Based on the first 4 episodes of Arrested Development season 5, I agree. There are a handful of pretty funny moments but it’s fairly uncomfortable to watch.
What I posted a few days ago about the follies of making your TV show a really long movie applies here. The episodes I saw weren’t really episodes, it’s just a single narrative (that is a straight continuation of season 4, with some weird retconning) broken up into arbitrary breaks. But there’s no compelling reason for this. The story isn’t interesting and it’s not creating any funny moments.
I’m not sure why this season exists.
Arrested Development always had an exciting urgency to it, that the creators HAD to make this show. The first 2 seasons were packed with well thought out characters, creative formal choices, and clever plotting. The 4th season, while flawed, is probably the only TV show to successfully pull off being puzzle box where 15 hours of events intertwine very neatly (compare it to Westworld).
I’m not getting that sense with this season. It has yet to reveal a single idea that necessitated a reboot. It just seems like a fan service.
Also, the show looks so cheap! There’s like 5 sets re-used across 2 hours. Arrested Development was never a cinematic show, but it had been designed and filmed to suggest a lived in and expansive pseudo-cartoon world. The new season looks like a Saturday Night Live set.
The magic of the show is lost – they don’t have the cast committed solely to the show, they don’t have the budget a network TV channel afforded them, and they’re laden with 10 years of expectations.
There’s something deeply regressive and depressing about the writers and actors pretending that this frankensteined season in 2018 naturally fits in with a show that originally aired in 2003.