If you're an Arrested Development junkie, you've probably already thrown back all 15 episodes of the new fourth season on Netflix like it was acting juice. Perhaps that's how you consumed the first three seasons of Fox's long-canceled cult comedy--through a stomach-clenching marathon of Bluth family antics, illusions, Lucilles and loose seals.
Each episode in the new season centers on a single character's path from where the show left them in 2006 to where they are now.
While it's a clever structural device--having each character's narrative weave with a wink through plot lines established in previous episodes--it doesn't make for nearly as funny of a show. When the Bluth family isn't squeezed into the model home swilling vodka before it goes bad, the characters' quirks seem more one-dimensional. Michael Bluth, the show's totem to normalcy, seems creepily pathetic, while Lindsay Bluth, who now looks like Nicole Ritchie, is even more wincingly insecure.
But some new blood keeps the show hilarious: Kristen Wiig plays young Lucille Bluth with raised-eyebrow perfection, while Maria Bamford is amazing as the butter-faced DeBrie Bardeaux.
If you haven't already finished the series, I'd proscribe moderation. Just don't stop after the third episode, it gets better.