By focusing on the characters perceived to be in the top one
percent income bracket of America, specifically a family that
constantly uses its wealth to get out of their responsibilities, the
series may also have alienated viewers. That feeling of repulsion
could be why the series had such low viewership. The viewers who
remained, however, were exposed to a hilarious story about a
family sticking together. Think The Royal Tenenbaums stretched out
over 58 episodes minus the fake cancer diagnosis but with the
addition of four (and counting) variations of the chicken dance.
Arrested Development follows Michael and the other Bluths as they
try to keep the company afloat, prove the innocence (or guilt in
some episodes) of George, Sr., all while developing personal
storylines of these seemingly despicable, yet somehow lovable,
characters. The series is “a comedy made up of a staggering
number of characters, plot points and tones that had no business
working together, and yet did. It was a recipe where every
ingredient was balanced in perfect proportion to one another”
(Sepinwall).
The fourth season of Arrested Development received a mixed
reception from audience and critics because the show felt changed
even though the series featured the same characters in the same
world. It felt changed because it was changed. The recipe was off.
The switch from network to streaming influenced how the series
was made. Unlike the previous Netflix series (House of Cards (2013-
) and Orange is the New Black), there was not a bidding war for
Arrested Development’s fourth season. It was developed specifically
for Netflix, which meant the series could take advantage of
Netflix’s distribution model: the Binge Model. Knowing the
entirety of the fourth season would be available instantly meant
that if an episode focused entirely on a single character, it was less
likely to prevent fans from watching further. Alan Sepinwall
pointed this fact out in the second season premiere of Orange is the
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