Arrested Development Season 5 Part 1 Review: Comedy Gold

The Bluths are back

arrested development season 5
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Arrested Development has become cult viewing in the comedy world. With its bizarre situations and dysfunctional characters, it is one of those must watch series that everyone is talking about. It is frankly shocking that the series was cancelled after season 4 and we’ve had to wait five years for a follow-up.

Spoilers within!

At the end of Season 4, Lucille 2 (Liza Minelli) had gone missing and the Bluth’s campaign for office had gone badly wrong. Add to that the murder of Herbert Love and Rebel’s relationships with Michael and George Michael and Season 5 has some serious ground to cover.


Season five is very much set up as a murder mystery story regarding the disappearance of Lucille 2. Buster (Tony Hale) is in prison, suspected of murdering Lucille 2, following a set up by Michael that was supposed to expose another set up by Lucille 1. Obviously, that doesn’t work and Michael discovers that Buster has been in prison for a lot longer than planned.

There are constant games played between Michael and his parents whom he believes are hiding Lucille 2 until it becomes clear that none of them know where she is and Buster really was the last person to see her alive.

This whole plot is played really well and the interactions between Michael, Buster, Lucille and George senior really make it. It seemed pretty certain at the end of season 4 that she was dead and Buster was responsible but it’ll be fun finding out how this all unravels.

Rebellious streak

Alongside this main plot is Ron Howard’s daughter Rebel (Isla Fisher) who is in a relationship with both Michael and his son George Michael. Michael sort of ends it to allow George Michael to continue seeing her but he never actually says the words so she just thinks he’s playing hard to get.

George Michael also tries to end it multiple times, even going so far as to turn up to a Howard family BBQ with pink hair and a bad attitude. This goes hilariously wrong however when his hair turns ginger and they think he’s just trying to fit in.

Alt-Right in the thick of it

Lucille (Jessica Walter) is pushing Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) to run for office as part of the Alt-Right and her daughter Maeby is made her publicist, despite her complete hatred of the political direction.

There is so much relevance to current US politics in this story that they had to follow it on from season 4. When it aired in 2013 and they joked about right-wing candidates building a wall to keep foreigners out nobody would have realised that Trumps was about to use that exact line to get votes and become the president.

They even go so far as to show a clip of Trump’s “I will build a wall” speech with Lucille saying “Hey, that was my idea”.

It is somewhat disturbing that a lot of the political content in Arrested Development which we previously just saw as farce is now very much the status quo.


Meanwhile, Tobias (David Cross), who is now Lindsay’s Ex is still hanging around and trying to stay in the family as Lucille’s councillor.

Tobias is typically disturbing in every episode and we really do love his character as his desperate attempts to be liked get more and more out of hand. We also get introduced to his son Murph (Kyle Mooney) who everyone thinks is his lover.

Maeby the best

Maeby (Alia Shawkat) has several roles in the series and is perhaps the most developed character in the show. She takes over Lucille 2’s retirement home and pretends to be her sister.

This ends up with her having a relationship with a man in his 80s who wants sex… the results of this are hilarious as she plays the stereotypical Jewish grandma role perfectly. She is also still flirting with her cousin George Michael and they even kiss in this series, if only to try and derail Lindsay’s political campaign.

Maeby is perhaps one of the saving graces of the series as her character is brilliant and is so well acted. Her storylines are always really funny and often completely bonkers. She really does feel like the glue that holds the whole thing together.

Off the rails

George Senior (Jeffrey Tambor) is going ahead with his divorce from Lucille and is suffering from depression until he finds out his lack of “manliness” is because Lucille has switched his Viagra with Oestrogen.

This leads to a number of very funny scenes including an attempted suicide by drowning and a number of trips to the desert.

Last but by no means least is Gob (Will Arnett) who is in turmoil following his attempted love affair with “gay” magician Tony Wonder (Ben Stiller). Tony tells him that it can’t happen as it would ruin their acts and Gob goes off the rails.

All of these storylines come to a head on the mid-season finale during the 2nd July Parade. We are left wondering if Tony is still alive after a magic trick they do together goes wrong and he’s possibly buried in concrete as Gob accidentally broadcasts his confessions of love over the loudspeakers.

All in all, we are thrilled that Arrested Development is back and can’t wait for the second half of the season.

Many people disliked Season 4 and whilst it may not have been as clever as the earlier series it was still very funny and season 5 follows on perfectly.

The first half of the season is laugh out loud funny and once again we’re rooting for the characters even if they’re all terrible human beings. It really does give a witty insight into the upper echelons of American society and no matter how bizarre it gets it’s somehow believable in the modern world.

Arrested Development is available to stream now on Netflix.

Season 5 part 2 will be released later this year.

Did you enjoy the return of Arrested Development? Why not let us know in the comments.

Up Next: We look at The Good Place and why you should watch it.

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