Arrested Development (season 4)

"Colony Collapse" redirects here. For Architects single, see Lost Forever // Lost Together.
Arrested Development (season 4)

Promotional poster
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 15
Original network Netflix
Original release May 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)

The fourth season of the television comedy series Arrested Development premiered on Netflix on May 26, 2013 and consists of 15 episodes.[1][2] This season serves as a revival to the series after it was canceled by Fox in 2006.

The show's storyline centers on the Bluth family, a formerly wealthy, habitually dysfunctional family, and the show incorporates hand-held camera work, narration, archival photos, and historical footage.

Each episode of the season occurs over approximately the same stretch of time, but focuses on a different character. Information on events depicted in a given episode is often partial and filled in by later episodes.[3]


Six years after the series was canceled by Fox, filming for a revived fourth season began on August 7, 2012. The season consists of 15 new episodes, all debuting at the same time on Netflix on May 26, 2013, in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Latin America, and the Nordics.[4] Several actors who had recurring roles in the original series returned to reprise their roles, including Henry Winkler as Barry Zuckerkorn, Mae Whitman as Ann Veal, Ben Stiller as Tony Wonder, Scott Baio as Bob Loblaw, Judy Greer as Kitty Sanchez, and Liza Minnelli as Lucille Austero, while new characters are played by John Slattery, Terry Crews and Isla Fisher.[5][6][7][8] The plot of the season focuses on the fictional production of a film based on the Bluth family scandal and what the characters have been doing since 2006.[9] There were plans to have George Clooney make a cameo appearance for a joke centered on Mitt Romney but it never came together.[10]

The show format is different compared to previous seasons: each of the fifteen episodes focuses on one individual character—with every episode happening at the same time within the show's universe—showing the character's activities since the conclusion of the third season.[11] According to Jason Bateman, "If I'm driving down the street in my episode and Gob's going down the sidewalk on his Segway, you could stop my episode, go into his episode, and follow him and see where he's going".[12] Michael Cera joined the writing crew for season 4, the first cast member to do so.[13] Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and creator Mitchell Hurwitz previously stated that season four would be the final season of the show, and that the revival serves as a "one-off" and "act one of a movie". But, a Netflix spokesperson later went on to say, "We're hopeful there will be more seasons" and " no means is this the end of it. We're definitely planning to do more with them."[14]

In October 2014, Hurwitz said that a re-edit of season 4 was being done to tell the story in chronological order.[15] Ron Howard recorded new voice-over material for the recut.[16]



Returning guest cast

New guest cast

Marketing and promotion

Entertainment Weekly cover featuring the reunion of the entire cast.

In October 2012, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos premiered footage from the fourth season for the attendees of TheWrap's annual conference TheGrill. The clip featured Buster Bluth (Tony Hale) helping his mother Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter) smoke a cigarette, because the ankle-bracelet monitor she's wearing under house arrest prevents her from leaving her hotel room.[24] Following that, a set photo was released showing the Bluth company stair car, now having the Austero-Bluth Company logo referencing to Liza Minnelli's character, Lucille Austero, having more stake in the company.[25] Set photos showing Tony Hale as Buster Bluth saluting at someone's funeral were released online.[26] The first promotional images of the entire cast together were released in the October 12, 2012, issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine. These included a cover picture, along with two pictures of the entire cast in restoration-era outfits.[27] The first official teaser poster for the new season was released on April 4, 2013, on the show's Facebook page, along with the announcement that the 15-episode season would premiere on Netflix on May 26, 2013.[28] Netflix released the first trailer for the fourth season online on May 12, 2013.[29]

In March 2013, series executive producer and narrator Ron Howard stated that "We're still hoping to build to a movie and in a lot of ways, getting the Bluth family on people's radar, in a kind of contemporary way, so we can move forward with it as a movie". He stated that the film had not yet been green-lit, saying, "It's not a happening thing, but it's something that is being discussed".[30] The same month, Hurwitz stated that he was "confident that we will succeed at [making the film]", saying "there is a bigger story out there that does exist" for the film.[31]


No. in
Directed byWritten byOriginal release dateProd.
541"Flight of the Phoenix"MichaelMitchell Hurwitz & Troy MillerMitchell HurwitzMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD01
After severing his ties with the majority of the family, Michael Bluth finds himself in economic turmoil after completing the Sudden Valley housing development under his new company, only to face the 2007 housing bubble which results in Sudden Valley turning into a secluded ghost town. After unsuccessfully attempting to receive a loan from Lucille Austero, the primary shareholder in what is now the Austero-Bluth Company, Michael moves in with his son George Michael in his dorm at the UC Irvine, while himself enrolling in University of Phoenix. George Michael, who is working on 'Fakeblock' software with his other roommate Paul, is uncomfortable with Michael's presence. When Michael's scheme to kick Paul out of the dorm fails, George Michael, Paul, and a visiting Maeby vote Michael out of the dorm. A disappointed and confused Michael goes to the airport, where he learns that an article about him has been published in an in-flight magazine that portrays him as a failed businessman. He returns home, planning to take up residence in his mother's vacant apartment, but is attacked by an ostrich upon entering the apartment.
552"Borderline Personalities"George, Sr.Mitchell Hurwitz & Troy MillerJim Vallely & Richard RosenstockMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD03
Shortly after the events of the third season, George Sr. has begun a spiritual "Sweat & Squeeze" business venture at the border of California and Mexico where he bilks money from dehydrated, unsuspecting businessmen with the help of twin brother Oscar. However, George Sr. is mainly using the property to prevent the land from going into the possession of Stan Sitwell, who George Sr. thinks is planning to build a large George W. Bush monument on the property. After George Sr. and Lucille decide to have a wall built on the property to prevent illegal Mexican immigrants (an idea that had originally been Lucille's but that Sitwell has stolen), George Sr. continues to lie to his brother by telling Oscar that he is using the property entirely for the business venture. In order to build the wall, George Sr. and Lucille must separate their assets so they decide to fake a divorce while secretly rekindling their sexual relations. Eventually, Oscar learns the truth from Barry Zuckercorn, who mistakes him for George Sr, and gets revenge on his brother by sleeping with Lucille while George Sr. learns he will have to bribe politician Herbert Love to support construction of the wall.
563"Indian Takers"LindsayMitchell Hurwitz & Troy MillerCaroline Williams & Dean LoreyMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD05
Reading Eat, Pray, Love, Lindsay is inspired to go on a spiritual trip to India, which devolves mostly into shopping for counterfeit goods. Eventually she runs out of money and decides to return, retaining advice from a guru that she would find love back home. Taking that as advice to reconcile with Tobias, she decides to try harder at their marriage and agrees to be a character witness at Lucille's trial in order to pay for a new house for them. Because of her increasing difficulty with the outlandish script that Lucille has written about being a good mother, Lindsay agrees to go to a method acting class with Tobias. Due to a misunderstanding, this ends up being a methadone clinic. On a double date with two patients from the clinic, Lindsay falls for activist Marky Bark and runs off with him. After a whirlwind night of dancing and mediocre sex, in which she breaks up with Tobias, Lindsay wakes up at Marky's ostrich farm he shares with his mother.
574"The B. Team"MichaelTroy Miller & Mitchell HurwitzMitchell Hurwitz & Jim VallelyMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD02
Having seen a picture of Michael in the in-flight magazine, Ron Howard is inspired to make a movie about him, and summons Michael to meet him at Imagine Entertainment. Kitty now works at the studio as a producer, after betraying Maeby's lack of a high school diploma to steal her job. In exchange for the rights to Michael's "inspiring father/son story", Ron agrees to make him a producer on the project. When Ron mentions his daughter Rebel who would be perfect for the part of Michael's wife, Michael mistakenly assumes that Rebel is Ron's mistress. Although at first reluctant to participate in the movie and not wanting to become involved with his father again, Michael commits to the idea after using his business card to flirt with a struggling actress/musician (Isla Fisher) whom he literally bumps into on the street. After a fight with his father, Michael procrastinates his job securing the rights by attempting to cast actors for the movie (Carl Weathers and Andy Richter), and hiring George's prison warden as a screenwriter (James Lipton). Learning about Michael's selfish motive to become a producer to impress a girl, who Michael doesn't actually know the name of, George reconciles with Michael and agrees to sign over his movie rights. However, Michael learns from Ron that the father/son story he is interested in is actually the story of Michael and George Michael. On their date, Michael has sex with the actress in a photo-booth, learning from a photo of her tattoo that her name is Rebel, whom he believes to be Ron's mistress.
585"A New Start"TobiasMitchell Hurwitz & Troy MillerDean Lorey & Jim VallelyMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD07
Tobias is depressed after learning that the Bluths all think he's gay. Finding his wife's copy of Eat, Pray, Love, Tobias is also inspired to go to India. Despite traveling on the same flight and other close encounters, neither Tobias or Lindsay are aware of each other being there. Hospitalized due to a bus accident, a comment from an Indian doctor that he should be in comedies motivates Tobias to try again to become an actor and he returns to California. At his method acting class, actually a methadone clinic, he befriends a patient named DeBrie who he thinks is an actress. After a double-date with Lindsay and Marky Bark, DeBrie learns that Tobias is a doctor and can write drug prescriptions ("scrips" for short). After a kiss, the two run off together and after increasingly pathetic attempts to make it as Fantastic Four-themed street performers, DeBrie leaves Tobias. Depressed once more, Tobias tries to meet Maeby while still in his Thing costume. Walking into the model home making inadvertent innuendos, he is accidentally a participant on a To Catch a Predator-style sting program and is arrested as a sex offender.
596"Double Crossers"George, Sr.Troy Miller & Mitchell HurwitzDean Lorey & Richard RosenstockMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD04
George Sr. successfully bribes politician Herbert Love into supporting the building of his wall after encountering Lindsay at one of Love's fundraisers, who gives him a check she believes Lucille gave to Maeby for plastic surgery. However, upon returning to his "Sweat and Squeeze" camp, he learns that the property is actually in Mexico, not on the border. As George Sr. attempts to get the wall's building cancelled through Michael's connections and struggles with new feelings of extreme emotion and delicacy, his twin brother Oscar schemes against him by sleeping with Lucille and threatening to reveal his role in the "Sweat and Squeeze" scheme. Meanwhile, Michael is afraid that if he calls George-Michael about acquiring his movie rights, he will be once more intruding upon his life but after an encounter with Gob in the model home, Gob offers to call George-Michael for him. At the Cinco de Cuatro festival, George Sr. arrives and is informed of Michael's success but receives disturbing news from Dr. Norman about his testosterone and estrogen levels. When Herbert Love fails to make his speech, George Sr. dons a red wig and retreats back into his apartment where he begins to live as a woman.
607"Colony Collapse"GobMitchell Hurwitz & Troy MillerMitchell Hurwitz & Jim VallelyMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD08
Gob continues the relationship with Ann Veal that he formed at the end of Season 3, under the belief that he has George-Michael's approval. After accidentally proposing to Ann, Gob announces on the Christian talk show 'And As It Is Such So Also As Such Is It Unto You', that he will be performing an magical illusion at their wedding. Gob plans to disappear inside a cave and re-appear after three days but this goes wrong when his secret compartment fails to open and Gob is knocked unconscious and trapped inside a hollow boulder, being found days later in the back of a storage unit. After Ann announces that she is leaving him, Gob re-connects with his son Steve Holt who offers him a job. Gob fails to show up the next day after falling in with a group of celebrities led by singer Mark Cherry. Shamed by this new lifestyle, Gob falls into a cycle of taking 'Forget-me-now' pills which make him forget that he took the last pill but not the events that resulted in him taking the pill, eventually ending up in a Mexican hospital. After his sick bees hospitalize the whole of Gob's gang when they escape into the back of his limo, Gob takes a job at his father's "Sweat and Squeeze" camp where he unexpectedly discovers the cave he used for the illusion at the wedding. Examining the secret panel, Gob discovers it was jammed shut by a cross, which he takes as a 'T' for Tony Wonder.
618"Red Hairing"LindsayTroy Miller & Mitchell HurwitzCaroline Williams & Richard RosenstockMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD06
Sick of living on his ostrich farm, Lindsay convinces boyfriend Marky Bark to move into her mother's empty apartment with her, along with his ostrich 'Cindy'. Marky comes up with a scheme to spray politician Herbert Love with ink and glitter and requests Lindsay's help to infiltrate his fundraiser and signal Marky to emerge from the podium in which he will be hiding. At the fundraiser, Lindsay is hit on by Herbert Love himself without knowing who he is and begins sexual relations with him while Marky is caught and imprisoned when Lindsay doesn't help him. Encountering Michael, Lindsay agrees to hand over her movie rights and talk to Herbert about the wall in exchange for Michael's help to release Marky. Michael meanwhile is hurt when George-Michael both doesn't show up to the meeting arranged by Gob and lies to him about his reasons for not being there. When Lindsay discovers Marky has been released from jail with Michael's help and he asks her to assist his plan to blow-up Herbert Love's boat at Cinco de Cuatro, she plans to tell Love about Marky's plans. However, Love calls off their relationship before she can do so and Lindsay retaliates by trying to publicly shame Love, causing a riot of the Mexicans when she mentions the wall, but accidentally wins over the crowd. When Love unexpectedly turns up in a coma, Lindsay accepts an offer to run in his place.
629"Smashed"TobiasMitchell Hurwitz & Troy MillerDean Lorey & Richard RosenstockMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD15
Tobias begins working at Lucille Austero's clinic so that he doesn't have to serve time in jail and encountering DeBrie at the clinic, organizes a Fantastic Four musical with the permission of warden Argyle Austero (Lucille's brother) so that he can get close to her again. When he fails to acquire the rights to the Fantastic Four from Ron Howard and Michael learns that Rebel Alley is in fact Ron Howard's daughter, Tobias lies to his cast about having the rights so that the production will go on. At Cinco de Cuatro, Lucille Bluth's harsh criticism of DeBrie's performance and Tobias' failure to comfort her lead to her relapsing and being threatened with jail for copyright infringement. Tobias takes DeBrie's place as Sue Storm but accidentally boards the wrong boat, taking an unexpected part in Marky's plan to bomb Herbert Love's boat when he is mistaken for Lindsay in his Sue Storm wig. Meanwhile, the performance of the musical goes ahead despite the absent members of its cast.
6310"Queen B."LucilleTroy Miller & Mitchell HurwitzRichard Rosenstock & Dean LoreyMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD10
Lucille prepares for her trial by preparing a story that she was trying to save Buster by piloting the boat away from shore, with Buster as the 'star witness'. When none of her family show up to the trial for various reasons, Lucille is found guilty and sent to jail as a result of Lucille Austero's testimony against her. In prison, Lucille rises to the top of the Jade Triad when she shows them a loophole around the 'No Smoking' rule but they turn on her when she causes trouble among the Triad members. Fearing for her life, Lucille gets herself transferred out of the prison to Lucille Austero's clinic where Tobias becomes her therapist. Lucille at first refuses to try therapy but when Tobias accidentally calls her a 'villain', she rants furiously at him and accepts a part as the villain of his Fantastic Four musical. After Michael signs over his rights to the Bluth Company to Lucille, Gene Parmesan helps Michael tail Gob, whom he believes to be Rebel's secret boyfriend. At Cinco de Cuatro, Lucille plans to board a boat and sail out of the reach of the law but after encountering and rejecting both George Sr. and Oscar, Tobias unwittingly correctly psychoanalyzes her and she decides to return to rehab. Meanwhile, as a resolution to the previous episode's cliffhanger, Herbert Love's boat is saved from destruction after Marky mixes up Lindsay and Tobias' cases.
6411"A New Attitude"GobMitchell Hurwitz & Troy MillerMitchell Hurwitz & Jim VallelyMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD14
Believing Tony Wonder to be responsible for the ruin of his life, Gob seeks revenge against him. Pretending to be gay with George-Michael as his fake boyfriend, Gob infiltrates the Gay Club where Tony is performing but fails to sabotage Tony's act. Tony and Gob unexpectedly end up connecting and having a fun night together. Tony, who is also pretending to be gay as part of a scheme with Sally Sitwell to acquire Gob's phone and retrieve the Fakeblock software from Gob's 'boyfriend' George-Michael, agrees to another date with Gob at the Little Ballroom. However, Gob goes to the wrong Little Ballroom where he encounters Michael who has been tailing him, believing him to be Rebel's boyfriend. The two fight and Michael kicks Gob, Lucille and George Sr. out of the movie in frustration at his family. Gob goes to Tony Wonder to apologize and the two spend an evening together, becoming close friends but mistaking the unfamiliar feeling for love, and agree to have sex on the night of Cinco de Cuatro. Gob arrives at Cinco first and encounters Ann, who reveals she has a five-year-old child with Tony Wonder, and Gob realizes Tony has just been pretending to be gay. Gob schemes to make Ann have sex with Tony wearing a 'Gob' mask whilst being filmed in an attempt to expose Tony as straight but Ann turns on him and tricks Gob into having sex with the real Tony. The morning after, Gob encounters Michael who has just shamed himself by propositioning Lucille Austero, and forces Michael to take a 'Forget-me-now' pill when Michael realizes Gob has slept with Tony Wonder. Not remembering the events of Cinco de Cuatro, Michael makes the same embarrassing offer to Lucille Austero over the phone again and calls Rebel who is busy with her real mystery boyfriend, revealed to be George-Michael.
6512"Señoritis"MaebyMitchell Hurwitz & Troy MillerJim Brandon & Brian SingletonMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD09
Ignored by her parents and unable to continue working as a movie producer without a high school diploma, Maeby illegally re-enrolls in high school by pretending to be 17. After giving up the model home to help catch sexual predators to earn money, Maeby learns that she has won a Lifetime Achievement award at the Opies. However, when she attends the ceremony with George-Michael, she realizes that the award is only given to those who are dead or whose careers are dying. Seeking to revive her career, she announces that she is creating an Internet company using George-Michael's 'Fakeblock' software, despite his objections. With investors pouring in money for the idea, Maeby also successfully pimps her mother out to Herbert Love for money and schemes to incriminate her boyfriend Perfecto, whom she believes to be her high school's undercover cop, as a sexual predator. George-Michael, realizing that 'Fakeblock' is rapidly spinning out of his control, fires Maeby from the company in a fit of panic. Maeby proceeds to sleep with Perfecto, who believes her to be 17, and attends Cinco de Cuatro to obtain her latest payment from Herbert Love's aide. When Love calls off relations with Lindsay, Maeby asks Perfecto to 'bad cop' Love for her. With Love 'taken care of' by Perfecto, he also reveals to Maeby that he's not an undercover cop and is just 17. After Cinco de Cuatro, as Lucille Austero is revealed to be missing and Sally Sitwell taking over her campaign, Maeby is arrested as a sex offender by her algebra teacher Donny Richter, who is actually the undercover cop Rocky Richter, and realizes that she will have to live in Sudden Valley.
6613"It Gets Better"George-MichaelTroy Miller & Mitchell HurwitzDean Lorey & Richard RosenstockMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD12
In the years since Season 3 ended, George-Michael has entered college at the University of Phoenix and, after a few formative years there (as well as a wild sexual romp while studying abroad in Spain), he goes through life with a new sense of confidence and has shed much of his meekness. He and roommate Paul develop an app for an electronic woodblock, christening it 'Fakeblock'. In an attempt to seduce Maeby and impress Michael, George-Michael lies about 'Fakeblock', claiming that it is anti-piracy software. When Maeby uses George-Michael's idea to form an Internet company, he goes along with the lie to show her that he is a risk-taker, adopting the pseudonym 'George Maharis'. But as he discovers that Maeby has managed to start a real company with money from investors, he realizes that his white lie has rapidly evolved beyond his control and turned into a scam which he has inadvertently become the center of, and he starts looking for a way to close the company as quickly as possible. However, at a planned meeting with his father Michael he accidentally encounters Rebel, who is impressed by his new celebrity status, and lies to Michael so that he might spend more time with Rebel. Frustrated that his son is pushing away from him, Michael uses Andy Richter's membership to enter the club in search of his son.
6714"Off the Hook"BusterMitchell Hurwitz & Troy MillerJim Vallely & Mitchell HurwitzMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD11
After a juice-driven night with Lucille Austero, Buster wakes up to discover that he has missed his mother's trial. On a search for a new mother after Lucille Bluth disowns him, Buster moves in with Lucille Austero and, when she kicks him out for being more of a son than a lover, re-enlists with the army to try and capture his real mother's attention. When assigned to pilot drones from afar, Buster still manages to injure himself and receives an over-sized and powerful left hand replacement. Discharged from the army for failing the 'Cute Test', Buster is adopted by Ophelia Love, the wife of Herbert Love, to support Herbert's campaign as an injured war veteran. However, Ophelia begins an affair with Buster when she learns about Herbert's infidelity and then abruptly ends it, choosing to give Herbert a second chance, and kicks Buster out. Buster goes to Cinco de Cuatro seeking revenge against Herbert Love but runs into Lucille Austero, who reveals that she deliberately gave him juice the night before his mother's trial so that Lucille Bluth would be locked up. Horrified, Buster goes on a juice-fueled rampage, knocking Herbert Love into a coma. After accidentally incriminating himself into Lucille Austero's disappearance, Buster attempts and fails to use George-Michael's 'Fakeblock' software to erase the footage.
6815"Blockheads"George-MichaelMitchell Hurwitz & Troy MillerMitchell Hurwitz & Jim VallelyMay 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)4AJD13
Due to increasing animosity with his roommate Paul over the ownership of 'Fakeblock', George-Michael is forced to leave his dorm room and instead moves to Sudden Valley as he wants to impress Michael by buying one of his houses. Rebel visits George-Michael and starts doubting their relationship, seeing the investment in real estate as a sign that George-Michael is not as easy-going as he claimed. Maeby, meanwhile, wanting revenge on George-Michael for firing her, advises Michael on how to impress Rebel. Following her advice, Michael makes love to Rebel, but after leaving her apartment he discovers from a photo that his romantic rival is his own son. Upon accidentally running into George-Michael and hearing from him that he has girlfriend-trouble, Michael takes pity on his son and decides not to reveal the truth and gives up pursuing Rebel further. At Cinco de Cuatro, Gob is in negotiation with a Mongolian horde he hired to build the Mexican wall, but as George Sr. reveal they have no money to pay the horde with, the horde is angered and goes on a rampage, being mistaken for rioting Mexicans in the process. Somewhere else, George-Michael is preparing to reveal at his keynote speech that 'Fakeblock' doesn't exist, he finds a note that promises him he will get "screwed" if he continues his plans with 'Fakeblock', and thinking that it is a promise of sex from Rebel, he decides to continue the lie. But, unbeknownst to him, the note was actually a threat from the hacktivist group, Anonymous. Michael awakes the next day, and because he was drugged by Gob, he has forgotten that he decided to give up Rebel. George-Michael, meanwhile, tells Rebel that he truly cares about her and thereby solidifies their relationship. As George-Michael leaves Rebel's place, he runs into the amnesic Michael, and realizes that he was the other guy Rebel was seeing. George-Michael is willing to pass it off as an honest mistake, until Michael inadvertently mentions the photo he saw, revealing that he knew about George-Michael and Rebel's relationship. Angered, George-Michael punches his father in the face, and the two silently stare at each other. In the post-credits scene, Gob is named as the replacement President of Bluth Company after Lucille Austero disappears. Buster is arrested for the murder of Lucille Austero. After watching the news of Buster's arrest, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer decide to make a movie about it.


Critical response

Early reviews of the fourth season were generally positive. On the review aggregator website, Metacritic, the fourth season has a score of 72 out of 100, based on 21 reviews, indicating "Generally favorable reviews".[32] Mike Hale, writing for The New York Times after watching the first eight episodes, said that "Along the way there are doses of self-referential and metafictional humor that have made the show a cult item—enough for fans to compile lists, but not enough to re-enliven the episodes or distract from the story's dullness".[3] Robert Lloyd, writing for the Los Angeles Times, praised the series, suggesting that it improves after several episodes.[33] The A.V. Club's Todd VanDerWerff graded the season overall with a 'B', writing that "It is, in places, masterful. It is also, in other places, at once weirdly pleased with itself and too ready to hold the audience's hand where that hand needn't be held", and that "The scope of the whole project is hard to deny for its ambition and audacity."[34] David M. Cook of WhatCulture! gave the new season a positive review calling it "The Triumphant Return Of The Bluths". He said "it was great to see the Bluths return in such fine form" and that he "found a lot of the season to be funnier than anything that had come before it".[35] Gem Wheeler of Den of Geek argued that the fourth season was "Arrested Development's best yet", and "the Bluths officially rule the pop culture landscape. Long may they reign."[36]

Brian Lowry of Variety gave the season a negative review, writing, "Ultimately, this 'Arrested' revival plays a bit like a reunion special, where the individual cast members come out and take their curtain calls. After the warmth of seeing them reunited (or semi-reunited, given how rarely more than one or two are featured in a scene together), there's a sort of awkwardness to it, as if nobody really has much to say. We're meant to bask in the nostalgia, while the particulars are of relatively little consequence."[37] Nathan Rabin of The Wall Street Journal similarly wrote, "Arrested Development has lost a step or two in its long stint on the sidelines. The pacing is notably slower than during its original run and the show lacks the breathtaking density that characterized its glorious past. At its worst, the new/old Arrested Development is reduced to doing a shaky imitation of itself: the characters and themes are there but the beats are slightly off, as is the tone".[38] David Pierce of The Verge also gave it a mixed review, writing "Season four is kind of a confused mess, but then so is the Bluth family — and both somehow work despite all the chaos. From the way it was shot to the way it was released, the show was an experiment — covering a few events many ways, showing us the world through every character's eyes. It's very clearly just set-up in the larger sense, building toward something bigger for Arrested Development. But the question is, what's next?" He also commented positively, saying, "Season four is absolutely worthy of the Arrested Development name, though you'll have to slog through three episodes before it becomes so".[39]


The fourth season earned the series three Primetime Emmy Award nominations for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Jason Bateman, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series.[40] For the 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards, the cast was nominated for Best Comedy Ensemble and Jason Bateman was nominated for Best Comedy Actor.[41] Bateman also received a nomination for Best Comedy Actor for the 71st Golden Globe Awards.[42]



Show creator Mitchell Hurwitz said that the fourth season will serve as the precursor to a future full-length Arrested Development film. Rumors of a film circulated after the possibility was suggested in the final episode of the third season, "Development Arrested".[43] In 2008, it was reported that production of Arrested Development: The Movie would begin after the completion of the fourth season, with a script to be written by Hurwitz.[44][45] In 2008, Ron Howard was slated to direct the film, though it is not clear whether he still is.[45][46] Reportedly, all original members of the main cast are expected to reprise their original roles.[47] In August 2013, Hurwitz commented "I'm working on the movie right now" and his plan is to do another season after the film is completed.[48]

Fifth season

In 2013, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that he would be interested in producing another season of Arrested Development: "If the talent were willing to do more, and interested in that, I'm sure we would be willing".[49] Producer Brian Grazer said that "We are in conversations with them to do another [season]".[50] The last episode of season 4 features a customary "On the next episode" clip; this differs from the original run's concluding clip, which was titled "On the epilogue".

Home media releases

The fourth season was released on DVD in region 1 on December 16, 2014,[51] in region 2 on June 9, 2014,[52] and in region 4 on August 27, 2014.[53]


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  3. 1 2 Hale, Mike (May 26, 2013). "A Family Streamed Back to Life". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
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