Well what a beautiful morning it is. Arrested Development Season 4 is here! Seven years after FOX cancelled the show, the series is back, streaming on Netflix. Hello, brave new world. I just watched the first episode, and I'm already hooked -- yet again.
You may be wondering -- after all these years, is it still the same show? Is it as funny? Where did we even leave off with the Bluth family? And does everyone look... you know, older?
Yes, everyone looks older. But just a teensy bit.
Okay, so when we last saw the Bluths, the charges against patriarch George had been dropped and Michael was to be named CEO. But Lucille wants to sell part of the company to Stan Sitwell. Somehow Lucille 2, played by Liza Minnelli, is involved. Meanwhile, we found out Lindsay is adopted, which means Michael's son George Michael can pursue his longtime crush on his cousin Maeby without being gross. Not that Maeby is interested. George Michael steals Gob's boat, Michael joins him, and they both run off to Cabo.
And here's where we pick up -- with a surprise flashback with Kristen Wiig as Lucille and Seth Rogan as George. I can't even say if the scene was really essential to the plot or just a gratuitous use of cameos. But who cares, it was funny. And anyway, Arrested Development plots are so circuitous and loopy it's hard to say what's really essential anyway. Which is to say, this first episode is every bit as loopy as you'd want it to be.
For most of the episode, Michael is living with George Michael in his dorm at UC Irvine. Michael is still the hovering, over-involved parent who can't let go of his son, because if he does -- what else is there? The terrifying abyss of the family business? Well, Michael finds a tricky way to get out of that and start his own business. But it's kind of a flop, and anyway, he keeps talking about "putting the family back on top." The Bluth family is like Hotel California in the way Michael can occasionally check out but can never leave. And this is what makes the supposed straight man of the series actually the craziest.
But anyway, I don't want to give too much away. So much else happens in this episode. There's an awkward encounter with Lucille 2 with financial implications. There's Gob and his "Forget Me Now" pills which make Michael forget something he's just seen Gob do. There's the case against Lucille, under the jurisdiction of maritime law. And there's a profile of Michael in the in-flight magazine Altitude. They crammed all of this into one short episode, and there's still 14 more to go! But in answer to the most important question, YES, it's still hilarious in the same ways. I loved the first episode and I can't wait to watch the rest. I'm so glad Arrested Development is back.
Are you planning to watch the new season of Arrested Development?