The Five Best Episodes of Arrested Development’s Netflix Run
Presumably, because none of their executives ever read Pet Sematary, Netflix brought the canceled Fox comedy Arrested Development back to life in 2013, giving us two more seasons focused on the misadventures of the Bluth family. And, for the most part, they… sure weren’t great. But despite a bad reputation, there are still some bright spots in the Netflix era of Arrested Development, like...
“Premature Independence,” Season Five
Some might say that Season Five of Arrested Development is an unsalvageable mess, a Cornballer-esque fiasco, if you will. But at least the episode “Premature Independence” features a fun scene where GOB (Will Arnett) and Tony Wonder (Ben Stiller) do a culture war-themed double act that ends with Tony being seemingly killed after getting encased in cement.
And the ending is told in the style of a silent Keystone Cops comedy. That’s something, I guess.
“Recurring Dreams,” Season Four
In terms of the show’s fourth season, we’re going by the 2018 “remix” dubbed “Fateful Consequences,” which is seemingly now the official version of the season. The original edits, which were more ambitious but wildly flawed, can now only be found on Netflix’s “Trailers and More” page for Arrested Development, the “under the mattress” of the streaming world.
This episode is mainly about George Michael’s (Michael Cera) attempts to make an electronic woodblock called “Fakeblock” — although this new edit completely undoes the hilarity of the reveal that George Michael’s invention is not, in fact, a world-changing privacy app. But what makes this episode a highlight of the season is the final scene featuring Tobias (David Cross) on an episode of To Entrap a Local Predator (hosted by John Beard, of course), all while wearing his homemade Thing costume.
“Cinco de Cuatro I,” Season Four
The season ultimately builds to the three-part finale at the “Cinco de Cuatro” party, which has good bits like Maeby (Alia Shawkat) learning that her boyfriend Perfecto is a minor, not an undercover cop. Still, its most memorable moment has Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) launching her political career by supporting her dad’s plan to erect a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, leading a group chant to “Put up this wall!” Note: This was shot back in 2013, before the greedy incompetence of the Bluth family became official government policy.
“Turning on Each Other,” Season Four
This episode gives us an impressively obtuse Clue joke (Colonel Mustard has a knife next to a literal ballroom) and the scene where GOB goes on a date with Tony Wonder. While the Netflix years feel like an unnecessary adjunct to the original series, hampered by logistical issues such as the cast’s schedules, “Turning on Each Other” gave us one of the few moments that etched itself into the pantheon of great Arrested Development moments. We’re, of course, talking about the “Same!” scene.
“Just Deserters,” Season Four
Although Maeby and George Michael have their moments, many characters are hung out to dry in the later seasons. (The always hilarious Jessica Walter is, for the most part, tragically wasted.) But GOB’s bits somehow still feel like they could fit in the original run of the show, one of the funniest being his wedding to Ann Veal (Mae Whitman), which he uses as an opportunity to mount a massive, blasphemous illusion that ultimately serves as a means for him to escape the ceremony.
Bonus points for the fact that the church is named the “Church of Holy Eternal Rapture,” explaining the giant letters spelling out the acronym “HER?” with what looks like a large shepherd’s crook serving as the question mark.
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