The broader market surged Tuesday after the Memorial Day weekend break, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing 1.15% and the S&P 500 up 1.12% in morning trading. Netflix shares opened up 3% before falling in early trading, and closed down 6.4% Tuesday to $214.19 per share.
Netflix executives have had high hopes for the return of “Arrested Development.” CFO David Wells, at an investment conference earlier this month, said the series — with its rabid cult following — could help Netflix avoid a year-over-year decline in second-quarter subscriber additions.
But TV critics, who did not receive the ability to view the series ahead of the Sunday premiere of all 15 episodes, were generally underwhelmed with the fourth and likely final installment of the comedy.
Variety’s Brian Lowry said the “revival plays a bit like a reunion special, where the individual cast members come out and take their curtain calls” but ultimately “nobody really has much to say.” Following the seven-year hiatus after Fox canceled “Arrested Development,” the show at its worst is “reduced to doing [a] shaky imitation of itself: the characters and themes are there but the beats are slightly off, as is the tone,” Nathan Rabin wrote in The Wall Street Journal.
And The New York Times’ Mike Hale said fans of the show would be disappointed in the final “Arrested Development” entry, in which “everything feels slowed down and dragged out at the same time that it feels forced and overly complicated.”
“Chalk one up for the Internet: It has killed ‘Arrested Development,’ ” Hale opined.
Some reviewers, however, loved the Bluths’ return on Netflix. “Arrested Development” season 4 “proves that there is still hope for sitcom genius from the TV industry, especially if it’s created by Mitchell Hurwitz, narrated by Ron Howard and features one of the greatest ensemble casts of all time,” The San Francisco Chronicle’s David Wiegand wrote.
Netflix does not release viewing metrics for individual shows. While execs have talked up original and exclusive content as a key component to the service, CEO Reed Hastings acknowledged on Netflix’s first-quarter 2013 earnings call that series “House of Cards” had only a “gentle” effect on total subscriber additions.