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Can Netflix handle the Bluths?

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MAY 27, 2013

With eager fans already flooding social media sites with their new favorite quotes and witticisms, the release of the new season of “Arrested Development” could not be overlooked by the Clog. At 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning, the highly anticipated fourth season was available for streaming on Netflix, sending the show’s cult followers into TV binges well into the early hours of the morning. We college kids love our Netflix.

Originally released in 2003, the fast-paced comedy densely packed with quick wit, satire and outlandishness earned six Emmy Awards and was designated in 2007 as one of Time Magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All Time.” Despite the show’s critical acclaim for its immensely clever writing and strong acting, “Arrested Development” was met with a small viewership, causing Fox to drop it in 2006 after only three seasons, a move which actor David Cross (who plays Tobias Funke) blames here on poor marketing.

But now, due to a loyal fan base that produced multiple sites to keep the relevance of the show alive, the Bluths are back after a seven-year hiatus and are hilariously ridiculous as ever.

The fourth season of “Arrested Development” has been one of the most hyped up pop-culture events in a while. With these high expectations thrust upon the show’s creators, it’s easy to disappoint die-hard fans. But the 15-episode, Netflix-produced “mini series” succeeds. All nine cast members return to portray the beloved Bluth family and effortlessly convey the character flaws that made us fall in love with them in the first place. Tobias still faces hardship as a never-nude, G.O.B. still struggles in the bee (bees?!) business and Michael is still overly attached to George Michael — but not quite as attached as Buster to Lucille (or Lindsay to booze, for that matter). While the new season is faithful to the Bluths we said goodbye to seven years ago, it has some surprises in store to keep us on our toes. It introduces a new format in which the same events are depicted in different episodes from the perspectives of individual characters, making for some very fresh situational comedy. The change might be daunting for the first two or so episodes — at least for those of us with a pretty intense AD addiction. But by the third episode, titled “Indian Takers,” any rust the actors are experiencing after the break is shined away and viewers will appreciate the new spin.

In the 15-episode installment of this dysfunctional saga, you can also look forward to slew of guest appearances by some very big names in comedy (our favorite so far is Kristen Wiig as a spot-on young Lucille Bluth). With all these new happenings on the show, you might be tempted to stave off any human contact, grab the essentials and replace your loved ones for the Bluths. In fact, we’re pretty certain that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Creator Mitch Hurwitz suggests here that people not watch the season all at once, explaining that the episodes are jam-packed with so much material that it might be exhausting. Fans like us say it’s fine as long as you bring snacks. We recommend frozen bananas, mayoneggs and plenty of juice.

How are you celebrating the new episodes? Let us know in the comments!

Image source: Cult Gigolo under Creative Commons.

Contact Liz Zarka at lzarka@dailycal and follow her on Twitter @Zarkotics.

MAY 26, 2013

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