Arrested Development: Season 4 Remix: “Fateful Consequences”: Full Season
May 5, 2018 9:41 AM - Season 4 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Now the story of what happens when the one man who was holding his family together finally let go, and the separate journeys that eventually gave them no choice but to come back together.
posted by D.Billy (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
While this still isn't my favorite season, oh man did they improve on it with this edit. I had been coincidentally going through a rewatch of the series when this was announced, right in time for me to go straight from season 3 to the season 4 remix and it just feels like another season of Arrested Development now, they flow together perfectly by adhering to the same style in the recut. I'm really looking forward to season 5 with all of the cast together, I think the cast scheduling and separate character storylines account for the majority of the weaknesses in this season, a full story for each character really makes you appreciate having A and B stories in each episode and having some characters relegated to being utility players.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:19 PM on May 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

I disagree. I think Season 4 is very good in the main and the jokes are esquisitely, intricately layered. It gets better and funnier with each viewing in my opinion.

The recut is kind of fun but it undercuts a lot of those intricate layers and just sort of flattens them out, leaving a season that feels stylistically similar to the previous seasons but with a Funny deficit.
posted by duffell at 7:44 PM on May 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

I don't think it's bad! It's hard for me to talk about either version of this season because I find the things that don't quite work for me still very interesting, because of how large the first three seasons loom in shaping my tastes, but I definitely don't want to dismiss its strengths. I just feel like the edit improves on it in some big ways for me. It's interesting to see what does and doesn't improve, like I really appreciate the Tobias and George Sr. stories being broken up into chunks, but I think the George Michael story works better kept more together. But I feel like I'm kind of verging on territory best reserved for the final episode thread or a full season thread, so I will reserve getting too deep in the weeds for one of those...
posted by jason_steakums at 8:56 PM on May 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

I didn't know this was happening! Thanks for the post and happy Cinco de Quatro!

I'm watching one episode at a time. So i've only seen #1. So far I like it MUCH better, although I did kind of like the original season 4.

I feel like there's a lot of new stuff. But maybe not, it's been a year since I saw season 4. I do know there's lots of new narration, which sprinkles in some new jokes (have you heard?).
posted by mmoncur at 3:03 AM on May 6, 2018

That's not your imagination! There's a lot of new narration, sometimes for the better (and hey, new jokes!) but I definitely think it gets into "heavy-handed" territory at times.

I'm not sure, but I think there's some new (non-narration) material in there too. I remember reading awhile back that they ended up shooting a lot more than they used, so presumably they pulled in some deleted material.
posted by duffell at 3:16 AM on May 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

Some of this is hard to assess objectively since I already know the plot of season 4. A certain amount of the humor of the original S4 came from in the form of surprise reveals--jokes that were set up in one episode only to be paid off 4 or 5 episodes later. It's like--in the Wee Britain storyline (not my favorite, FWIW) of season 3, if they told you right at the beginning that Rita was an "MRF" and what that meant, the whole plotline would lose its juice.

I feel like that's part of what was so polarizing about S4--some of those "late payoff" jokes are subtle and wouldn't be picked up until a first or second rewatch, which is a pretty unreasonable expectation of your audience. Personally, I loved it, but I can understand and appreciate why it didn't work for the majority of the show's fans.

At any rate, the recut is certainly more narratively tight, which is what drew a lot of people (including myself) to Arrested Development in the first place--the show had this huge universe of characters and plot threads and somehow managed a tightly woven narrative. The original S4 was sprawling and expansive, and it didn't have that same economy of storytelling. But I personally enjoyed the "sprawling" version of the show quite a bit, and I think a lot of the humor is lost in trying to fit it into the tighter narrative format that's more characteristic of the show.
posted by duffell at 3:30 AM on May 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

some of those "late payoff" jokes are subtle and wouldn't be picked up until a first or second rewatch, which is a pretty unreasonable expectation of your audience

For any other show, sure.

For Arrested Development that's a completely reasonable expectation.
posted by 2ht at 5:44 AM on May 6, 2018

We're about ten episodes in already, and, while I definitely at least appreciated what they tried to do with the original fourth season, I find that this at least feels a lot more like the first three seasons of the show overall, in terms of pacing and interwoven stories. Which is to say: I think it was a successful recut overall!
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:20 PM on May 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Changed this to a full-season post, per OP request.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:21 AM on May 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thanks, LobsterMitten.
jason_steakums, come back with those full-season thoughts!
posted by D.Billy at 9:28 AM on May 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hooray! Full season post now! BOY HOWDY I had forgotten about what a clunker of a joke the Asian Housewives of Prison or whatever it was called was. Just plum stricken it from the record. "People from the monolithic country of Asia can't pronounce L and R" doesn't stand on its own very well as an entire punchline now that Reagan is no longer president. On the other hand, the running gag of Michael and George refusing to tip black people out of some vague notion of "principles" feels like it kind of works (and I definitely didn't remember that either from my first watch, years ago).

It's weird but cool noticing the jokes that got cut, and the jokes that got added! Unless they put it really late into the season and I haven't gotten to it yet, the joke about Lucille not having seen Tobias's license place seemingly got cut, but on the other hand I really liked the change from "you think your two years of law school beats his three years?" to "his three tries?"

Overall, though, it feels a lot more like Arrested Development overall, though it isn't nearly as tight as the first three seasons (for obvious reasons, given how it was originally made). Hopefully season five in a few weeks will have the pacing back intact!
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:46 PM on May 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Update: the license plate joke is still there after all
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:40 AM on May 10, 2018

I really do like Gob's story. I think it's sort of sweet, but not entirely sure where they're going with the character and if it's misrecognizing his first friendship as homosexual love, or maybe if there is a side to Gob that he didn't previously know about.
posted by codacorolla at 9:09 PM on May 13, 2018

BOY HOWDY I had forgotten about what a clunker of a joke the Asian Housewives of Prison or whatever it was called was.

I've noticed that even in the relatively short time since the original season four, my propensity to shittily ignore problematic stuff in things I otherwise like has changed, like I think it has for a lot of people, and hopefully for the creative team of Arrested Development... because yeah that bit, Maeby in the guru makeup and some of the jokes around that, and quite a few things on my recent rewatch of all the seasons (hi there, episode where Maeby makes Steve Holt! think that Lindsay is trans) are kind of rooouuugh. Like oh man, is the concept of being LGBTQ anything but a punchline in Arrested Development, at any point? Arrested Development was and still is a favorite of mine, but it's hard not to notice the asterisk I have to put on that now. It's not alone in that by any means, 30 Rock is another that hits incredible genius highs and on the whole is still outstanding, and also kinda makes you go "yeah, I'm kind of ashamed that I used to give that joke a pass" a bit too often. Here's hoping season 5 aims higher more consistently, I don't want the considerable brilliance that AD brings to the table to be weighed down by its weaker impulses.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:44 PM on May 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

I actually found myself noticing the emphasis on "trans" in the narration about George in the… last? episode, leading me to wonder if that's going to be a thing in the next season. But yeah, Arrested Development has this same sort of blind spot as Kimmy Schmidt did, where the only context where racist jokes are considered unacceptable is when they're about black people specifically.
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:50 PM on May 13, 2018

I actually found myself noticing the emphasis on "trans" in the narration about George in the… last? episode, leading me to wonder if that's going to be a thing in the next season.

Actually it was emphasis on the word "transparent", which was a joking reference to Jeffrey Tambor's other show.
posted by mmoncur at 5:00 AM on May 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Aha! On the other hand, it also seems roughly 150% Arrested Development to also make that “trans parent”
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:48 AM on May 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

I now know what really happened in season four, instead of having to look up a plot synopsis after watching it. Still my least favorite season, but at least it makes some sense. I got all confused with the Oscar/George Sr. parent-trap gags, too, as well as all the $700K checks being floated around. But some of the gags and wordplay and minor plot/character wheel-turns really were clever. Now I feel I can start season five, because season four isn't a hot mess in my mind.
posted by not_on_display at 10:20 PM on June 6, 2018

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