- Oct 25, 2017
This time the Bluths are all together. Whether they like it or not.
Spoilers: Please spoiler tag any spoilers for two weeks.
Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth, Will Artnet as Gob Bluth, Portia de Rossi as Lindsay Bluth Fünke
Tony Hale as Buster Bluth, Jessica Walter as Lucille Bluth, David Cross as Tobias Fünke
Alia Shawkat as Maeby Fünke, Michael Cera as George-Michael Bluth, Ron Howard as Narrator
- Dan of Geek:
The fact that season five (like season four again) gets marginally better as it goes along only reinforces this concept. It’s like the editor, the true main character of the show, is becoming more adept at creating comedy from all the chaos as it gets acclimated to it.
There are still laughs to be found in Arrested Development Season 5, mostly thanks to Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat growing with their characters perfectly But this is the high-powered microchip of television comedies. It can only ever be two things: functional or dysfunctional. Season five is the latter.
- AV Club:
Tangled is a good place for Arrested Development to be. That may not seem like the case after season four, whose numerous plots were made additionally confusing by the non-chronological episode order, but season five feels more cohesive, like the Bluths are all mixed up with each other, not on their own tangents. And maybe it’s the placebo effect of having the show’s traditional format back, but season five has the rhythm season four lacked. Season four’s structure, such as it was, required a reset at the beginning of nearly every episode. Season five moves from point to point, building on and riffing off what came before, and Arrested Development feels like its old self again.
More important, season five is funny, and gets funnier as it proceeds. The first episode has a lot of heavy lifting with exposition, but lands enough laughs to not make fans nervous. The episodes offer a bounty of the clever wordplay that made Arrested Development so quotable, and some funny scenes that stand with the series’ best.
- Vanity Fair:
Either way, the remix serves as a necessary transition, because Season 5 is markedly different from the original Season 4—and much more in line with the first three seasons of the show. In Arrested’s latest iteration, the cast is mostly in the same place at the same time; Jason Bateman’s Michael, who went down a dark path in Season 4, is back to being mostly a good guy; the episodes are once again a digestible 20-odd minutes. Even the original opening titles are back, albeit with updated photos.
It’s such a relief. Arrested Development is fascinating even when it’s not funny, but Season 5 is funny—not as funny as the show was in its heyday, but the magic is there, and more clearly visible than in Season 4. It’s even occasionally funny in a subtly new way, as the weight of nearly 15 years with these characters deepens the ironies of their predicaments. The intricacies of its plot are accessible to the audience, and the story rockets forward with energy that Season 4 wholly lacked. That Season 5 is eminently more watchable also sets the stage for bigger laughs down the line, because Arrested Development’s finest moments are often entire seasons in the making.