The cult farcical sitcom Arrested Development has returned after being cancelled for seven long, Bluth-less years. Thanks to Netflix, the fourth season that would never be, was. The 15-episode fourth season’s batch release leaves fans with a lot to be happy about.
Bucking the Cancellation Trend
During Arrested Development’s original run it was one of the funniest and most well-written shows on television. For three seasons the cast served up sharp-witted, character and dialogue-driven farce in a linear format. The Bluth family’s quirky and nuanced self-referential humor had a way of confusing audiences new to the show. Perhaps that is why Arrested Development cultivated a ravenous fan base after death as a DVD box-set. It might also be why an uninterrupted, commercial-free platform is the perfect vehicle for the release of the fourth season. Netflix hopes production of original series will lure additional subscribers. Arrested Development is not the first ambitious FOX series to be given an unwelcome cancellation. Fans of other defunct FOX shows like Fireflyhave desperately been longing for a come-back miracle like this one.
Doing the Ending Justice
Season four goes right to business cleaning up the hurried uncertainties left by an abrupt ending. Fans were left for seven years to wonder what happened to a family whose future was looking more distant and uncertain than at the beginning of the first season. In the new episodes it is becomes clear that the Bluth family’s financial woes have gone from merely treading water to complete destitution. There is something different and chilling about how dire their lives have become. Now more than ever, the Bluths have to face the consequences of their bad decisions. Their personas are challenged in ways that are uncomfortable for the audience. Ultimately season four rewards the viewer’s investment in the characters, and the series.
Familiar Faces and New Talent
A host of new roles dotted season four alongside many of the extensive original cast of memorable supporting characters. Actor Seth Rogan is introduced as young George Senior in a series of humorous flashbacks. Actor Terry Crews plays an important role as right-wing politician Herbert love. Veteran Hollywood actress Lisa Minnelli also returns as the unconditionally generous investor Lucille Austero. Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, and Anders Holm of Comedy Central’s Workaholics make a brief cameo as airline workers.
Arrested Development overcomes the hurdles of a seven year hiatus adeptly. Crucial members of the cast are older, and season four is careful to tend to the time lost in the between. Arrested Development’s writers take on a challenge arranging each episode in a split perspective. Michael Cerra’s acting as the well-mannered, but awkward George Michael Bluth breaks into a more confident and dynamic character. A significant portion of the season is dedicated to shelling out the Bluth Family’s new identity, and building on the meaningful conflicts that were left unattended by Arrested Development’s cancellation. Even though the fourth season is devoid of the light hearted wackiness and joyful one-liners that were memorable traits of earlier story arcs, it tends to the characters who we thought were lost forever.