Netflix Pick: ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

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After more than a month of fighting the urge to binge on the fourth and final season of Netflix’s “semi-original” series, I finally finished all fifteen new episodes of Arrested Development.

From mastermind Mitchell Hurwitz comes the final installment of the Bluth family saga, set five years after the show was “abruptly cancelled” by Fox, after winning multiple Emmy’s, including Outstanding Comedy Series in 2004.

Each of the fifteen episodes in this season follows a specific character, as Ron Howard notes in the opening credits, “It’s (insert character’s name)’s Arrested Development.”

Because this season spans five years and follows the separate journeys of all nine Bluths (and Fünkes) to their ultimate meeting point at the “Cinco de Cuatro” festival, it takes a few episodes to kick into the fast-paced gear that veteran Arrested Development fans are used to.

While Hurwitz brings back fan favorites like Lucille (II) Austero (Liza Minnelli), Berry Zuckerkorn (Henry Winkler), Ann Veal (Mae Whitman), and Kitty Sanchez (Judy Greer), he also added some scene-stealers in this new season. Kristin Wiig and Seth Rogen joined the cast as Young Lucille and Young George Sr. in this season’s many flashbacks. John Slattery (Mad Men) and Mary Lynn Rajskub (24) are hysterical as Doctor Norman and his spiritual partner, Heartfire, a mute whose thoughts float across the screen.

Likewise, the writers were able to incorporate the many recurring jokes from the original series, like “I’ve made a huge mistake,” “I’m afraid I blue myself,” and, my favorite, “…her?” While I was glad the writers continued with these jokes, it was clear that the new season did not use the first three as a crutch to get pity laughs.

Looking forward, both Hurwitz and Ron Howard have alluded to a possible Arrested Development film in the coming years. In the meantime, I’ll be reevaluating my life to the tune of “Sound of Silence.”

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