Arrested Development Season 4 Impressions *Spoilers*
So what did everyone think about the new season of Arrested Development? For me, it was really a mixed bag. I laughed out loud plenty of times, but I also had long stretches where I sat there and wondered what the hell I was watching. So here are a few of my take aways (Spoilers, obviously).
It was hard to keep up with everything in Season 4, and since each episode basically centered on one or 2 people, if you didn't enjoy the storyline or character, you were pretty much screwed.
The whole Tobias/Lindsey/Marky Bark/DeBrie/Rehab/Fantastic Four thing did nothing for me. Tobias had a couple funny lines here and there, and I did enjoy seeing Lindsey whore herself out to Herbert Love after she broke away from that group, but the rest was just not funny. To me, DeBrie was never funny, and they kept going to the Tobias/DeBrie well over and over. I'll always remember DeBrie as one of my least favorite TV characters of all time.
Alternatively, I really enjoyed the George Michael and Maeby storylines. I loved the reverse reveal of the genesis of FaceBlock, George Michael's relationship with Maeby and Rebel, and him moving into Sudden Valley. Oh, and definitely George Maharis. As for Maeby, I've always enjoyed watching her be so conniving and clever. The going back to high school thing was a little odd, but it worked well enough and everything else she did was really funny.
Buster's story was pretty funny (I've always loved Buster) but it kind of felt like it was just shoehorned in to make sure we remember Buster. He basically didn't have a line of dialogue until episode 14. I wished there was more Buster.
I enjoyed the Lucille storyline while she was in jail, but the George Sr. storyline was really blah. It was just a little bit too weird for me, it never felt like it was presented properly, and I really didn't get why they made him so wussy all of a sudden.
The leaves Gob and Michael, the two most polarizing storylines in my mind. I'll start with Gob's. To me, it started out awful. Sure, there were some good cheap laughs when Gob joined the Mark Cherry entourage (the And Jeremy Piven bar was great) but that episode was one of the weirdest things I'd ever seen. However, Gob also turned in my favorite storyline of the season, his "relationship" with Tony Wonder. He and Tony Wonder created a hilarious bromance and I loved the little twist Ann threw in at the end of the episode.
As for Michael, his storyline was so polarizing to me because he was just so dumb in this season. I know Michael has always been a little oblvious, but they made him a complete moron in this season. Not catching onto the message that his son didn't want him living with him, then completely botching his producer chances at Imagine, owing Lucille 2 over $700,000, and his misguided relationship with Rebel all felt too over the top for me. I liked Michael as a responsible businessman who was a little bit oblivious about his son and women. But this season turned Micheal into a irresponsible loser. It turned him into a Bluth, and I didn't really like that.
I had been looking forward to this season for quite a while, but I'm a realist and I didn't set my expectations too high. Unfortunately the new season didn't quite reach my realistic expectations either. I'll probably try to watch the season one more time to see if I enjoy it any more, but I have my doubts. I'm glad Arrested Development came back for one more season (and I still hope they do more episodes or a movie) but a lot of things about Season 4 left me cold. I didn't love the straight focus on a singe character in each episode (the characters always worked better when they played off each other) and the constantly shifting timeline wasn't easy to follow either.