For months, I anticipated the return of Arrested Development. Best comedy, well, ever, in my estimation. At least, outside of the U.K. Office. I’ve watched three of the new episodes. Total laugh count: approximately one per episode. It’s like watching an imitation of the original show, only with the same actors.
In the original, the relentless onslaught of little jokes, verbal tics, and absurd situations seemed like the turning-on of a faucet, a tapping into the recesses of the writers’ minds, where an endless supply of these things lay awaiting exposure. I don’t know if they’ve changed writers or directors or what, but something is wrong. The well ran dry. The new Arrested Development just isn’t the breathtaking laugh fest that used to be. The episodes go on too long; the mediocre jokes get repeated ad nauseum; the weird asides are nowhere near as silly as they used to be. Everything feels like matching a template.
I couldn’t be more disappointed. Granted, they had set the bar impossibly high. But it would have been better to let the thing lie in state than reanimate it poorly. Ah well. Maybe they’ll soldier on and find their way.