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"Arrested Development" Flight of the Phoenix (2013)

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Season 4 takes flight

Author: gizmomogwai from Canada
1 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like a phoenix, Arrested Development emerges from the ashes, with season 4 debuting on Netflix more than 7 years after its cancellation. Since its return was highly anticipated and greatly hyped, the season 4 premiere was predictably bashed by the very same Internet users who'd been begging for it. Some have come around and say it improves on second viewing. I, on the other hand, loved it from the start, and am not afraid to say so. I was also a fan of Ready, Aim, Marry Me while it was more popular to condemn it.

Like previous seasons, it's all intricate, but possibly in an even more ambitious way. After watching all season 4 episodes, you realize that even while separated, the Bluths are all still affecting each other. Everything comes back- Michael can be heard saying "What's this?" in Lucille's apartment, which turns out to be a cheque for George Michael in a later episode.

Most of the episode works for me, from the opening calling the series "semi-original" for Netflix to the Anti-Social Network parody. Michael being voted out 4-0 is the old delightfully ridiculous sort of thing that makes AD great, with "Da-" crossed out being the kicker, removing all doubt of who voted for who. Jokes about 9/11 get more daring than before, with cracks about boxcutters and burqas in airport security. Sexual tension between George Michael and Maeby is alluded to, and Barry and maritime law jokes are back. A better look at the Peter Pan play brings some physical humour.

While some have expressed dislike for what this episode does to Michael, AD has always been a story about losers, and it's completely logical to have Michael alienate his family and then fall victim to the housing market collapse. (The scavenger bird is right on). This is Michael's bleakest hour, and it fits the overall darker tone for season 4. Some have expressed discomfort with Michael and George Michael in the shower together, but some people in real life think it is okay to shower together, and if you don't see the humour in family members getting uncomfortably close, why on earth are you watching Arrested Development in the first place? So jump on the "I hate change" bandwagon if you like- I, personally, will be buying the season 4 Blu-Man-ray as soon as I can.

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