Friday, June 07, 2013

Shot/Reverse Shot: Episode 32 - Arrested Development Season 4

On May 26th, 2013, something strange and miraculous happened: Arrested Development, the cultishly adored sitcom which was cancelled back in 2006 returned to airwaves, or whatever Netflix travels on, bringing the saga of the fantastically awful Bluth family back from oblivion. It was a day long awaited by both fans of the show and creator Mitch Hurwitz, who has worked tirelessly to bring the show back in one form or another, and hopes to use this new season as the jumping off point for a feature-length installment.

Yet for all the crowing about how unprecedented the revival has been both in form - the episodes were released all at once rather than being parceled out over weeks - and content - the episodes focus on individual characters and move away from the ensemble storytelling of the original run - the question remains: is it any good? Was it worth waiting seven years, or has time - not to mention the incredibly crowded schedules of the cast - not been kind to this new form of a modern classic?

These are the questions that Joe Gastineau and I set out to answer when we committed to watching the season not once, but twice in the space of a week, hoping to glean as many of the show's densely packed jokes as possible, as well as offer up our thoughts on whether the show is, in fact, still great. There is some mild disagreement on that front, but it's a fun and informed discussion which, frankly, could have gone on for much, much longer (and risked being as saggy as Arrested Development '13) because there was so much to unpack.

So grab an ice cream sandwich, slip into a $5,000 suit and settle in for our Arrested Development special. Hopefully it'll char your tree.


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