User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 264 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 264

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  1. May 28, 2013
    10
    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-dimensionalThis 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
  2. 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.
  3. May 28, 2013
    10
    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
    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.
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  4. 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.
  5. May 27, 2013
    10
    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!
  6. May 27, 2013
    10
    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.
  7. May 27, 2013
    10
    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.
  8. May 26, 2013
    10
    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!
  9. May 26, 2013
    10
    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 ofArrested 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.
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  10. May 27, 2013
    10
    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.
  11. May 27, 2013
    10
    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
    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).
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  12. May 28, 2013
    10
    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 youI'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!
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  13. May 27, 2013
    10
    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) worksYes 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
  14. May 28, 2013
    10
    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
    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.
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  15. May 28, 2013
    10
    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 notThe 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
    10
    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
    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.
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  17. May 29, 2013
    10
    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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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 theyHUGE 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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!
  22. 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
    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.
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  23. 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 sameI 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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 aThis 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
  26. May 28, 2013
    9
    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 showLike 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.
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  27. May 28, 2013
    9
    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!!
  28. May 27, 2013
    9
    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 onThe 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
  29. 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 outAll 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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  30. May 27, 2013
    9
    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
    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.
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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.