Late to the “Arrested Development” Party? No Problem!

Netflix released the fourth season of Arrested Development on May 26. Now that the initial frenzy is over, it is fair to say that fans who waited seven years for a new season were disappointed. However, I was not one of those fans, which worked out in my favor.

To be honest, I was 12 when I saw first two episodes, which means I was way too young to understand the show. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon once all my friends were declaring it their favorite show, I waited because popularity doesn’t necessarily mean good. Well, my friends were right this time: Arrested Development is an excellent show, but I am happy its new to me.

So, Why am I glad I was late to the Bluth party?

1. I haven’t been annoyed at Fox for the last 7 years.

For some reason, Arrested Development fans are hardcore. Fans who became fans well after Fox canceled the show were annoyed that the show was cancelled. Until recently, half the time a fan brought up Arrested Development, it would be followed by a bitter swipe at Fox. Granted, most fans do not have an attachment to the show that parallels Buster and Lucille’s relationship. However, those that do were the most vocal and tainted even the most well adjusted fans view of Fox and its treatment of the show.

2. That also means I have not built the new season up in my head.

It seems like most Arrested Development fans have loved the show for years. They praise the in-jokes and callbacks. They also planned to love the new season before they even watched the first episode. Those are also the people who refuse to see that the fourth season is not as good as the previous seasons because they are so invested in the show. They are the ones who think Michael joining the rest of his family in their terribleness was a brilliant decision. It wasn’t. He is now the biggest jerk in the Bluth family.

3. Everyone else has already obsessively watched and rewatched the show. You can ride their coattails and become aware of in-jokes, so you appreciate them from the moment they start.

Obsessive Arrested Development fans may not be the most honest, but they are certainly the most helpful. They watched and re-watched the show to gather every recurring development. New viewers should definitely give the Recurring Developments Chart a look because it will make the show better. Don’t memorize it because that kills the fun. Just give it a glance, so you have a heads up on running jokes.

4. I didn’t feel the need to binge watch the last season.

Binge watching 15 episodes, all of which are over 30 minutes long, is not fun. I don’t care how much you love a show never do it. The first three seasons, which have episodes that clock in around 22 minutes, are made to be binge watched. The last season was not. While old fans didn’t take Mitchell Hurwitz’s advice and got through the fourth season before the end of May 26, new fans already know they are not going to be the first person on their block to finish the most recent Arrested Development season, so take your time with it and pace yourself. Two episodes a day is the perfect amount of time for getting through the Netflix season at a relatively quick, but reasonable pace.

5. I can be more objective about the fourth season.

Arrested Development‘s fourth season was good, but not up to the same standards as the previous three. If it was feasible to watch the first three seasons of the show and skip the fourth one, I would recommend it. No one is going to do that though, because once you meet the Bluth family, you want to know what happens to them.

When watching the Netflix season, the viewer should be aware that it will get repetitive. Each episode focuses on a different character, but they overlap constantly. While later episodes provide context for the earlier episodes, it doesn’t improve the earlier episodes. The same event is shown to the audience multiple times because it affects all of the main characters differently, but it gets annoying. The events that are presented over the course of 15 episodes could have easily been made into a 2 hour movie.


About Allison Lips

I am the Toastmasters District 83 Public Relations manager and President of Freehold Phrasers.

Posted on June 11, 2013, in Comedy, Fox, Internet Video, NBCUniversal, Network Television, Primetime, Sitcoms and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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