Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Arrested Development Image
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 325 Ratings

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Arrested Development

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    May 28, 2013
    100
    The new season is not only as smart and absurdly funny as ever, but also reflects the rapid changes in how we watch television.
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    May 28, 2013
    90
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jun 4, 2013
    83
    Overall impression: look for them [the episodes] to get better, stronger and funnier.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    May 28, 2013
    75
    Arrested remains a bracingly clever but emotionally cold intellectual exercise of a comedy, one that revels in puns, double entendres, intricately structured set pieces, astonishingly inappropriate jokes, asides, callbacks, flashbacks and, less propitiously, its own inaccessibility.
  5. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    May 29, 2013
    70
    Overall, the season stands up well next to any sitcom on the air now; a few episodes were meandering slogs, but a few others are among the funniest, best-executed sitcom episodes I’ve seen this season.
  6. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    May 29, 2013
    67
    Despite some incredibly funny set pieces--almost all of them involving two or more of the original characters interacting in ways we instantly understand (like Buster helping Lucille deal with the conditions of her house arrest). The new season doesn't really work as its own thing, but as a prologue for this movie that no one in the industry has shown the slightest inclination towards making.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    May 28, 2013
    40
    You need to have watched them [previous three seasons] to comprehend Season 4--to understand much of its humor or to make sense of its convoluted plot--but if you truly loved them, it’s hard to imagine being anything but disappointed with this new rendition.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 70
  2. Negative: 7 out of 70
  1. May 29, 2013
    10
    It's ANUStart for the show. It's almost like playing a game trying to figure out all the pieces of this huge Bluth puzzle and that's whatIt's ANUStart for the show. It's almost like playing a game trying to figure out all the pieces of this huge Bluth puzzle and that's what makes this season so much fun. Expand
  2. May 27, 2013
    10
    Awesome. Just awesome. The entire format of the show has changed. Focusing on one character each episode? Awesome. Each character is differentAwesome. Just awesome. The entire format of the show has changed. Focusing on one character each episode? Awesome. Each character is different in the best possible way. Way to go writers, you turned comedy gold into a pile of... awesomeness.

    Seriously though. It's been 7 years since AD was prematurely cancelled. I've nearly completed re-watching season 4 and it's even better. There are as many jokes per minute as 30 Rock. If you are reviewing the entire season please actually watch it (twice if you can).
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  3. May 27, 2013
    10
    Show is brilliant. Almost perpetually spurtive and fresh; even recycled jokes (a plenty) are met with observed aberrance and wit. MitchShow is brilliant. Almost perpetually spurtive and fresh; even recycled jokes (a plenty) are met with observed aberrance and wit. Mitch Hurwitz was awarded free reign and with such power enlisted a new style of narrative--one that is as complex and self-reflexive as ever. Awesome. Expand
  4. May 29, 2013
    9
    Let's be fair here Those who fear change will always be the first and loudest ones to speak up.

    Clearly this show could not have been
    Let's be fair here Those who fear change will always be the first and loudest ones to speak up.

    Clearly this show could not have been revived in the exact same format in which it began, as Mitch Hurwitz has never been interested in playing it safe. Season to season, Arrested Development evolved, and this fourth season is no exception.

    This new season, while still largely innovative and fresh, still has those same essential elements that made it successful in previous seasons Clever humor/layered jokes, interconnecting story-lines and plot-points, and character trademarks that made the show lovable and unique.

    Layered jokes They're all over the place. Jokes that only fully blossom after retracing the first three seasons, jokes that make more sense after watching all 15 episodes, and jokes that work well on their own. Perfection.

    Story-lines/Plot-points You can't judge any of this on one episode alone. Watch them ALL, and you'll get it. That's what we loved so much about AD in previous seasons, and that's what we get here. The BIG reveal. The kind of story that deserves to be told in a multi-part series, because there's so much to tell. I mean, the Pilot episode is probably one of my least favorite episodes. What if I had just dismissed the show right there at S01 E01, and said, "I don't get it"? So be patient, and give it a fair number of episodes before you judge it so harshly. If you do, you'll see that Mr. Hurwtiz delivers here in this department yet again.

    Trademarks The birds. The "Getaway/Get Away" song. Censoring the word "Google." All of these things (and so many more) are just as funny as any gag from the first seasons, and they show yet again why this season is on par with the Arrested Development we've come to love and cherish. People will be singing that "Getaway" song just as long as fans have been doing the chicken dance.

    To concerned fans All is well, and the season is great. Come join your favorite characters for more fantastic acting, more brilliant writing, and more classic dysfunction.

    And to these 11 haters Stop your boo-hooing. It might not be what you wanted, but it is what was needed. This is an experiment Not a greatest hits album. Sure, some fat could have been trimmed here and there. But in the end, it's still an experiment that is just as important and inventive as the first three seasons. With the movie (we hope), these episodes will make even more sense, and will demonstrate Mitch's genius even more so than this fourth season already has. Hurwitz has nothing to prove, and Arrested Development Season 4 shows just that.
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  5. May 28, 2013
    8
    It has been 7 (long)years since we last saw the Bluth family in action and the world has undergone some major changes since then. ArrestedIt has been 7 (long)years since we last saw the Bluth family in action and the world has undergone some major changes since then. Arrested Development is smart enough to be aware of this and handles this matter with changes of its own. Before this talk of "change" frightens you just know that the show still has its sense of witty,sardonic humor intact and feeling fresh. Most of the change I speak of is referring to structure of the show. As you should know the show is now a Netflix "original" and in Netflix fashion the entire season was released at once. I believe It's because of this that the show experimented with its structure and if you watch it all in one fell swoop,as I did,you'll appreciate this structure because it's quite clever considering all of that, It's funny that the show is almost complacent when it references prior seasons,as if it's self-aware that it has a lot to live up to(which I'm sure is an accurate depiction of what the writers were experiencing when coming up with new material). It's because of this that I feel the show lost a lot of its ambition. It's no longer as bold as before,they played it safe and while that may sound like a bad thing it isn't necessarily. The whole framework of this season revolves around an event known as Cinco De Cuatro(which I find hilarious). The Bluths are all involved somehow with the events leading up to and taking place at the Cinco De Cuatro event. The show approaches this by dedicating episodes to specific characters as opposed to earlier seasons that focused more on the ensemble cast. You see a lot of the same events occurring from different perspectives and eventually it all starts coming together. It's essentially a hilarious puzzle and it's because of how Netflix releases its content that it's even possible. It takes a few episodes to get used to but before you know it you'll feel at home again. This does indeed mean you'll see the cast as a whole interacting with each other less. I personally didn't appreciate that considering the cast of Arrested Development is spectacular and much more so when they're all interacting. Having said that,it does allow for the opportunity to really flesh out some characters so we get a good sense of how they've evolved(or perhaps devolved?) as human beings. I personally feel that recently the world has really peaked mean we're experiencing increases in everything from terrorism to mass murder and I feel the Arrested Development writers share this observation. I say this because the show has really lost its sense of heart and optimism. As hard as it is to believe,the Bluth family has sunken even lower than before. This season has easily been the most ominous. In seasons past when the Bluths screwed each other over for something petty they would ultimately forgive each other and learn from their mistakes. There isn't much of that this season but it's really just a matter of tone because the show doesn't miss a comedic beat,it's just a bit darker now. While I may not have loved the minimal cast interactions or the lack of boldness I still had a blast with it. Once you accept the changes to the show,the structure and the cinematography mainly.you'll see that the Arrested Development crew has only lost some of its edge. It's still one of the smartest shows on television and one of the few that makes me laugh out loud(I know some of you may be thinking: "Why didn't he just use LOL" and the reason is: You) so often. In a sense I even appreciated the lessened focus on the family as a whole because when they did finally interact it was worth it. I almost forgot to mention the cameos which is silly considering there are so man(they're all quite excellent too,just f.y.i). I won't give too much away but I will say that Kristen Wiig does a hell of a Lucille Bluth impression and John Slattery needs to chill with the psychedelics(no I don't mean you Roger Sterling circa season 5 of Mad Men,you damn acid-head). Ultimately season 4 of Arrested Development is incredibly entertaining and very much worth your time,just don't expect it to be too much like past seasons. It's worth noting that this season kind of felt like a big set-up for seasons to come,if that's the case I think it's brilliant and I expect whatever proceeds to return to the show's bold,dysfunctional family-centric roots. Expand
  6. Jun 1, 2018
    6
    After seven years away from our screens cult sit-com Arrested Development is back and well….. It’s a mixed bag. Since the show was cancelledAfter seven years away from our screens cult sit-com Arrested Development is back and well….. It’s a mixed bag. Since the show was cancelled in 2006 many of its stars have gone on to have successful careers, as a result one of the most difficult challenges to overcome when trying to bring it back was trying to shoot around their busy schedules. Mitchell Hurwitz’s solution to this problem, to focus each episode on a single character showing events from different perspectives, is clever but it makes the show feel very different to its original run.

    The new format allowed the writers to expand upon the twisting narrative structure often used in the show’s original run with each episode providing insights into previous events. This concept is used very cleverly throughout to the extent that the fifteen episodes can really be viewed as one ongoing piece of work but, while the multiple call backs are often quite funny; this new format does mean that it is rare to have all the cast members together at once. Since a great deal of the humour arose from the characters bouncing off each other it is fair to say that Season 4 did not make me laugh out loud as consistently as the previous three.

    One other slight issue is that, free of the time constraints of being on network television, the creators have allowed some episodes to balloon up and beyond the half-hour mark. This in itself is not a problem but on occasions it is clear that some scenes could have been tightened up slightly to retain the snappy pace the show has become renowned for.

    Did Arrested Development need a revival? Judging by this season I’m not sure it did…..
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  7. Jun 5, 2013
    0
    I guess I just don't understand it. I get told by friends all the time to check out this show, and I love shows like Community and Parks andI guess I just don't understand it. I get told by friends all the time to check out this show, and I love shows like Community and Parks and rec. but I just can't get myself to enjoy this show. Expand

See all 70 User Reviews

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