Will Arnett Reflects On Arrested Development Season 4 & 5 Fan Backlash

Arrested Development star Will Arnett reflects on the fan backlash to the show’s season 4 and 5 on Netflix, which many found disappointing.

Will Arnett reflects on his time making Arrested Development  season 4 and 5, and the fan backlash that followed. First airing on Fox in 2003, Arrested Development follows Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) as he attempts to control his eccentric family following the arrest of his father. The sitcom features a strong supporting cast, including Arnett as Gob, a struggling magician, in addition to Portia de Rossi, Alia Shawkat, David Cross, Tony Hale, Jeffrey Tambor, and the late Jessica Walter.

Arrested Development ran until season 3 before it was ultimately canceled due to low ratings. The show’s passionate fan base, however, led to Netflix reviving the series for season 4 and 5. With the first three seasons of the show being critically acclaimed and beloved by fans, seasons 4 and 5 ultimately proved generally disappointing, with many blaming a change of tone and a dip in the quality of the writing. Cross, who plays disgraced psychoanalyst Tobias Fünke, has since said that an Arrested Development season 6 is very unlikely to happen.

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Related: How Arrested Development Reshaped Sitcoms

In a new interview with The Guardian, Arnett reflected on his time making Arrested Development season 4 and 5, and the fan backlash that accompanied them. Arnett agrees that elements of the later seasons “did not work,” and explains that scheduling conflicts for the show’s main stars meant that the cast was often shooting scenes separately, which also contributed to the perceived dip in quality. Check out Arnett’s full comment below:

“You know, I think there were a lot of things in those seasons that did not work. We weren’t all together, for a start. But there were moments when we were together and I was crying with laughter, and it was worth it for that. Maybe it was like a very expensive reunion for all of us.”


Will Arnett Arrested Development

Arnett’s explanation regarding a separated cast certainly makes sense. Arrested Development had always featured sprawling storylines with the main characters separated on their own little adventures, but also often had the core cast united in the same room to play off each other in bizarre but hilarious encounters. Considering the strong chemistry between Arrested Development‘s lead cast members, the series thrived when all of the central figures of the Bluth family were together under one roof. Season 4 featured very few scenes of the cast actually together, taking away the entertaining family dynamics the series was based on. And while season 5 sought to rectify this, many fans felt the change wasn’t quite enough, and the script and overall storyline was still found lacking.


It’s unfortunate that Netflix’s revival of Arrested Development ultimately proved so disappointing, let down partly by a simple but complicated issue such as scheduling, among other things. However, despite its faults in latter seasons, Arrested Development was crucial in establishing Bateman, Arnett, and the show’s other cast members as bankable comedy stars. For Arnett, in particular, Arrested Development served as a big break in terms of his acting career, and the show’s popularity is largely responsible for his continued success to this day. Despite how audiences felt about seasons 4 and 5, Arnett and his co-stars’ strong performances made Arrested Development the cult classic series it remains today.


More: Why Arrested Development Was Canceled (& Why It Came Back)

Source: The Guardian

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