Well guys, it finally happened. The day we were all waiting for came and went. I’m speaking (obviously) about the release of season four of Arrested Development on Netflix. By now, at some point, most of you (like me), have probably already stripped down to your cutoffs, fired up the ol’ Cornballer, and watched every single episode of the new season. This week, I’d like to share my feelings about the newest season. I’m going to try to do this without giving away too much for those of you who might not have seen all the episodes yet (dummies).

First of all, I’d really like to watch them all again, because the jokes were all threaded so closely together that they were difficult to follow. It was so full of intricacies that it became a little convoluted.

Part of what made seasons 1–3 so great was the ensemble cast. With interactions that were engaging and hilarious, and the characters weaving in and out of the episodes, you never got tired of any one character or wondered what others were up to. However, with this new format of focusing on one character per episode, and with very little screentime for ensembles, it ends up putting all the weight on one person at a time, and leaves the viewer feeling wistful for the dynamic of episodes past.

This strange format probably resulted from the fact that it was difficult to get all the actors on the same schedule, so they had to get a little creative. Some scenes were filmed using a green screen, but mostly they had to shoot the scenes with only one or two characters at a time.

One of my favorite bits I missed in the new season was when the Bluths would get together for a family party, and it would end up being “one of the better ones.” The wall between Mexico and the US was a strange plot point, one that didn’t really get better as the season progressed. What was up with George Sr.? It seemed like he was almost an entirely different character. Was that just me? Also, can we talk about Portia De Rossi’s face? I’ve always thought she was a staggeringly beautiful actress, and didn’t she go on some very publicized tirade about how good Ellen DeGeneres made her feel about herself? I don’t think I’m alone when I say, “why, Portia? WHY?” It got better when she stopped wearing the wig, but still… Good God, woman.

Overall, season 4 of Arrested Development… wasn’t bad. There were definitely some good bits, and it was nice to see the gang back together again… even if they weren’t back together again in the same room. To me, it seemed like the biggest issue was that the writers were too aware of what had made the show successful in the first place. They tried to turn it into a formula, and ended up creating a season that feels slightly pandering.

Candy Crush Update: Level 169. I fear I may have reached the end of my abilities with this game, despite a successful week.

Zooey Mae has been working as a writer monkey for Synthesis Weekly since 2007. Her favorite things include (but are not limited to), Jeffrey Brown, bubble wrap, Craig Thompson, pillow forts, receiving handwritten letters, and whiskey. She spends her free time stockpiling supplies for the impending robot Apocalypse and avoiding eye contact with strangers.