Arrested Development Lives Up to the Hype
Netflix unveils new Bluth adventures
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted May 27, 2013 5:40 AM CDT
Will Arnett, left, and Jason Bateman in a scene from "Arrested Development," which premiered May 26, 2013 on Netflix.   (AP Photo/Netflix, Michael Yarish)

(Newser) – The long wait is over: Arrested Development is back, with the entire fourth season available on Netflix. But does it live up to the hype? Plenty of critics say yes, though not all agree. Still, if you're not enamored with the show's new style, give it time and you just might change your mind.

  • "If you were on Twitter in the early going of Sunday, when it launched, you would have read some discouraging comments ... and perhaps felt the twinge yourself of over-anticipation when jokes seemed to fall flat or scenarios made no sense," writes Tim Goodman at the Hollywood Reporter. "But the series quickly found its pacing, the elaborate Rashomon structure revealed its glorious ambition, and the combination of absurdity and intelligence meshed as well or better than you might have remembered from the original three seasons."

  • "Just as the show's creator rehauled the traditional sitcom in 2003-06 when the original three series aired, he's trying to do the same again seven years on. But change always takes some getting used to," writes Hadley Freeman in the Guardian. "It demands the same kind of patience from the viewer as a show like The Wire, but with more ostrich attacks."
  • "Do the new episodes live up to those of the first three seasons which ended in 2006? Yes, and then some: The new season is not only as smart and absurdly funny as ever, but also reflects the rapid changes in how we watch television," notes David Wiegand in the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • But at Variety, we get a very different opinion from Brian Lowry: The show's return "feels less like a treat than a rather numbing burden," he writes. It's like "a reunion special," and "there’s a sort of awkwardness to it, as if nobody really has much to say."