threads all begin to run together at certain events and watching each of the characters differing storylines climax and bounce off each other is very satisfying and often hilarious.

    There is a parade of geust appearances both old and new, they even brought Ann back for some reason, but for me Kristen Wig is perfect as young Lucielle is perfect, and Liza's preformance as Lucielle 2 is every bit as good as before.

    Arrested Development is still just as gaudy, sly, subtle, meta, dense and down right hilarious as ever, and I look forward to learning every last line uttered in season 4.
  7. May 27, 2013
    Very disappointing, the show has strayed from its original formula and quality writing. Scenes are drawn out and uncomfortable to watch and the humor is just not there. The characters behavior is not consistent with the rest of the series and is all around a poor reboot of a beloved comedy show.
  8. May 26, 2013
    I'm loving it and can't wait to rewatch it again and again. The inside jokes are still there and the writing is sharp. The show went in a bit of a different direction, focusing more on one specific character per episode rather than on the entire family. There are a few episodes where notable Bluths are entirely absent. And there were a few times where jokes were reused and felt stale. But overall, it's back and it's good. Expand
  9. May 27, 2013
    After seven long years, I can only assure you one thing: it's still the Arrested Development we fell in love with, and it's still uninterested in pleasing anybody other than the fans.
  10. May 27, 2013
    Yes it's different, but this is not a bad thing! Season 4 does an excellent job of bringing you up to speed on Bluths and starts a whole new series of stories. The characters are still interesting, hilarious and ridiculous just as we remember them. The writing is EXCELLENT! In some ways sharper than the original. I feel as though the new format(necessary due to actor obligations) works beautifully, although give it a couple episodes to get settled into the change. Perhaps I miss the excellent family from the the days or yore but perhaps we will see that again in the future?(PLEASE MORE SEASONS!) Thanks to Hurwitz, Imagine and Netflix for creating a completely satisfying return of the most loved dysfunctional Bluths. As the season progresses, the comedy increases, and the stories collide into a beautiful hilarity! Expand
  11. May 27, 2013
    A little jarring at first, but an amazing feat. Definitely need to watch the whole 15 episodes before judging... and then probably watch them all again. I can't wait for the movie!
  12. May 27, 2013
    Awesome. Just awesome. The entire format of the show has changed. Focusing on one character each episode? Awesome. Each character is different in the best possible way. Way to go writers, you turned comedy gold into a pile of... awesomeness.

    Seriously though. It's been 7 years since AD was prematurely cancelled. I've nearly completed re-watching season 4 and it's even better. There are
    as many jokes per minute as 30 Rock. If you are reviewing the entire season please actually watch it (twice if you can). Expand
  13. May 27, 2013
    The best way to describe the new Arrested Development season is this: You are all excited about taking a train ride with friends that you haven't seen in nearly 10 years, to somewhere, maybe a vacation of something. After the first hour of the train ride together you realize how slow trains are and start to get boredd. By the 4th hour though something changes. Whether it be a loose bolt on the tracks or a penny on the rails, the train begins to crash. Everything is in turmoil, the one exception is your seat. Your one seat seems to be the only constant on this engine of turmoil and destruction. And you can't. Stop. Watching. By the last 3 hours of this you have completely forgotten about the slow and subtly boring start. You remember that in order for their to be a payoff, there has to be a set up. And it's at about this time that you stop panicking about the series being ruined and the 4th season being a failure. You finally get to appreciate all the set ups, all the subtleties, and you hold on for your life as the story comes to it's highest points. When it's over, you are left with a sense of euphoria and just a little bit of "What the hell just happened". The best part is that once you finish the season, it isn't over. The first episodes become more in depth and clear and are an entirely new experience to watch. You can basically watch the season twice and have two different experiences. The only constant is you, sitting in the middle of a train wreck, with your eyes widened in horror and delight, and you can't. Stop. Watching Expand
  14. May 27, 2013
    I cannot believe that one of the best comedies in the history of television was turned into a pile of crap. And the idea of giving focus to one character in each episode sucks too.

    I do hope that the rest of the episodes are better.
  15. May 28, 2013
    The trick of this season is that it continuously builds on itself. Scenes are expanded with each episode. This means that although the beginning episodes are weak (the first six, with the exception of episode five), later episodes are brilliant. This is not the same Arrested Development, but it is just as fantastic as ever. This season cannot justifiably be reviewed if you have not watched the first season, and unfortunately it would appear all of the negative reviews thus far have been from people who gave up far too early. Arrested Development is still as fantastic as every; it is just not fantastic in the same way. Expand
  16. May 28, 2013
    I will most likely be one of the few to say that this fourth season of Arrested Development is even better than the three seasons that came before it. This season turns the potential downside of a busy cast who can't all feature in every episode into a brilliant, complex web of absurd situations, hysterical running jokes, and meta-humor at its finest.

    This season takes full advantage of
    the all-at-once release to build a detailed, complex storyline. Fans of Arrested Development know that a fair opinion of this show can't be constructed from viewing only one or two episodes, and this season is no different. The beauty of this season can only be truly appreciated when taken as a whole. It's actually a lot like the Christopher Nolan classic Memento; you don't get the full picture until the credits roll, and even then its complexity warrants a few more viewings. Arrested Development in its finest moments has resembled this piecewise format, in which individual parts, somewhat funny on their own, eventually meld to become something beyond hysterical. The best example I can think of: the episode in Season 3 involving, Mr. F, Tiny Town, and George-Michael's jetpack. If you haven't seen it, you must; it's one of the funniest moments of the show. If you have, you know exactly what I mean.

    Don't give up on this season after three episodes. Sticking to it all the way was one of the most rewarding television experiences I've had in a very long time.
  17. May 27, 2013
    There was still some great wit in this revival, but the overall tone was depressing as nearly every character is in bad shape. The episodes are also split so that whole episodes focus on one character and some of the characters (like Tobias) are hard to take for that long. I won't give up on this show if they continue on with more seasons, but this one feels like a failure.
  18. May 28, 2013
    Like the first 3 seasons, season 4 has been judged too quickly, even from the first minute it was released. As AD fans, we all know that the show cannot be judged so quickly. This is a show that came before it's time and was misunderstood. That may apply to this season as well. I was given the AD box set right after the series ended and I was initially dumbfounded as to how the show was praised so much. As I kept watching, I started to realize the complexity of the jokes and by the end of the first season I couldn't believe how good it was. Having watched every episode 6-8 times, I can tell you it was better the 6th time than it was the 1st or 2nd (or 5th).

    So my anticipation was off the charts as season 4 approached, and I haven't been disappointed. Is it as good as the original series? No, it's not. But it was worth it to come back. Expectations were so high that it reminded me of other times where expectations could never be met due to what was achieved in the past (LOST, The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling, Seinfeld on Curb, or when one of your favorite bands has a great album and then 3 years later releases a disappointing album). It starts slow, particularly the first 2 episodes, as it needs to establish some ground first. But it picks up and has some of that classic Arrested Development humor. The inability to get the actors together hurts the show because almost all of the jokes in the original series were characters interacting. Some characters can carry a show, and some simply can't. Tobias, Gob, and Buster can carry an episode, their characters were good no matter how much screen time they got. David Cross and Will Arnett continue to be brilliant in their roles. George Sr. is incapable of carrying his own episode. He had a good character, but clearly he was best with 5 minutes of screen time an episode, mostly to further the story. Michael is funny because of how he works off the family. Here, he has no one to work off of and a great character is mostly wasted. The main actors easily slide back into their characters. Michael Cera now towers over everyone and AIi has grown up as expected, but the rest look the same. Actually, I am disappointed in Portia for clearly getting plastic surgery. Very disappointing from a beautiful woman. I enjoyed the cameos (hello, Isla Fisher) and did not feel they distracted too much. And wow, I did not recognize the actor that plays Steve Holt. Even after looking it up to confirm, I am still not convinced.

    I have even more respect for Arrested Development and Mitch Hurwitz than I did before Season 4. The ambition that he has shown with this season is unheard of. He (or they) could have played it safe and tried to copy what made them successful, but they came up with an amazing premise that (mostly) makes sense. So if Season 4 is a B+ for me, it is still well above anything else on TV today. Arrested Development has arrested the development of any other comedies entertaining me. Nothing (save for Seinfeld) can even come close for me. I hope this isn't the end of the Bluths.
  19. May 28, 2013
    I agree with some of the other viewers. It takes about 4 or 5 episodes to get into this season. Once you are there... you will know it. Hilarious! AD is back baby!!
  20. Jun 5, 2013
    Season 4 feels like the remake of a movie that doesn't need to be remade, Arrested Development season 4 falls short on nearly all cylinders and either completely fails or tries far too hard at trying to force a laugh.

    After sitting down with my entire family and watching the first couple episodes of this season I can say it was extremely boring and mildly funny. I love the narration,
    but they couldn't get the entire cast together not even for one episode this season which made me feel empty and really dissapointed inside. Expand
  21. May 28, 2013
    There was so much hype for this season that I expected to be disappointed. At first I was a little disappointed. The first George Sr. episode was particularly disheartening, however, Arrested Development season 4 snowballs as it progresses, and by the end I felt it was an avalanche of hilarity.

    There will always be naysayers when something this hyped is released. There will always be
    people jumping off the wagon, and people who claim that their beloved programs have changed for the worse. Take a step back and look at what Hurwitz and the cast have achieved. They are resurrected, and they have created more great moments after years of death.

    This season is unique. Each episode is a puzzle piece, and though the pieces are funny in and of themselves, when the puzzle becomes a whole, it is brilliant to behold. Like other Arrested Development seasons, this season will only become funnier with repeat viewings. I for one hope that this is only the beginning and that more Arrested Development will arrive in due time.

    Ignore the naysayers. It is their loss anyways. This show is still great, and the new format adds an element of intrigue. Slightly less than perfect, but I'll still round up to a 10, instead of down to a 9. Great. The final scene of the season is a perfect Arrested Development moment, and it was a long time coming.

    I think I just blue myself.
  22. May 28, 2013
    Incredible. Though the initial few episodes are somewhat underwhelming, the show picks up steam after the first three or so episodes and is a pure delight to watch. For AD fans, it's a little different feeling this time around, it's a little darker, and much more plot eccentric. That's not a bad thing though, the show is beyond clever, there are so many jokes and gags that just make you smile. The way the plot is put together and how everyone's story loops in with each other is phenomenal. Every character has their moment to shine and they all come into those moments. Gobs first episode is a favorite and I was laughing the entire time. It's good to have AD back, hell I got Netflix just for this. Expand
  23. May 28, 2013
    I'll sum this up for you: Critics are afraid of the change that this kind of TV material represents. Why? Because its form is relatively unknown. But the brain trust behind this show created this living thing that adapts to the ground where it's stands. While writing for TV seems like a race to see who makes time go faster, this show wanted time to slow down. Is it a bad thing? Only if you you're the kind of person that wants to fast forward to the end of the movie to know what happened in the end. But...

    Is that LIFE?

    That's what this season feels like. It feels ALIVE!
  24. BKM
    May 28, 2013
    The long awaited fourth season of Arrested Development isn't perfect; some jokes fall flat and others don't pay off until several episodes in. The narrative structure also requires a lot of patience as the numerous plot threads take time to start weaving together to provide a bigger picture. But once it hits its stride, this new season is uproariously funny and endlessly inventive and any fears about resurrecting it after such a long hiatus are put to rest. Expand
  25. May 28, 2013
    This is not the old show. There are the same elements that made the original series what it was, but everything else is different. If you go in expecting the quick paced joke machine with a half-dozen stories per episode, then you're going to be different. In fact, I would barely call this comedic genius. What it is instead is an ambitious exercise in storytelling, and a three-dimensional puzzle that has seldom been attempted on the same scale. Yes, there are some of the same gags, some new ones too, some great jokes, and some ones that don't always land. It is not without flaws, but this some of the best material ever been produced. It requires patience, and even multiple viewings. It is all completely rewarding and a great service to fans and Bluths alike. Expand
  26. May 28, 2013
    I loved the first three season and would prefer to watch one of them again. The decision to focus on one character per episode was a poor one because each character is great only in short doses. The story used to weave the characters together over one episode but not that weaving is over the full season and feels long winded. It like they stretched three episodes of material over the whole season.

    Also the jokes like hot ham water or the cornballer that are easy to share with friends are gone as are the fun catchphrases and supporting characters. Nothing in this season deserves to be put on a shirt!

    The only reasons I finished the season was because I paid for Netflix just for the show.
  27. May 28, 2013
    Taken from the first 5 episodes of the 4th season. Season 1-3 10/10

    What have they done, in the effort to bring it back on Netflix, they clearly havent had the money to get every cast member involved, so thats led to this awful new one character per episode format.
    Sadly, these characters are not funny on their own, they go about boring lives. The glory of this comedy was putting them
    in a room, and watching them scheme and fight and joke off each other.

    The very first episode is one of the most boring 30 minutes of my life, awful writing, boring scenes and story. A forced Loose Seal reference, forced cancelled references, dumb facebook joke, terrible young versions of characters, over narration. George Michael also feels too old to be the hilarious Cera character.
    This show has gone horribly away from what made it so good.
  28. May 28, 2013
    The highly anticipated 4th series has arrived! I loved the first 3 seasons and Season 4 is pretty good (not great). The run time is really energy draining but I love the writing format of this season. It's great to see the old cast back together again and seeing a show that can stick in little references that no one else would catch (Being John Malkovich). I thank Netflix for giving this show another run and giving us a comedy that we will enjoy! Expand
  29. May 28, 2013
    Season 4 is not as good as the original. However it is still better than nearly any comedy currently on TV. There wasn't a bad episode in the original run. I didn't love the first 4 eps of season 4 as they dragged by (nature of the series structure), but the second half of the season was great.
  30. May 29, 2013
    It's a shame that people are posting reviews of the season having only watched around 3 episodes and being uninformed. The first episodes of the new season are the weakest and not that funny if you haven't watched the whole season. When you do, everything makes sense and they become more hilarious and genius. The reason why the episode format was focused on one character at a time was because the cast had many schedule issues, not because Netflix couldn't afford to pay them for the whole season. This is a new way of making television, and this season in particular cannot be reviewed as it was a normal tv season, since all the episodes were released at once and they complete each other in amazing ways.
    The general opinion is that this season is on par with season 1 at times and is definitely better than season 3. It's Arrested Development again. On the negative side, the editing of the episodes felt slopy and the writing also suffered for not having the original staff, but Netflix took the risk of making this experiment and it was a success.
  31. May 28, 2013
    It has been 7 (long)years since we last saw the Bluth family in action and the world has undergone some major changes since then. Arrested Development is smart enough to be aware of this and handles this matter with changes of its own. Before this talk of "change" frightens you just know that the show still has its sense of witty,sardonic humor intact and feeling fresh. Most of the change I speak of is referring to structure of the show. As you should know the show is now a Netflix "original" and in Netflix fashion the entire season was released at once. I believe It's because of this that the show experimented with its structure and if you watch it all in one fell swoop,as I did,you'll appreciate this structure because it's quite clever considering all of that, It's funny that the show is almost complacent when it references prior seasons,as if it's self-aware that it has a lot to live up to(which I'm sure is an accurate depiction of what the writers were experiencing when coming up with new material). It's because of this that I feel the show lost a lot of its ambition. It's no longer as bold as before,they played it safe and while that may sound like a bad thing it isn't necessarily. The whole framework of this season revolves around an event known as Cinco De Cuatro(which I find hilarious). The Bluths are all involved somehow with the events leading up to and taking place at the Cinco De Cuatro event. The show approaches this by dedicating episodes to specific characters as opposed to earlier seasons that focused more on the ensemble cast. You see a lot of the same events occurring from different perspectives and eventually it all starts coming together. It's essentially a hilarious puzzle and it's because of how Netflix releases its content that it's even possible. It takes a few episodes to get used to but before you know it you'll feel at home again. This does indeed mean you'll see the cast as a whole interacting with each other less. I personally didn't appreciate that considering the cast of Arrested Development is spectacular and much more so when they're all interacting. Having said that,it does allow for the opportunity to really flesh out some characters so we get a good sense of how they've evolved(or perhaps devolved?) as human beings. I personally feel that recently the world has really peaked mean we're experiencing increases in everything from terrorism to mass murder and I feel the Arrested Development writers share this observation. I say this because the show has really lost its sense of heart and optimism. As hard as it is to believe,the Bluth family has sunken even lower than before. This season has easily been the most ominous. In seasons past when the Bluths screwed each other over for something petty they would ultimately forgive each other and learn from their mistakes. There isn't much of that this season but it's really just a matter of tone because the show doesn't miss a comedic beat,it's just a bit darker now. While I may not have loved the minimal cast interactions or the lack of boldness I still had a blast with it. Once you accept the changes to the show,the structure and the cinematography'll see that the Arrested Development crew has only lost some of its edge. It's still one of the smartest shows on television and one of the few that makes me laugh out loud(I know some of you may be thinking: "Why didn't he just use LOL" and the reason is: You) so often. In a sense I even appreciated the lessened focus on the family as a whole because when they did finally interact it was worth it. I almost forgot to mention the cameos which is silly considering there are so man(they're all quite excellent too,just f.y.i). I won't give too much away but I will say that Kristen Wiig does a hell of a Lucille Bluth impression and John Slattery needs to chill with the psychedelics(no I don't mean you Roger Sterling circa season 5 of Mad Men,you damn acid-head). Ultimately season 4 of Arrested Development is incredibly entertaining and very much worth your time,just don't expect it to be too much like past seasons. It's worth noting that this season kind of felt like a big set-up for seasons to come,if that's the case I think it's brilliant and I expect whatever proceeds to return to the show's bold,dysfunctional family-centric roots. Collapse
  32. May 29, 2013
    Mitch Hurwitz is a genius. This hundreds of jokes, references, etc, that are perfect. The worst review is from the NYT Mike Hall, who pitifully ranked The Killing as the 5th best show of last year and disliked Rectified.
  33. May 29, 2013
    It's ANUStart for the show. It's almost like playing a game trying to figure out all the pieces of this huge Bluth puzzle and that's what makes this season so much fun.
  34. May 29, 2013
    This season takes a second to feel like the original show, but once it hits its stride, it fits right in with the older episodes. This season was filled with much of the same witty humor, clever writing, and zany antics of the Bluth family we have all come to know and love. Give this season, like any other, a second look and you will continue to discover the genius of this show.
  35. May 29, 2013
    It's odd. I am both simultaneously surprised and unsurprised by the somewhat negative and skeptical reviews this new season of AD has gotten. On one hand, despite a few weak episodes in the beginning, I am absolutely in love with this season. I adore the intricate, Rashomon-style story, the more desperate characters, the one-character-per-episode format, and the overall darker tone. On the other hand, it are these changes to the much-beloved Arrested format that are leaving quite a few fans and critics understandably dissatisfied with the new season. It's a different show now, and whatever or not these differences are welcomed depends on you. For me, however, and what seems like a majority of the show's fans, this new season most definitely does char our tree. Expand
  36. May 29, 2013
    This season is absolutely genius. They reveal everything perfectly, and I absolutely love the new formula. While it does take a little time to enjoy it, the beginning episodes are way better in the second viewing. This is for sure the best season this show has had.
  37. Jun 6, 2013
    If George Lucas raped and murdered Indiana Jones and Star Wars from the memories of our youth, Arrested Development Season 4 tortured, maimed, killed, dug up, urinated on the corpses, then buried upside down, the memories of our youth. This is not just a bad show if you were starting with Season 4 and knew nothing of the series, it's a bad show if you were a super-fan of the first three Seasons. The format of one show dedicated to a single character's story arc, the truly over-the-top nonsensical meandering story line, the re-hashed jokes that were cheap rip offs of clever originals. In every single way, Season 4 comes up short against the originals.

    I probably watched Season 4 a dozen times through, each time finding new jokes I had missed before. I doubt I'll suffer through the 15 episodes of Season 4 ever again. One of the strengths of the series was character interaction, quick dialog. With single characters so heavily focused on, it removed the interaction that made it so funny. With so many story lines that branch off and really never close and never go anywhere, even if they are setting it up for a movie, Season 4 turned me off, and bored me so supremely, I'll be waiting for the movie to be three years old and make it back to Netflix, as opposed to ever seeing it in the theaters.

    2/15 episodes made me feel like I was watching a continuation of this fine series. The rest were just mediocre, or outright awful. As excited as I was for the release, this couldn't have been a bigger entertainment letdown. There's always money in the banana stand, but apparently that's where they left the funny. It pains me to say this-if you were a big fan...avoid Season 4.
  38. May 31, 2013
    The critics are fools. This show is just as brilliant as ever. I am in awe of how complex it must have been to craft the multi-threaded, interweaving story that unfolds over the course of the season. I am grateful to Netflix for bringing this show back to life what a treat.
  39. May 29, 2013
    Let's be fair here Those who fear change will always be the first and loudest ones to speak up.

    Clearly this show could not have been revived in the exact same format in which it began, as Mitch Hurwitz has never been interested in playing it safe. Season to season, Arrested Development evolved, and this fourth season is no exception.

    This new season, while still largely innovative
    and fresh, still has those same essential elements that made it successful in previous seasons Clever humor/layered jokes, interconnecting story-lines and plot-points, and character trademarks that made the show lovable and unique.

    Layered jokes They're all over the place. Jokes that only fully blossom after retracing the first three seasons, jokes that make more sense after watching all 15 episodes, and jokes that work well on their own. Perfection.

    Story-lines/Plot-points You can't judge any of this on one episode alone. Watch them ALL, and you'll get it. That's what we loved so much about AD in previous seasons, and that's what we get here. The BIG reveal. The kind of story that deserves to be told in a multi-part series, because there's so much to tell. I mean, the Pilot episode is probably one of my least favorite episodes. What if I had just dismissed the show right there at S01 E01, and said, "I don't get it"? So be patient, and give it a fair number of episodes before you judge it so harshly. If you do, you'll see that Mr. Hurwtiz delivers here in this department yet again.

    Trademarks The birds. The "Getaway/Get Away" song. Censoring the word "Google." All of these things (and so many more) are just as funny as any gag from the first seasons, and they show yet again why this season is on par with the Arrested Development we've come to love and cherish. People will be singing that "Getaway" song just as long as fans have been doing the chicken dance.

    To concerned fans All is well, and the season is great. Come join your favorite characters for more fantastic acting, more brilliant writing, and more classic dysfunction.

    And to these 11 haters Stop your boo-hooing. It might not be what you wanted, but it is what was needed. This is an experiment Not a greatest hits album. Sure, some fat could have been trimmed here and there. But in the end, it's still an experiment that is just as important and inventive as the first three seasons. With the movie (we hope), these episodes will make even more sense, and will demonstrate Mitch's genius even more so than this fourth season already has. Hurwitz has nothing to prove, and Arrested Development Season 4 shows just that.
  40. May 27, 2013
    The original series is my second favorite of all time behind Seinfeld and ahead of Curb. They made a huge mistake. The best way to describe this return season is "forced". They tried to cram jokes in each episode instead of timing things to perfection like the original. They are self-referential in overt ways instead of the subtle references the original had. It's like sitcom characters spewing catch phrases. They reintroduce old characters for no reason other than the sake of it, and the new characters aren't funny at all. The plot is mostly pointless and uninteresting, and it's also muddled by the rest of this mediocrity. There are numerous camios for basically no reason. It's just lazy, rushed writing. There are some funny parts, but I'm tremendously let down by this. Expand
  41. May 29, 2013
    HUGE HUGE fan of the show here. I felt that at first, the season started off weaker but after episode 4 or 5 it started to get progressively better. By episode 8 it really picked up and felt like the old AD I know and love. Basically the second half of the season is a complete masterpiece ON THE FIRST WATCH. I've started the season again and the first episodes make more sense and they definitely feel better, funnier, wittier. Truly a class act show. Fantastic. Wonderful. Excellent. Flawless. Expand
  42. May 24, 2014
    After such a long time since it's initial cancelation, I'm surprised Netflix actually bothered bringing it back at all. However, given the results I really wished they hadn't. The show and cast is back, but the humor isn't. Aside from certain characters behaving wildly different then they did in previous seasons, Bateman's "Michael" is the worst offender, the whole structure of the show has changed, and not for the better.

    Each episode, rather than focusing on all of the characters at once like in previous seasons, chooses to single out one character and progress their specific threads all the while tying them into the overall plot of the season. While this was an interesting idea, the writers ultimately fail to make it work. The overall plot, as well as the individual character plots, end up getting convoluted and confusing as episodes constantly jump back and forth through time. This can lead to the show feeling unfocused as it tries to juggle so many plot-threads at once. Even worse, it can lead to information just being repeated. So while the new focus is not only bad for the overall structure and plot of the show, it's also bad for the humor.

    What made the first three seasons enjoyable, was that the interactions between the characters. Watching their different personalities clash was often hilarious because of the comedic chemistry between the characters. With the characters being split up this season we don't get that. Instead we get to find out that these characters aren't funny without each other, and are often just too awful to hold their own for an entire episode. The show tries to make it work by introducing new characters to fill the void, but they are ultimately bland and lack the on-screen chemistry the original cast had with each other. Overall this makes for a fourth season that very rarely brings any laughs and one that can be hard to sit through for an entire episode.

    While I appreciate Netflix's attempt at bringing back the well-loved sitcom, I do not appreciate the results. Honestly, I feel that It would have been better to just have left the show as dead. If Netflix does decide to bring this show back for a fifth season, something I know really hope they do not, then I recommend the writers take a look at what made the previous seasons so successful because they are clearly missing it here. My total score for this season is a 4.4/10=Bad
  43. May 30, 2013
    The people who will give this new season a low score are the same people who gave a low score to The Hobbit. Different format, different production, not direct continuation/style as where it left off. This new season is incredible, it starts a little slowly and it is really hard to understand and focus on the story until maybe the 5th episode. When all the pieces start to come together and you start to see the story unfold it is extremely gratifying. My favorite episodes were the one with Gob, Maeby and George Michael. The guest star list is incredible and each cameo is delightful. Only Netflix could make this possible with the format they adopted, it is even better when you rewatch the season you can watch your favorite episodes out of order and will still be able to enjoy them. Be warned though, this season is a lot darker I think, but it is still extremely funny, with new jokes and call backs to other episodes, any AD fan will love this season. I give this a 9/10 because some episodes were weaker than other and cgi at some place was really poorly executed. Thanks Mitch and Netlfix for bringing back this show I love so much! I can't wait to see the continuation. Expand
  44. May 29, 2013
    This season took about 3 episodes for the jokes to really hit home. Then the next 4 episodes started getting better, but the second half of the season truly became more and more brilliant as more plot devices are revealed. I look forward to eventually rewatching this season because I feel like I missed a lot of jokes without knowing every characters perspective.
  45. 222
    Jun 10, 2013
    I loved the first three seasons of Arrested Development. Each episode was like a roller coaster of fast paced, wickedly funny, densely packed interactions among an amazing cast of unforgettable characters.

    But Season 4... well, it's just not the same for me.

    It's not a roller coaster anymore. It can even feel slow in places. The laughs are still there, but they're spread out. And
    the characters are spread out too. They don't see each other as much. Instead of a lightning speed ride that jumps from Bluth to Bluth and from scene to hilarious scene, Season 4 stubbornly follows a single character for a full episode, sometimes to the point of completely ignoring the others.

    For me, it just wasn't as fun as constantly hopping from one hilarious nutcase to another. I kept wanting more Buster, more Lucille, more GOB, more Tobias, etc. But no such luck. It seems like you can go hours in Season 4 with hardly a peep from so many of the outrageous personalities who made the first three seasons so delightful.

    Instead, it seems like more effort has gone into setting up scenes that will be viewed from a different perspective in a later episode, in order to reveal amusing plot twists. These can be very clever and very funny, and the way the various stories are woven together is impressively intricate. Even though some of the ends are left loose, which is frustrating, it's still a fun challenge to keep track of everything that's going on. This may be one of the most intelligently crafted shows ever aired.

    But Season 4 just doesn't have the same fast paced, bubbly, back and forth hilarity as the first three seasons did. And it spends hours studiously ignoring some of its most fabulous characters. Due to that it can only be ranked as a disappointment. A brilliant and intricately crafted disappointment to be sure, but still disappointing.
  46. Aug 19, 2013
    Arrested Development is back to its high quality with new hilarious celebrity roles from the likes of Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Seth Rogen. The show continues to strive towards great comedy throughout the season with not even a single weak episode. Personally this green screen issue didn’t really effect me, I personally didn’t see any of it apart from times where they would cut to scenes where only one actor would be on screen and then to the other actor, but apart from that I couldn’t see any real use of it.

    I love the Fox insult at the start of every episode “Now the story of a family who’s future was abruptly cancelled”, and the onscreen watermark “Showstealer Pro Trial Version”, there has been a lot of confusion between fans as to the purpose of this watermark, it is a joke about Fox and how Netflix has stolen a great show from them.

    Unlike other seasons of Arrested Development this series episodes are based on specific characters which forms the bases of the season. I thoroughly enjoyed the way all of the characters connect for instance in an early episode Michael is almost run over by a car and then a few episodes later in Gob’s episode we see him zoom past Michael and nearly hit him with it, I loved these connections which just made me burst out with laughter. I don’t think a sitcom has made me laugh as much since the last series of Arrested Development.

    I also thoroughly enjoyed all of the nods at the previous series like the return of the Bluth family stair car. I loved being able to enjoy these characters the same way we enjoyed them when they were last on TV in 2006. Before turning on Netflix I will admit I had low expectations thinking that its been 7 years I doubt that the series will be as good as it was before and will frankly be a disappointment. How much more wrong could I be? Arrested Development is just as funny, witty and incredible as it was when it won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Comedy in 2004. Even if you don’t have Netflix then I say you should get it, if only for a month so you can enjoy the successful revival of one of the best American comedies on television.

    After a strong season and the best last episodes of an Arrested Development season to date I think I speak for all Arrested Development fans when I say that I hope they do finally make this movie.
  47. Jul 17, 2013
    After seven years away from our screens cult sit-com Arrested Development is back and well….. It’s mostly positive.

    Since the show was cancelled in 2006 many of its stars have gone on to have successful careers, as a result one of the most difficult challenges to overcome when trying to bring it back was trying to shoot around their busy schedules. Mitchell Hurwitz’s solution to this
    problem, to focus each episode on a single character showing events from different perspectives, is as much a weakness as it is a strength however. The new format has allowed the writers to expand upon the twisting narrative structure often used in the show’s original run with each episode providing insights into previous events. This concept is used very cleverly throughout to the extent that the fifteen episodes can really be viewed as one ongoing piece of work but, while the multiple call backs are often quite funny; this new format does mean that it is rare to have all the cast members together at once. Since a great deal of the humour arose from the characters bouncing off each other it is fair to say that Season 4 did not make me laugh out loud as consistently as the previous three.

    One other slight issue is that, free of the time constraints of being on network television, the creators have allowed some episodes to balloon up and beyond the half-hour mark. This in itself is not a problem but on occasions it is clear that some scenes could have been tightened up slightly to retain the snappy pace the show has become renowned for. As I already stated though Arrested Developments return is certainly a good thing and it is great to see these characters return, particularly to such an ambitious project.

    Here’s to six seasons and a movie!
  48. Jun 5, 2013
    I guess I just don't understand it. I get told by friends all the time to check out this show, and I love shows like Community and Parks and rec. but I just can't get myself to enjoy this show.
  49. Jun 17, 2013
    All you need to know is that you need to see the entire season to understand that AD is as good as ever. Since they had to film much of it separately, the parts that overlap are key and many things won't make sense in earlier episodes. But if you ride it out, some of the best parts will sneak up on you and you'll really laugh out loud instead of the confused chuckle you may have let out before.

    Also, there are those jokes that you will miss completely and may need a second run-through or a Google search to catch. Wait until after you watch it and Google "George Maharis". Cause that is probably the best joke I've ever seen on a television show.and didn't even know it was there!
  50. Oct 7, 2013
    A sheer disappointment of an encore. Hurwitz's new and unnecessary experimentation with the structure of the show results in some finer moments (that take us back to the masterful previous seasons) these are however, few and far between.
  51. Jun 2, 2013
    Arrested Development. The cult classic cancelled by Fox in 2006, brought back by Netflix for this (possible one-off) 4th Season. I will admit, it did take me a while to warm up to the show's new format. I didn't necessarily like it at first, but it grew on me and the idea of having the character's each individual episode was cool. The only complaint I had at the end was that all of the cast members weren't brought together for the Season Finale. However, what happened at the end was the funniest, weirdest cliffhanger in all of TV. You might have to watch the season a few more times because there's a lot of jokes to catch on to and hidden. Arrested Development does indeed have a future. Jason Bateman said he would like to play Michael Bluth many more times, and the Netflix CEO has even changed his tone regarding ordering Season 5. So, whether the Season 5 occurs, or the final stage, Arrested Development: The Movie comes to light. the show has a future regardless of what happens later on down the line. Expand
  52. Oct 22, 2013
    The pacing was way off. The magic is clearly lost. One can't do much but imagine what the show might have been if it wasn't cancelled and gone on for two seasons without a break. Bateman, and the actors portraying George Senior and Lucille, capture the quirks of their characters quite well, but I felt like Portia couldn't get into her character, probably because she has grown out of it, or maybe she didn't have much to work with. Lindsay was my favourite character from the original run. Makes me wish they had not picked up the story where it ends in season 3 but added the years that had passed in between to the narrative. That way, at least Lindsay would have looked more mature for a reason and probably more fun to watch. They did focus on one character per episode anyway, so adding the gap to the narrative could have been worked into the story quite well. At times, it was laborious to slug through it to find something interesting. Other times it was just about enough, but not truly great. While some of the isolated scenes were hilarious. Improved exponentially as the season progressed. I especially liked the ones about Gob, Tobias, Lucille and Buster. Expand
  53. Jun 4, 2013
    Solid. One of the finest returns of a TV series i've ever seen in recent times and one people would look back on fondly in the future. Hell, for all i know it's the best TV series of the year for all i know (Yes i do watch GoT and i'm aware with recent episode's TRW uproar). It was simply brilliant how the show could adapt to some of the changed circumstances such as Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat's aging, hence the need for a full revamp of their development while still keeping true to its spirit and improving from it as the narrative moved along. All of the cast played their A-Game, with Gob (Such a definite scene-stealer) and Buster (who made excellent use of his particularly less screentime) hogging the season's top moments with their episodes. Episode 11 in in particular will go down as one of the series' best, such a wonderfully acted episode featuring Ben Stiller's finest performance in so many years (still couldn't believe he had it in him).

    The ending may have been a little unsatisfactory for some but at least it was still bloody interesting seeing how things would turn out to be given the story's final second development, and seeing the show's big (this time mainstream) success, i'm eager we'll finally get those answers answered.

    To conclude i'm still not entirely sure as to where this will place among the series' first two seasons, but this is certainly a step-up from the third one, no doubt. Much more efficient, hard-hitting, and the story's attempt to up the stakes actually worked here. As a bonus it's bloody rewatchable too. The amount of hidden jokes contained here is insane!
  54. May 31, 2013
    Arrested Development is back, and its still got it! It may take a while to warm up to the new format of the series, but after 3 episodes the show finds its balance and becomes very enjoyable to watch. However, this is still a show that needs to be watched more than once to get all the jokes. I just finished my second run through and found a whole new level of appreciation for the first few episodes that I didn't like very much on my first watch. While I don't think it quite measures up to the old series, I feel it is the best it could possibly be considering the scheduling problems they had with all the actors. The one character focus of each episode is different, but adds a whole new level of depth to the series. As you watch, it's amazing to see all the puzzle pieces fall into place. The character focus also allows you to see a more human side to characters that originally seems somewhat difficult to relate to (Like GOB or Lucille). The writing is incredible and definitely tops the first 3 seasons. The episodes are also extremely dense and sometimes sacrifice jokes for story, but overall it was still very enjoyable and deserves a 9/10. Expand
  55. Jun 2, 2013
    Sure the first three episodes felt slow-paced and I actually skipped through the end of the third (and was very disappointed), BUT it grew as nothing I have seen and by the 8th episode I was totally hooked-up it is actually very different from the first three series but, in a way, MUCH better: you just have to hang there!
  56. Jun 4, 2013
    This season of Arrested Development is, in my opinion, the best yet. I was apprehensive after the first two episodes, but I could see how the layering of the stories was going to take place. In the end I was absolutely blown away by how the series fit together it added a whole new dimension to the existing complexity that fans are used to.

    It was a season for the fans. Watching it the
    second time was far better than the first, and I am only beginning to pick apart the hidden jokes that are trademarks of the show. It is a beautiful comedic puzzle that requires a lot of attention and re-watching to fully understand, so I'm not surprised critics were initially underwhelmed after mainlining 8 episodes in a row. Expand
  57. Jun 20, 2013
    It wasn't very funny. Don't get me wrong, I am so happy the show is back, but something obviously wrong happened to the writers in the last 8 years. But what saved it from being a lower score was it's jaw-dropping twists that should be kept for a "drama." Now i've always found Arrested Development to be a mockery of the average Soap Opera and i love that. But where was the comedy? Soemthing would happen that doesn't make sense and then 2 episodes later it's explained and it just gives a little giggle. Not the best out laughs from the first 3 seasons. 7/10 Good. Expand
  58. Jul 21, 2013
    I just don't understand all the negative feedback to this season. Yes, exposition in the opening few episodes was needed a lot because of years of absence from television, but the fourth season of Arrested Development proved that this is still the funniest show on television! Er... Netflix. I mean really! Don't be so judgemental! Arrested Development was never going to be the exact same again. I just enjoyed season 4 for what it was. I especially loved the Tony Wonder episode and Buster's. And all of the rest of them as well! Expand
  59. Sep 8, 2013
    Started out slow. It took about 3-4 episodes for it to become interesting and good. After that it was a fantastic season. It was a great idea having a different P.O.V every episode. Well done
  60. Aug 11, 2013
    Arrested Development: Season 4 on Netflix after a 7 year break is back with a new set up and a new style. At first this rebooted smash hit comedy will test your patience as it takes some time getting used to, but your patience will be tremendously rewarded as the story progresses and you begin to see every ounce of that smart, witty, and hysterical writing you've come to expect from your favorite hopelessly self centered, spoiled selfish family.
    If House of Cards wasn't enough reason to subscribe to Netflix and you're looking for just a little bit more, this may very well be that extra bit of "umph" you needed. I look forward to the programming Netflix plans to produce in the future.
  61. Oct 9, 2013
    I was so glad it rose from the dead. Thank you Netflix, our lord and savior. I joke, but seriously thank you Netflix for being great. It was lovely to revisit these characters and the hilariously ridiculous Bluth family. It had recycled long running jokes that made me feel all warm and happy inside because it was a homage to what we had before. A great resurrection, thanks Netflix again.
  62. Oct 12, 2013
    This is possibly one of the most non-linear seasons of television that will ever be produced, and brand new viewers who have just discovered the show should probably start off with the first three seasons. Seasons 1-3 of Arrested Development are some of the funniest ever and they give you a feel of the different format of the show. Season 4 is just as good, but one needs to have a completely different mindset going into it. This is less like a season and more like one gigantic episode of AD. All the classic staples of the show are present; the running gags, the dark humour, and the subtle jokes are all there in a huge degree. The different storytelling technique of this season is reminiscent of the original three seasons of the show, and so, to get the best experience out of it, it would be helpful to watch as many episodes as you can in one sitting. Unhealthy for the eyes? Sure, but you'll love it. Individual episodes of the season may seem to come up short, especially in the beginning, but the latter half of the season contains arguably some of the best episodes of the series. My only critique is that a few episodes run a little too long, but in the end, all complex bits and jokes you didn't get will payoff in what is this show's most ambitious and absurd seasons yet. Expand
  63. Dec 27, 2013
    I really, really wanted to give this a highly positive rating. I did. But unfortunately, I just can't seem to give it anything over a 6. No doubt if you loved the first three seasons, you'll find things to like about the fourth. However, what you won't find is the family dynamic that made the show what it was initially. The Bluth's dysfunction was in hilarious top form when the characters were able to bounce this dysfunction off one another and feed off of that energy. In the first three seasons, the show seemed to understand that it wasn't the individual characters that defined it (though the characters themselves are brilliant) but the way the characters interacted. In this new format, where only one character is followed throughout each episode and rarely do two or more mingle, the riotous ridiculousness which defined the Bluths as a family seems to evaporate and we're left watching each character bungle along through life as if they have no sense of identity.

    Perhaps it's just me, but the few times we get two or more Bluth characters in a scene, their interaction is just downright boring. And when it isn't boring, it's weirdly cold and distant, especially when it comes to Michael and Gob. It's almost like watching strangers chat in passing, with no hint that at one time their lives were hopelessly enmeshed.

    My belief is that there was enough of a story to make season four the way the previous seasons had been. Changing formats and basing an episode on each character is almost needless, and it's a shame that it turned out this way. While season four certainly has its moments, and the spirit is still there, some of the heart is not.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jun 4, 2013
    Overall impression: look for them [the episodes] to get better, stronger and funnier.
  2. Reviewed by: Nick McCarthy
    May 30, 2013
    The cultural references feel a bit dated (the bubble-bursting housing-market collapse, Herman Cain proxy Herbert Love, The Blind Side, and The Social Network among them), and there's too much miscalculated racial humor and preoccupation with sex offender-related jokes, but there's still a plethora of fresh homonym-friendly wordplay, surprising parallels, and witty allusions to delight and preoccupy us until the series pulls off its next magic trick.
  3. 90
    I suspect it might be a classic that deserves a spot in the pantheon of great, long-delayed follow-ups, though I need to watch the whole thing again and live with it and then write about it again to be sure. That I’d want to rewatch the whole season immediately is, of course, another, possibly higher compliment.