Sunday, June 16, 2013
Arrested Development season four does not live up to unrealistic expectations
Maybe the audience made a horrible mistake...
Expectations were high for the fourth season of the critically acclaimed TV show Arrested Development, which was released exclusively on Netflix.
Maybe those expectations were too high.
Each episode of season four follows the life of a member of the Bluth/Fünke family, and recaps his or her life over the seven years of the show’s inactivity and rise to glory. The 15 episodes piece each character’s experiences together into one plot line.
Outside of the show, the actors’ scheduling conflicts were no secret.
Through the first few episodes it becomes obvious that a lot of the actors were filmed separately, green screened and then edited into the shots. Voices were dubbed over in a feeble attempt to make it look like one actor and the other’s back-of-head double are having an actual conversation. The editing is so bad it seems intentional.
Most of the family members have retained their character traits through the years: Buster is still an over-the-top momma’s boy, Lucille is still cold hearted and Tobias’ vernacular gets him in more trouble than ever.
But some characters have developed quite considerably since 2006. For instance George-Michael has become somewhat of a ladies’ man and Michael is no longer the likable, bad-luck Bluth. Perhaps, because of his lies he is the worst of all.
The season starts out slow and it takes a while to develop into the intelligent humor fans adore, but it does eventually get there.
There is an ongoing debate of whether Portia de Rossi, who plays Lindsay Bluth- Fünke, has had plastic surgery, but no matter what the difference is, she is now barely recognizable.
Ron Howard, the narrator and producer, was inserted as a reoccurring character playing himself, which provides an opportunity for Imagine Entertainment to shamelessly plug itself in almost every episode.
The show pays homage to its popular jokes and reoccurring celebrity characters, but those have been merged with new pop culture jabs and appearances from Isla Fischer, Terry Crews, and Seth Rogan and Kristen Wiig doing a near perfect rendition of a young George and Lucille Bluth.
Season four may be a disappointment to some, but that’s only because the initial expectations were unrealistic. It’s hard for a show to maintain its identity through seven years of inactivity, and it’s hard to run a show without having the entire cast together at one time.
All obstacles and poor editing considered, season four of Arrested Development is well executed, and based upon several unanswered plot points it won’t be the last time fans get to enjoy the Bluth’s company.
However, after hints from Howard’s character and contrary to the original rumors, it may not be in big-screen form.
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