Top 35 Shows of 2013: No 34 Arrested Development

I assure you there is nothing ambiguous about me

After 7 years away Arrested Development’s new season had a whole lot of hype and inevitably this became impossible to live up to. In the years since its initial cancellation the cult of Arrested Development had spread, helped by cheap DVD boxsets and Netflix streaming.  Every year there were rumours of a movie only for hopes to be dashed – so when it was announced a fourth season would be happening not everyone came away satisfied.

I tend to feel pretty content with these new batch of episodes even if they don’t match the overall quality of S1-S2 they do at times reach the heights and S3 had a bunch of problems so the show was never perfect. I liked Arrested Development, at times I loved it but it was never the All Time Greatest Comedy for me and perhaps that is why I found more than enough to enjoy with the new series.

Yes there were flaws, cast schedules meant many characters didn’t interact very often, and frankly some of the episodes were way too long, 22 minutes would have been enough. Yet once the stories started to crossover and the jokes built up in earlier episodes paid off in later it became a much more fun show to watch.  S4 is definitely one of the most experimental seasons of TV, up there with the real time format of 24 and the flashbacks then flashforwards of Lost (before that became a popular device).

Ultimately though when it comes to Arrested Development it is about whether the jokes land or not, the Fantastic Four musical and pretty much all of Tobias plot really worked for me. I also loved George Michael and the Fakeblock subplot.  I was really surprised by how oddly touching I found Gob and Tony Wonder becoming friends. Arrested Development usually makes me laugh but has never made me feel well warm and fuzzy.

S4 felt like a long prologue and really for the show to continue succeeding it need to make a more traditional season with all the characters together and the fall out of S4 explored.

Favourite Episodes: A New Attitude / It Gets Better

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