You will appreciate the later episodes far, far more if you watch all of them in order.
There are payoffs later. Everything fits together.
I just finished episode ten.
Just finished. I was a little disappointed with the ending until the "Next time on Arrested Development" bit. That was a little more of a punch (pun intended.)
It has been somewhat panned by critics. Interested to see eventual subscriber gains it provides netflix.
I actually enjoyed the middle episodes better than the ending. By the end I was tired of the story not really advancing much.
And there wasn't a rousing chicken dance.
It was hard to advance the story much, since all of the episodes covered pretty much the same time frame. I would imagine that's where the negative reactions are coming in. Well, that and the fact that (take that Strunk and White!) expectations were so high they couldn't be met.
Sticking with the former plot style would have been better, IMO.
It seemed to me that they just didn't have enough good material to spread throughout 15 episodes. They had maybe 5 episodes worth of solid material.
And the new format didn't work at all. It made it too complicated and confusing, which resulted in the narrator, who usually had some of the best lines, reduced to simply explaining what was going on and keeping eveyone caught up on what had happened.
I've said it before, most TV shows only have three good years in them, which is why I was always hesitant about this 4th season.
I just watched episode 5 and don't think I will make it through to the end. The novelistic HBO-style plotting is bogging down the meta-hijinks that I most enjoyed about the first three seasons. It is also strange that the characters seem to appear so rarely as an ensemble. When they are by themselves, most of these people are pretty insufferable -- we need the banter between them in order to make the show funny.
From what I understand, the new format and most of the problems are the result of the limited availability of the actors. They had little or no time when they were all together. Some (such as I assume Tony Hale / Buster) were contractually limited from appearing in more than a certain number of episodes. This is why they chose to focus on 1 character per episode, and also sort of explains why they told it all out of order.
It is actually somewhat impressive that they were able to make it sort of work. And some of the jokes really grew on me as the season unfolded. Ultimately it was not as good as the original series, however, and I don't really understand the choice to leave things open ended and not really advance the plot unless they are sure they can do a movie.
I dunno, I absolutely loved it. Thought it was pretty brilliant how they tied everything together. But, I'm easily amused. I thought it was clever, and well done. Vanity license plate joke was my favorite recurring joke by far. As well as the fantastic 4 jokes. Loved all the cameos that came along with this season.
Only thing I didn't care for, was the open ending. Will they do another season, or a movie? The last episode ended and I kept looking for additional episodes to play, sure that there had to be 1 or 2 more left in the season...