I wasn't one of those who felt like the world would have been robbed without more Arrested Development. I was a big fan of the initial run of the series and I thought that, for better or worse, the show walked away at it's peak - a feat many others can't claim. And then this came along. I have to say, the AV Club's season long review sums up a lot of my own feelings:
It’s an occasionally hilarious, sometimes boring, always bloated boondoggle of a project, and it’s the sort of thing that’s at once staggering in its ambition and hard to approach with anything like real affection. It is, in places, masterful. It is also, in other places, at once weirdly pleased with itself and too ready to hold the audience’s hand where that hand needn’t be held.I watched the first half until I felt like I was watching it more out of obligation than real interest, and then I took a break. I found when I came back the second half really started to gel. Part of the problem with this season is the sheer design of it - because they couldn't get all of the cast back together at the same time, they decided to go with a different kind of situation, but as it gets closer to the end you start to see all the pieces of the puzzle coming together and it's quite rewarding.
There's a number of pretty amazing sight gags - the Jeremy Piven one being one of the most clever. A huge missed opportunity was in not referencing how the cast had changed so drastically physically (mostly Lindsay and Maeby) and yet it goes without comment - especially in the scenes meant to take place directly following season three. Alas.
I don't need to recommend this to hard-core fans, you're already in. Newcomers... this is going to feel like it's a crack experiment - so if you really just want to start the show here, tread lightly. Also, you're missing out on some amazing things if that's your call. At one point I really want to revisit the initial run. One of these days!