Quite simply, the new season of Arrested Development is a staggeringly impressive comic achievement that leaves me dumbstruck in the wake of its brilliance. Yeah, I know that sounds hyperbolic, but it's not. Season 4 is one of the most inspiring comedic accomplishments I've ever seen. What's more, I haven't heard any criticism of the new season that has not been marred by viewers who seem to be betraying everything AD stands for. Some criticisms were just breathtakingly stupid, but I'm even incensed by those who sat back and said "meh." So while I, of course, can't prove the naysayers "wrong," perhaps I can give them four tips to assist them in their viewing experience. Here are four guidelines for Arrested Development fans to better enjoy the new season.
Remember What Arrested Development Is
As I waded through the criticism from laypersons and paid laypersons (TV critics) alike, I had to wonder if some of these people had forgotten what Arrested Development was about in the first place. Based on the first three seasons, any fan of the show should know that AD was never about creating likable characters. The Bluth family is an insecure, self-interested bunch of scheming liars. Even central character Michael Bluth, who endeavors for something greater, consistently fails and gives in to his basest instincts.
Also, AD will go anywhere for comedy: pratfall, pun, farce, satire, and esoteric reference. It fully embraces the highest and lowest forms of comedy. Some AD humor is easy. Some is hard. Some is insanely subtle and hard. That's part of the reason it went off the air, right? Even though it had the full support of Ron Howard's production company, it took a hardcore audience of devoted fans pushing Fox to even get three seasons out of it. And then in its time off the air, it grew a bigger and bigger cult audience of people who watched the show over and over on DVD, catching all the jokes they missed.
Like the subtle ad for the family's favorite investigator, Gene Parmesan, to the left of the ad for Ice the bounty hunter.