Arrested Development’s original fourth season is still streaming on Netflix, but it takes a little bit of detective work to find it.
Netflix debuted Arrested Development’s newly remixed fourth season today, and although it isn’t the only available option for Netflix subscribers, it is by far the most visible one. The remixed version re-edits the original 15, single character-focused episodes from 2013’s fourth season and turns them into 22 chronological episodes, each including a majority of the cast. If subscribers click play on Arrested Development’s fourth season from the platform’s main landing page, the remixed version will automatically start. Netflix subscribers have to go to the show’s official page and click on the “trailers and more” section to find the original cut of the fourth season.
Netflix is clearly making it more difficult for people to watch the original fourth season, seemingly hoping that subscribers tune into the remixed edition. This may be beneficial for people who slogged through the show’s choppy fourth season in 2013 and want to forget it by optimistically tuning into the recut episodes, but we can’t say for certain. (Most of Polygon’s team are avid Arrested Development fans — some of whom even secured second place in a highly contested trivia tournament — but we haven’t watched the remixed season in its entirety just yet.)
But the recut has gotta be better than the first iteration of the season, right? After all, Washington Post called the original cut of the fourth season “a chore to watch” in 2013, adding that it was “staggering in its ambition, surgical in its execution and diabolical in its conclusion.”
Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately depending on how masochistic your viewing practices are), you won’t have to watch that original version ever again. After all, even creator Mitchell Hurwitz acknowledged the show’s fourth season issues.
“But in-between season 4 and this upcoming season 5 I had time to take that Rashomon-style story and recut it— shuffling the content from 15 individual stories into 22 interwoven stories the length of the original series as an experiment to find out, well... I guess ‘if I could make some money.’ I mean, who am I kidding, I want this thing to syndicate eventually,” Hurwitz said in a Facebook post this week.
Whether that holds up, well, we’ll see. Arrested Development’s remixed fourth season is now streaming on Netflix.
(Ed. note: The original season four is really not that bad. — Allegra F.)