Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Review: Arrested Development; Season 4, Episode 1 Netflix

Cancelled classic comes back – and it’s just as arresting as ever
Cancelled classic comes back – and it’s just as arresting as ever
Michael Cera began his role in Arrested Development as a teenager
Michael Cera began his role in Arrested Development as a teenager
Ellen DeGeneres supoorted Portia de Rossi at the season four premiere of Arrested Development
Ellen DeGeneres supoorted Portia de Rossi at the season four premiere of Arrested Development

Since Arrested Development was canned in the US by Fox in 2006, the show has had garnered a posthumous cult appeal.

The online streaming company Netflix – which is has move into creating original shows like this year’s House of Cards remake – has tapped into this demand by stumping up the cost of this series, which was dumped in full on their service today.

 

This new distribution model is tearing up the TV rulebook and it’s fitting that a show which did the same during its original three-series run is now on the industry’s cutting-edge.

 

Nearly a decade on, little has changed for the Bluth family, a dysfunctional clan united only by their ridiculous behaviour.

 

In this first episode the Bluths, headed by son Michael (Jason Bateman), are still in dire-ish straits. His housing development has been hamstrung by the economic crash and the lack of a road. Meanwhile the rest of the family are  squabbling over bailout funds finagled through the loss of the family business.

 

Each of these 15 new episodes will focus on a different Bluth. The first centres around Michael. As we catch up with him, he’s driving an (unbranded) Street View car for a living and bunking with his son George Michael (Michael Cera) in a university dorm while trying to produce a film about his family’s life story with a tyrannical Ron Howard, as played by Ron Howard, who is also the show’s real producer.

 

That last fact alone gives you an idea of the playfulness that Arrested Development revels in. With Netflix giving its creator Mitchell Hurwitz free rein, multiple viewings are needed to catch everything. And Arrested Development remains a masterpiece, not only of knowingness, but old-school comedy tools like sight gags and bravura wordplay. The latter is never better than when family attorney Bob Loblaw (Scott Baio) is told “That’s a low blow Bob Loblaw”.

 

These new episodes are a reward for fans who fought for the show – it’s dense and unwelcoming to newcomers but rewards dedication. In which case, see you in eight hours.

- WILL DEAN

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Scorpio:

You prefer to work out problems in secret, with no interference from friends and family. It's not that you don't respect other people's opinions. You simply know intuition is your best guide. In the past, you followed conventional wisdom, only to regret your choice. Don't make this mistake now, when there is an important career matter before you. Accepting a glamorous job is tempting, but you'd prefer a position that is more edgy and demanding. An unpredictable job is calling your name; grab it.More