Netflix finally unveiled all 15 episodes of Arrested Development
's long-awaited fourth season on Sunday. Expectations for the new season have been at a fevered pitch ever since the online streaming network announced that it would be releasing brand new episodes. And what happens when high expectations meet reality? Inevitable disappointment.
Unsurprisingly (or surprisingly if you truly thought Arrested
could possibly live up to the hype), critics and fans who binge-watched all 15 episodes over the holiday weekend had mixed reactions to the revived cult comedy's new outings. Everything from the style (each episode mainly focuses on one member of the Bluth family) to the length (episodes ran anywhere from 28 to 37 minutes, as opposed to the usual 22 for network comedies) to the content (some say the new episodes are darker and contain less genuine comedy than the old episodes) drew varied opinions from viewers.TV Guide
's Sadie Gennis wrote, "I wanted to love Season 4 as much as I loved the first three, but I'd be lying to myself (and to you) if I ignored its weaknesses. I fell in love with Arrested Development
for its density, intricacy and the dysfunctional Bluth family as a whole. But unfortunately, these aspects were absent for the first half of Season 4, exposing the fact that maybe these characters aren't as likable as we want them to be." But, she added, “After episode seven, Arrested
hit its stride, leading up to a final fantastic four episodes.”
Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter
had a more positive take on Season 4, writing, "The Rashomon-style storytelling takes a bit to get used to, and the sometimes feverish flow of the jokes (which fans may remember from the hall-of-fame first three seasons) struggle to unleash themselves in the first couple of episodes, but then it snowballs into seven-and-a-half hours of hilarity just waiting for a movie to follow it up."
HitFix's Daniel Fienberg
felt that while some episodes had the old AD
spark, the season as a whole was more uneven. "Attempting to give the whole season a grade is pure folly. Out of 15 episodes, there are four or five episodes I'd put in the "A" range. There were two or three episodes I'd put in the "C" range," he wrote. "And the majority of the episodes were variably uneven, hardly devoid of brilliance and the sort of hilarity that most currently running shows can't even approach, but usually diluted to an infuriating degree by the structure and lack of structure of the endeavor."
Were you one of the many people who spent your Sunday and Monday binge-watching Arrested Development
? Or have you only watched a few episodes so far? Grade the new season in the poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!