Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 272 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 272

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  1. May 24, 2014
    4
    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 showAfter 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
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  2. Dec 27, 2013
    6
    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 charactersI 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.
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  3. Oct 7, 2013
    6
    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.
  4. Jun 5, 2013
    4
    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,
    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.
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  5. May 27, 2013
    5
    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 sitcomThe 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
  6. May 27, 2013
    4
    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.
  7. May 27, 2013
    5
    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.
Metascore
72

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
    83
    Overall impression: look for them [the episodes] to get better, stronger and funnier.
  2. Reviewed by: Nick McCarthy
    May 30, 2013
    75
    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.