to which I say, yes. I haven’t finished watching season 4 yet, but I am trying to approach it on its own terms. It is, and always was, better thsn any other comedy on TV in many ways. No other show can even approach its denseness and interconnectedness – no drama, no comedy. AD can only really be compared to itself, but still, I think that to appreciate season 4 you have to approach it as its own entity. One with connections to the first three seasons, inevitably, but fundamentally its own beast. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.


Episode 7 of the new season of Arrested Development is called “Colony Collapse.” Like most phrases in this wordplay-happy series, it has more than one meaning. It refers to the phenomenon of mass die-offs among bees (I won’t spoil anything as to how that figures in here). It refers to the collapse of a particular character’s entrepreneurial scheme/scam (which I won’t spoil either).

It also seems to refer to the larger theme of this new, experimental season on Netflix and the three seasons that preceded it. Arrested Development is a comedy of entropy; it was always best when things were collapsing, as befit a show created in the time of the Enron and Iraq debacles. So many of its great scenes and stories involve things literally falling apart, shiny facades that cover decay and shoddy workmanship: think of Gob Bluth in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner declaring a Bluth…

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