User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 242 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 242

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  1. 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 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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  2. Oct 22, 2013
    7
    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
  3. Oct 12, 2013
    10
    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
  4. Oct 9, 2013
    10
    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.
  5. 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.
  6. Sep 8, 2013
    8
    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
  7. Aug 19, 2013
    9
    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.
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  8. Aug 11, 2013
    9
    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.
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  9. Jul 21, 2013
    10
    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
  10. Jul 17, 2013
    7
    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!
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  11. Jun 20, 2013
    7
    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
  12. Jun 17, 2013
    9
    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!
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  13. 222
    Jun 10, 2013
    3
    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.
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  14. Jun 6, 2013
    2
    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.
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  15. 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,
    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
  16. Jun 5, 2013
    0
    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.
  17. Jun 4, 2013
    10
    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
  18. Jun 4, 2013
    9
    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!
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  19. Jun 2, 2013
    10
    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!
  20. Jun 2, 2013
    9
    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
  21. May 31, 2013
    9
    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
  22. May 31, 2013
    10
    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.
  23. May 30, 2013
    9
    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
  24. May 29, 2013
    10
    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.
  25. May 29, 2013
    9
    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.
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  26. May 29, 2013
    10
    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
  27. May 29, 2013
    9
    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
  28. May 29, 2013
    10
    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.
  29. May 29, 2013
    10
    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.
  30. May 29, 2013
    9
    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.
Metascore
71

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.