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Average User Score: 6.7May 31, 2018Smart, 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.… Expand