Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Arrested Development Season 4 Was Terrible; Here's How to Fix It

That's right - your big comeback season was bad, and you should feed bad.

I don't often comment on popular culture here on this blog - for one thing, there's not much popular culture that interests me, and what little pop culture I consume I don't take seriously enough to think and blog about. But, today, I'll make an exception.

Many, many people (including me) were looking forward to the return of Arrested Development - it was an excellent and funny show, cancelled during its prime. After a multi-year hiatus, Netflix picked it up to develop a 4th season as an original production - hooray!

The only problem - the 4th season is terrible: "Essentially they've taken a typical Arrested episode, blown it up, and dissected it into fifteen parts. Thus all the swiftness and brisk efficiency has been sapped, each overly long episode struggling to get through a lot of plot in order to justify its existence as a standalone entity." Oh, and let's not forget repetitive - good God, the episodes get so repetitive. Think Pulp Fiction, but done really, REALLY badly.

Ouch. But that's not the worst of it - according to some critics, it's Jar Jar Binks terrible. Now THAT is harsh.

Fortunately, there's a way to fix most of the 4th season - namely, by chopping up all of the disjointed episodes into individual scenes and editing all the scenes back together in chronological order. The result is a much better, funnier 4th season that much better showcases how the characters interact with each other, that doesn't leave you wondering why something happened for 10 episodes (seriously, in the original edit, things that happened in the first and second episode weren't explained until the last two episodes), and that is generally possible to understand.

Even more fortunately, someone has already done this for you - Reddit user morphinapg took all 15 4th season episodes, hacked them up, and rearranged the pieces into 12 chronological episodes that are FAR better than the original 15.

Undoubtedly due to copyright reasons, the only place to watch this chronological edit of season 4 is via a certain Bay of Pirates - link here. Obviously, I wouldn't suggest clicking on that link at work; otherwise, you'll have some explaining to do to your IT department. Furthermore, since the only way to get them is via public torrent, there's a small chance that you yourself might get a nasty letter from your ISP for downloading them - but if you're following my advice to protect your internet habits from the prying eyes of your ISP and (somewhat) from the NSA, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. You're protecting your online privacy as a matter of habit anyway, right?

"But, Angry Bureaucrat, aren't you advocating piracy?" Well, the law might say so, but no, I don't think so. I have a Netflix account, so I have unlimited access to watch the original (terrible) season 4 - since I'm already paying for the original, why shouldn't I have the right to watch the remix as well? US copyright law is ridiculous - if it is considered infringement for someone with a paid Netflix account to watch this remixed season 4, that's just another example of US copyright law being extremely outdated, to the point of being pointless and useless.

(I'll note that if you don't have a Netflix account, you can sign up for a 1 month free trial, and then watch the chronological edit of season 4 guilt-free, as far as I'm concerned.)

If you're so inclined, I supposed I'd recommend watching the original season 4 first, so you see it how the director intended first (and so that you can appreciate how much better the remix is from the original).

But if you're only going to watch season 4 once, watch the chronological edit - trust me, you'll thank me for the tip.

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