Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes, and General Mental Mayhem

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Arrested Development Season 4: Review

Courtesy Netflix

Courtesy Netflix

Heeey, Reader.

How aaaare you?

A number of people have already asked me what I thought of this release since I talk about the show so much, and I thought the easiest thing would be to write it down. This way I’ll always leave a note.

STARTING POINT: I think this is the most brilliant comedy ever written. I still laugh so hard when watching the first three seasons, just like it’s the first time. And let me explain that this is a real-life LOL, not a fake one—which I’ve never actually used in written/text format until now. It’s my kind of humor—clever and fast. This is almost always a different type of humor than is found on mainstream TV. I don’t actually find many of those comedies funny, and I think most of the good ones get cancelled. (Clearing throat and gesturing to the right.) So this was an oasis in the desert.

Of course, there are some story lines that I’m not a fan of, but just from a writing standpoint, it’s magic. (Or an illusion, however you choose to think about it.) I love the quick wit, sarcasm, exchange between characters, pace, callbacks between episodes, ensemble cast, supporting cast, guest stars, chicken impressions, and, oh so much more. It was/is a game-changing show, but sadly, no one else has changed all that much. And hough I have a couple other comedies that I do love, nothing touches AD for all those reasons.

And that is where I start Season 4…


  • Bravo in a big way for getting the entire cast, regulars and celebrity guests back together. It’s obvious that they all wanted to be a part of this project, and really believed in it. It was also fun seeing the new faces. Seriously, amazing.
  • Thank you to Mitch Hurwitz for helping manage expectations upfront about the ways the pacing, cast, episode layout, etc, would be different than before.
  • I thought the way they tied the character timelines together was very clever, considering the constraints they had with the actor’s schedules.
  • Loved the Ron Howard/Imagine (not Imaging) Entertainment story line! Too fun, and yes, hopefully it’ll spur the movie or another season onward. I’ll keep watching.
  • I absolutely laughed, and perhaps a snort, at all the callbacks from previous seasons as well as the new ones created. And I’d be tempted to buy a cornballer, if they weren’t illegal in the US.
  • Buster’s episode, number 14, is my fav.
  • Liza Minelli’s still got it! And looks pretty amazing for approaching 70. Lucille 2 is my favorite supporting character. Her? Yes, her.
  • Portia de Rossi’s new adorable haircut.
  • The main cast didn’t miss a beat in picking up in where they left off.
  • As before, I’m looking forward to re-watching and seeing what jokes and callbacks I may have missed.


  • Part of the brilliance of the original show was how the ensemble played off of each other, and the extras going on in the background. Because of the shooting schedule, you typically only had a couple cast members at a time which slowed the pace and didn’t allow for great repartee.
  • As in all TV shows, some of the side plots fell short or didn’t interest me, or I didn’t even like. Unfortunately, with only 15 character-centered episodes, these dragged on way too long.
  • How can you have Mary Lynn Rajskub as a guest star and not have her talk?
  • I didn’t like the upside-down development of Michael and George Sr. They were better as the straight men and strong characters.
  • As noted in the timeline comment above, it was clever, but in the beginning it was sort of hard to get used to and got a little confusing.
  • The last scene. What? Abrupt. Was that supposed to be interrupted as well? Not a good ending.

Overall, I love the Bluths and always believe there will be money in the banana stand. (Though with inflation, it’ll probably take more than 50 cents to get you nuts.) I’ll keep watching if they keep making. But it was hard seeing some of the differences mentioned above. If this had been the first season and we had no expectations, it would’ve been different. But as this is Season 4, it was hard to live up to what we all wanted and hoped for. I think they did great things with what they had, though. And I am grateful for them even attempting it. After eight years, they could’ve given up, but we asked and they delivered. I’ve got another 15 episodes, more great quotes, extra time with some of the best characters ever written, and a fear of loose seals.

Thank you to: Netflix, the Bluth family, Ron Howard and Imagine Entertainment, and the many others who made this possible. Fingers crossed this isn’t the end. As far as I’m concerned, we can do as many final countdowns as Cher did final tours.