Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    May 24, 2018
    80
    Even amid the mad scramble to re-establish plotlines, there are plenty of funny callbacks. ... Luckily, by the third episode of the new season, the cylinders are firing a lot more effortlessly, and the series benefits from having the cast pretty much all back together for shared scenes. Episodes five, six and seven show Arrested Development at its best, taking a full sprint at ridiculously elaborate scenarios.
  2. Reviewed by: Kevin Fallon
    May 22, 2018
    80
    The new revival isn’t perfect, especially in the tone-deaf (and arguably offensive) way in which Tambor’s controversy is mirrored in his character’s, George Sr.’s, story arc. But it also goes a long way to absolve the sins of that first Netflix revival, sins we can forget, but are still a ways away from forgiving. ... Our advice is to just surrender yourself to the constant confusion and instead take pleasure in the clever writing.
  3. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jun 5, 2018
    75
    It's all packed with inside jokes and callbacks of inside jokes. This one's for the fans.
  4. Reviewed by: Sonia Saraiya
    May 31, 2018
    75
    Forget the tortuous Season 4; this time, the Netflix reboot is actually funny.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    May 29, 2018
    75
    Arrested Development is back. You’ve earned the insanity.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Haigis
    May 23, 2018
    75
    By returning to a relatively more linear narrative, not to mention its truly ensemble roots, Arrested Development has given something back to us by remembering that the Bluths are fundamentally bound by idiosyncrasy. At its best, the series continues to deftly skewer the interpersonal dynamics of a hilariously dysfunctional family.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Ryan
    May 22, 2018
    75
    Season five moves from point to point, building on and riffing off what came before, and Arrested Development feels like its old self again. More important, season five is funny, and gets funnier as it proceeds.
  8. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    May 22, 2018
    75
    Some of this can feel a little too tied to the past. Yet even though there are only a half-dozen or so scenes that stand out on their own--as well-written, executed, and bonafide funny stretches that don’t rely on old gags--plenty of minor moments hit the right note, and the series overall isn’t twisting itself into knots anymore.
  9. Reviewed by: Kelly Lawler
    May 22, 2018
    75
    The season is faster-paced and makes better use of the recurring gags from its entire run. But though it's a considerable improvement on Season 4, the fifth season still can't reach the heights of the first three. ... However, the long gap since its original run gives some cast members the opportunity to shine more brightly.
  10. Reviewed by: Caroline Framke
    May 29, 2018
    70
    To its credit, season 5 seems to know what went wrong before and works hard to correct it.
  11. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    May 29, 2018
    70
    It breaks no new ground, and it goes over old ground in a way that feels odd to call "pleasing," given the rampant dysfunction, but somehow is.
  12. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    May 29, 2018
    70
    The first half of Season 5 is perfectly fine. Mostly funny. At moments scintillating. It’s a good time as long as you keep in mind what the show is now. “Arrested Development” was once the story of a wealthy family who lost everything. Now, it’s mostly a story about having watched “Arrested Development.”
  13. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    May 24, 2018
    70
    Overall, it’s more coherent and consistent than season four (at least the seven episodes I’ve seen) even if it’s not as inspired as the prime of the series. We need to start coming to terms with the realization that it won’t ever be quite that transcendent again, but this season is still often pretty funny.
  14. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    May 22, 2018
    70
    For committed fans, who have followed the series through thick and (ratings-wise, mostly) thin, the latest comeback might feel like visiting an old friend. Still, the long layoff and a renaissance among premium half-hour series have made the experience pleasant enough, but less of an occasion than it was in the past.
  15. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    May 29, 2018
    63
    Structurally, Arrested is in better shape than it was in season four. Fans who temper their expectations for this new batch of episodes--eight are available this week with another eight coming later this year--will be happy to be back with the terrible Bluth family.
  16. Reviewed by: Todd VanDerWerff
    May 29, 2018
    60
    But trying to recreate the past is almost always impossible, as every TV revival other than Twin Peaks: The Return has been forced to grapple with. And that leaves Arrested season five feeling half finished. It’s fun in places and labored in others, sometimes in the same scene.
  17. Reviewed by: Darren Franich
    May 23, 2018
    58
    You feel, in the end, like the concept-album strangeness of season 4 has been replaced by an attempt toward facsimile: The old show, recreated. Fun enough, I guess, if you forget that a central part of the thrill with Arrested Development was how completely it could reset the boundaries of TV comedy every week. There will always be money in this banana stand--but there used to be so much more.
  18. Reviewed by: Dave Nemetz
    May 29, 2018
    42
    In lieu of an actual story, we’re treated to a constant stream of wink-wink references to jokes from past seasons. ... We do get more Bluth family interaction this season, but the cast members mostly look older and worn down... and not in a funny way.
  19. Reviewed by: Melanie McFarland
    May 29, 2018
    40
    The only innovation in these new Arrested Development episodes is how the story processes tensions between Michael and George Michael, who remain in love with the same woman (Isla Fischer), leading to one confrontation that is, I’ll admit, fairly amazing. Otherwise what Netflix has shown reviewers of this fifth season (seven of the eight to be released on May 29 were made available to critics, with eight more coming later) doesn’t justify the continued revisitations to the Bluths.
  20. Reviewed by: Allison Keene
    May 22, 2018
    40
    While the family is usually better together, they’re mostly scattered again (with a few strange pairings that don’t really work, like Lucille and Tobias), and the narrative focus is completely on Michael. No one else has much of an individual story yet, and that’s a shame, because the strongest comedy so far comes from the plots that are the most removed from Michael.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 35
  2. Negative: 5 out of 35
  1. May 30, 2018
    2
    I love Arrested Development. I really wanted to like season 5. I even liked season 4 more than most. Sadly, this latest (last?) season wasI love Arrested Development. I really wanted to like season 5. I even liked season 4 more than most. Sadly, this latest (last?) season was just awful. The biggest failing was the lack of laughs. There was just so little funny in this is. I could forgive the terrible blue/green screening, I could forgive the weird Lindsay story arc, I could forgive all the loose ends from season 4 they had to fix but the lack of anything resembling comedy is inexcusable. I know die hard fans like me will watch it anyway so to them I say, "it's going to be a slog, with 3-4 laughs... sorry." To the non die hards and new comers, please, please skip this. Full Review »
  2. Jun 12, 2018
    10
    I think that they have managed to recreate the atmosphere of the first seasons extremely well. Yes it's weird and some bits even look poorlyI think that they have managed to recreate the atmosphere of the first seasons extremely well. Yes it's weird and some bits even look poorly produced but at the end of the day this all adds to the show and what it is. Really incredible they managed to get everyone back as well. If your a fan then you will enjoy it for sure. Full Review »
  3. May 31, 2018
    9
    Smart, fresh, creative, and funny as ever, with enough throwbacks to the glory days of the first 3 seasons to inspire a warm sense ofSmart, fresh, creative, and funny as ever, with enough throwbacks to the glory days of the first 3 seasons to inspire a warm sense of nostalgia. Then again, I’m also one of the seeming few who actually relished the 4th season for its innovative (and, in my view, brilliant) approach.

    The show goes back to its roots in season 5 with more linear storytelling and is much less experimental in its structure, which should keep the traditionalists happy. However, it seems that the producers just now realized how far ahead of the curve the show has ALWAYS been, and have bowed to recent audience pressure to rein that in a bit ... which is disappointing in some respects, but entirely understandable and arguably a wise choice, given the outcry after season 4. The result is a more familiar format and an homage to the way things used to be. As a result, season 5 can feel overtly cautious in some places, at least in comparison to seasons past, but I find that this does not make the show any less intelligent, funny, or enjoyable.

    Having read many of the critical reviews of season 5, I think the show has become a victim of its own success and some viewers’ unrealistic expectations. If you’re tuning in expecting everything to be the way it was in 2003, then you’re likely to be disappointed. No matter how cautious the writing, it is not the same series. Not only are the actors visibly older (and jarringly so, in some cases), but both the times and the nature of television have changed in the intervening 15 years. We, as viewers, have also changed and are watching these programs through a different, more mature, and morally enlightened lens (#metoo).

    So viewers of season 5 must be realistic. The show simply cannot be the same as it was, nor should it be. My advice is to go in with an open mind and enjoy season 5 for what it is: the fun, outlandish, and undeniably unique continuation of a story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.
    Full Review »