'Arrested Development' is damaging Netflix
Spending constraints forced a character-sketch storyline that's turning off critics and infuriating shareholders.
It's Netflix's (NFLX) "Arrested Development."
The reviews are starting to trickle in after Netflix debuted the online-only season four after Fox (NWS) canceled the series in 2006, and the criticism has one common theme: Netflix made a huge mistake.
The biggest critics, company shareholders, sent the stock plummeting more than 6% Tuesday on the reactions.
The Onion's AV Club credited the show and its creator, Michael Hurwitz, for not lapsing into nostalgia and creating "an important and ground-breaking piece of TV" by starting the series with nine single-episode stories about each of the characters from the original run. Noble as that approach is, it may also be a vast overestimate of the broader Netflix viewing public's patience.
The Daily Beast went point by point in describing why season four was a bust and put the new character-study format at the top of its list. It also blamed Netflix's unorthodox pay scale to lure back stars including Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Michael Cera and David Cross. As a result, Bateman's Michael Bluth is a nonfactor in several episodes, while Cera's George Michael disappears from the series for great lengths at a time, crushing the chemistry and the improvisation of the original series.
The tight budget also forced the new "Arrested Development" to shoot scenes in front of green screens with sets projected on them rather than on actual filming sites. That likely cost the series its best directors, Joe and Anthony Russo. The two passed on new episodes to make next summer's superhero film "Captain America: Winter Soldier" instead.
There's also the small detail that, well, it's seven years later. Shows like Fox's "Family Guy" and "Futurama" and Cartoon Network's "Venture Brothers" can be revived easily because their animated characters don't age and the voice-over talent behind them doesn't require a whole lot of time or money. Everybody involved with "Arrested Development" took a seven-year hiatus.
Even if the show's niche audience comes around, it may be too late to salvage another season or the rumored "Arrested Development" film. And that's why you don't wait almost a decade to bring back a cult hit.
"Everybody involved with "Arrested Development" took a seven-year hiatus'
That's a bunch of crap, they have all been working.
The show was to good for TV, so its no surprise that its to good for the majority of the Netflix crowd.
Thank you Netflix for taking the chance with this, House of cards and Lillehammer. All of the originals have been fantastic streaming television.
"And that's why you don't wait almost a decade to bring back a cult hit."
Hmmm....can we say Star Trek? Yeah, the original movie was disappointing, but that still didn't kill off the franchise.
I always liked Arrested Development when I saw it in its original airing, though not a rabid fan. I think the new season is also good if not great, and still in the end a victory for Netflix.
Wow is this article serious!?
This can't be serious at all the new season is awesome.
"Infurating shareholders!?" What kind of moron would be infurated with a cult classic shows return?
Wow, and history repeats itself; stockholders trying to kill a perfectly good show before the fans even get a chance at it.
Last night, I began watching the series again. I missed watching it after season one. Those who say this is a failure on Netflix's part after less than a week, and pull out need to look at other ways of investing, like a sock.
Wow. Is Jason Notte a "journalist"? I hope not(te). He clearly did not watch it, and instead read a handful of blogs about it, cherry picked the ones that support his dubious thesis, added sensational headline terms that sound like they're ripped from the New York Daily News and called this an "article."
I don't mean to pick on him personally, but this makes me very concerned about our media. Who was the editor here? No matter how you feel about AD's fourth season, this is NOT journalism, rather it is a terrible example of sensationalizing and misleading hype.
Drawing causality between the stock price drop and the reviews? Lazy and dangerous. And the commenter below is correct that the creator is Mitchell not Michael Hurwitz. Mistakes happen, that's for sure, but this is very sloppy. (Not to mention that, on balance, by press time of this piece more reviews are actually positive than negative, from critics and fan sites alike.)
Is this whole article a cynical attempt to catch a bit of the hype and send it MSN-way? Makes me feel stupid for even commenting. But I have to.
I hope (but doubt) that MSN does better with its harder-hitting pieces. Alas, this is Fox and CNN caliber fluff-aganda masquerading as journalism. disappointing.
I've never seen this show, but you know what Netflix show is terrible?
That show is so stupid! It was rambling, directionless until the last few episodes of the first season, overpacked with sex scenes between what are supposed to be/portrayed as teenagers... If I wanted that much nudity, I would find some pornography!
The only reason we actually watched the entire season was because we were hoping it would get better, which it never did. Plus it's kind of like not finishing a book. So annoying! I hear House of Cards is actually really good... perhaps if I get bored enough to watch tv again any time soon, I will check it out.
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Reports say the generous benefactor behind the huge gratuities is a former PayPal executive.
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