(FULL DISCLAIMER: I have watched all 15 of the new episodes of Arrested Development available on Netflix. This should be spoiler-free, but with some discussion of the season as a whole.)
When asked what my favorite TV comedy of all time is, the answer has been “Arrested Development”. Seasons One and Two are pretty much as good as it gets, especially Season Two. Even though Season 3 wasn’t quite as good as the first two, it was still better than any other comedy.
Usually this is when the write proceeds to either express disappointment or declare their undying love for “Season Four”. Honestly, I don’t think that it’s fair to call this “Season 4”. It’s as much of a movie as it is a series of episodes. Which is why it isn’t fair to review this season in individual pieces, unless you’ve already seen them all.
Some people aren’t going to like that. Sure you can watch one episode a week or something. But it’s not going to be the same as watching it in a few large chunks. Cards on the table, I think this run of episodes was really designed to be viewed at least two times:
FIRST TIME THROUGH: Keeps you guessing about the overall plot and gives you some broad jokes and call-backs.
SECOND TIME THROUGH: Now that you know the overall plot, you can start to pick up how the episodes are interconnected. Without having to waste so much energy on figuring out what’s going on, you can now pick-up on some of the more subtle jokes that you missed the first time.
I’m not here to argue for or against any particular method of viewing. Should you have to watch something in large chunks multiple times just so you can enjoy it properly? I don’t know. But I do value anything that has value in being enjoyed multiple times. There’s tons of movies, books, TV shows, video games, songs, albums and experiences that I’ve enjoyed doing multiple times. Some even get better the second time around.