TV Review: ‘Arrested Development’ Season 5 on Netflix

Variety | 5/25/2018 | Caroline Framke
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There’s something perfect about the fact that season 5 of “Arrested Development” picks up almost immediately where season 4 left off as if no time has passed at all, alternately ignoring and winking at the fact that its cast has aged. After all (narrator voice): it’s “Arrested Development.”

Opting to stick with the still unfolding season 4 stories instead of flashing right by them is a gutsy choice that mostly pays off. Fans will be relieved to know that season 5 makes a point of bringing the Bluth family back together after obvious scheduling issues with the cast for season 4 – the first on Netflix after almost a decade off the air – necessitated that most of their storylines were separated.

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To ts credit, season 5 seems to know what went wrong before and works hard to correct it. The quota of celebrity guest stars is significantly down, making the ones that do pop up count that much more. Plots that never quite worked on season 4 – like George Senior (Jeffrey Tambor) accidentally taking too much estrogen and Tobias (David Cross) staging a “Fantastic 4” musical – get dropped. Stronger stories – like Michael (Jason Bateman) and George Michael (Michael Cera) accidentally dating the same woman (Isla Fisher) – get more support.

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Every revival and reboot has the shadow of expectations looming overhead, making the most pressing question whether or not it can live up to the original. And “Arrested”’s shadow is darker than most thanks to allegations of sexual harassment from Tambor’s “Transparent” trans costars and verbal abuse from several, including Walter. So I can’t lie: of course that affected how I saw the show. It’s just not as much fun to watch George Senior and Lucille bicker knowing how poisonous that dynamic...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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