Arrested Development Season 4
This was an amazing piece of comedic genius that CANNOT be binged on, but instead, it rewards with slow, and repetitive, viewing. Contrary to most of the early critics who likely binged on all 15 episodes, the unique format that Hurtz Mitchell et al employed for this season really demands that details be remembered and savoured. Binging will easily overwhelm the senses and the relatively simple plot may end up appearing to be too convoluted. However, there in lies the genius. The convolution is actually a smokescreen for a generally linear A-B-C-D story. The only difference is that payoffs may take more than 5 episodes to come into fruition, and when it does, you will be going back to see how many of the clues did you missed out in the first place! Genius! The whole season was filled with sight gags, witty puns, double, triple entendres, and AD's usual running jokes. Admittedly, the first couple of episodes started rather underwhelmingly, but on hindsight, it was a necessary evil to lay to the groundwork for all the fascinatingly intertwined storylines. It did not help that Michael, George Senior and Lindsey had the weakest storylines. The standouts episodes centered on Gob, Lucille, Maeby and Buster. George-Michael's episodes towards the end helped to unravel some of the knots in the plot, or in this case cleared the web, but not all his scenes worked, and like his father and pop-pop, some moments just lasted too long. As for Tobias, too much time was spent on DeBrie and getting him to a particular moment in the Bluth timeline. The retconning of his homosexual tendencies was also very uncharacteristic. Many of the old favourite guest stars do pop out and they were just as memorable, but only some of the new guest stars worked and sadly most did not or were wasted. Kristen Wigg (dead on Young Lucille!), Liza Minnelli (Ditzy old bat!), Ben Stiller (surprisingly entertaining and very good chemistry with Will Arnett!), Mae Whitman (Brilliant! Sublimely caustic and plain), Maria Bamford, John Beard, Andy Richter and John Slattery really shone; Seth Rogen, Judy Greer and Mary Lynn Rajskub were wasted; Isla Fischer and Chris Diamantopolous were slightly miscast. This season was really made for the fans. New viewers may get a bit confused, but patience will surely reward all with a profound respect for the cast, crew, writers, creators, and everybody involved in this!