Arrested Development Season 4 Recut FAQ: Why the Big Controversy

Not only has Netflix's Arrested Development Season 4 Recut proved controversial, but some of the real life actors have recently acted as dysfunctionally as the Bluth family they portray.

Arrested Development Season 4- Jeffrey Tambor and Jason Bateman. Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix

(Image credit: Arrested Development Season 4- Jeffrey Tambor and Jason Bateman. Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix)

Here's what you need to know about the re-edited episodes on Netflix, the new season coming next week and the Arrested Development cast interview that has everyone talking.

They remixed Season 4 of Arrested Development?

Timed to start the marketing campaign for Arrested Development's upcoming fifth season (which debuts on May 29), show-creator Mitch Hurwitz released a re-edited version of the previous season, dubbed Arrested Development Season 4 Remix: Fateful Consequences.

The remixed season isn't just a marketing ploy, it's also an attempt to salvage a notoriously underwhelming season of television. The Washington Post’s Dan Zak called the fourth season a "chore to watch." James Poniewozik of Time went further, stating "If you marathoned old AD before watching this, turning on the first episode feels like stepping from a briskly air-conditioned room into a rainforest; everything's heavy, languid, a little oppressive."

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They're not alone, either. Joe Matar at Den of Geek said "it felt more like some odd, low-budget, fan-made Arrested Development stage play that had somehow secured the original cast while losing everything else that had made the original series a classic"

So, does the remix work?

Ben Travers at IndieWire says the re-edited episodes are a mixed bag, but solves a major fan complaint by "rearranging the story structure so the entire cast is more prominently featured throughout." This Season 4 issue, where the entire cast were rarely together in the same room, sparked a popular request for Season 5 to focus on the group as an ensemble.

Matar thinks the remix helped repair the storytelling, making "the events of the season progress in a closer to (but not entirely) consecutive fashion, which makes it somewhat (somewhat) less confusing."

Arrested Development Season 5 Jessica Walter; Will Arnett; Jeffrey Tambor. Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix

(Image credit: Arrested Development Season 5 Jessica Walter; Will Arnett; Jeffrey Tambor. Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix)

What does the cast think of the Season 4 remix?

They're not happy, that's for sure. Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Michael Cera and David Cross are reportedly asking 20th Century Fox TV to pay them the money they believe they're due.

A story in The Hollywood Reporter explained that the actors believe they're due more ducats because the re-editing process changes the episode count from 15 to 22 episodes, which 20th Century Fox TV could use as leverage for a better syndication deal.

This isn't a vast conspiracy, either, as a tweet from Hurwitz referred to the re-cut of Season 4 as "an experiment to find out, well … I guess 'if I could make some money.'"

Where did Netflix put the original version of Arrested Development's 4th Season?

Netflix seems intent on making sure nobody sees the first version of Season 4, as the seasons menu for the show only shows seasons 1 through 3 and "Season 4 Remix: Fateful Consequences."

If, for some reason — maybe the sake of comparing the new and old versions — you want to watch the first version, you'll want to open the Netflix page for Arrested Development and select Trailers & More. There, you'll find the Original Cut episodes.

What happened at the New York Times interview with the Arrested Development cast?

Where do I begin? The show's intro "Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything," doesn't quite fit, but it's close. And much like Arrested Development itself, this moment needs the context of a flashback.

In an interview with The New York Times' Sopan Deb, the elephant in the room was the accusations about Jeffrey Tambor's reported sexual misconduct (which he has denied) that led to the actor getting fired from the TV show Transparent. Once those accusations became public, Tambor would soon tell The Hollywood Reporter about an incident where he lost his temper with Jessica Walter, his on-screen wife in Arrested Development.

Co-star Jason Bateman then described Tambor's behavior as being typical, saying "not to belittle it or excuse it or anything, but in the entertainment industry it is incredibly common to have people who are, in quotes, 'difficult.'" Alia Shawkat, who plays Maeby Fünke, shut that line of thinking down, saying "But that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable."

Then, Jessica Walter, through tears, said that in the moment, she's realized she has "to let go of being angry at [Tambor]" While she used the present tense to tacitly admit she's still angry with her co-star, she continued, stating "He never crossed the line on our show, with any, you know, sexual whatever. Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologize."

And to counter Jason Bateman's earlier statement, Walter said "this happens all the time. In like almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had anybody yell at me like that on a set."

In a tweet, Jason Bateman attempted to clarify his statements, declaring he was not excusing Tambor or being insensitive to Walter.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.