The long awaited return of our beloved Bluths finally came, and many binge-watched the series over the holiday weekend, myself included. Was it all that we'd hoped for and more? For me, the answer is a pretty enthusiastic yes, but for others it may be a mixed bag. Due to constraints on assembling the original cast all together at the same time, the revival of AD came with a brand new structure- and became a season-long puzzle box to be put together bit by bit as you watch each new episode, with layers of jokes planted, unfolded and then unfolded again in new ways upon re-watch. Each character gets their own episode (some get two), and as the season progresses, they intersect in ways impossible to predict and crazy fun to observe. It's Arrested Development by way of Pulp Fiction, if you will. It's ambitious, intricately plotted, dark, hilarious, and if you're like me you will adore every minute of it and savor the overdose of comedic audacity it represents. It's specifically modeled to fit the new mode of Netflix binge-watching that goes on now, and I personally think that really is the best way to watch it on the first go-round. But I already can't wait to go back and see what new revelations a second viewing holds in store. Sure, not everything works- Tobias for example, is a character that while funny, isn't really capable of carrying an entire episode, and your level of enjoyment may depend on how much you prefer some characters over others. One of the great features of the old show was seeing the fantastic ensemble interact with one another. While you still get characters interacting here, it's more often in pairs of two or three at a time. But if you go into it expecting something different and expecting to see it unfold as one whole, 7.5 hour movie (which i think is what it really is), as a devoted fan of these characters and this world, i can safely say that it will only leave you wanting more. So here's to you Mitch Hurwitz- now when's the movie coming out?
Michael- both Michael-centric episodes were terrific, and here's to Jason Bateman and the writers for crossing some dark corners with their lead, as he reveals himself pretty much from Episode 1 to be no better than the rest of the family; something we suspected but never truly confirmed until now
GOB- always my favorite and his second episode is hands down, flat out one of the best of the whole series. If anyone earns any sympathy in a season where almost everyone was taken to especially dark places, who'd have thought it would be him? But he pulls it off and Will Arnett has never been better
Maeby and Buster- hats off to these two, characters who proved more than capable of holding the spotlight and whose episodes turned out to be much better than i was expecting, leading me to suspect they had probably been underused during the show's original run