So after much excitement after last week’s release of the 15 new Arrested Development episodes I have slowly been making my way through them and the results are mixed to say the least. I will say as I have watched further into them they have gotten better, as plots and jokes begin to build on themselves (Tobias’ episode was great) , but this is clearly not the same show we fell in love with so many years before.
Obviously they don’t want to just rehash all of their old bits but the new gags they replace them with just aren’t working as well. The show is also a lot longer than the original 22 minute Fox hit with some shows going as long as 36 minutes and believe me, you feel it. When a bit isn’t working, it often goes on and on and you just awkwardly want it to end. Why didn’t they edit more out? Who knows, but the show clearly needs it.
I think my worst complaint is this is no longer the self-absorbed, yet lovable family we used to watch. Sure they had their flaws, but there was a naïve cluelessness to it all. The characters now are lot darker. They have lost their innocence, fallen on hard times and are just, well, kind of sad.
Most of the characters aged well but the biggest difference is Portia de Rossi as Lindsay Bluth, who has clearly had some plastic surgery or too much Botox or who knows what. She looks like a future version of one of the Olsen Twins. Look, people age, but you can do it gracefully and all of that work catches up with you eventually.
Despite that Netflix scored an overall hit with the Arrested Development premiere and appeared to be double the ratings of House of Cards. It is a weird time for TV as companies like Netflix and Amazon are beginning to create their own titles and from that standpoint Arrested Development feels like something epic. Was it too much to hope season four would pick right back up where season three ended? Of course. But was it unreasonable to expect to recapture a little of that old magic, I mean C’monI