Summer is often a lull time in TV world. A combination of your audience not being quite so captive with better weather and lighter nights tempting them outdoors (and foreign climes if the former hasn’t quite turned out as promise) with big sporting events most years means that the big guns are put away, both here and in the US. For us TV-loving, outdoor-hating, begrudging travellers, this is has been a low point. Our own version of SAD if you will.

Thankfully, the rise of Netflix, Amazon Prime and other such services has come to the rescue. For example, Netflix has recently uploaded season 3 of Orange Is the New Black, which I will get around to watching. Or you can take the opportunity to watch something you previously missed. For me that is finally taking the chance to watch season 4 of Arrested Development, which has been on my list since the day it was made available.

AD has been one of my big loves. Silly yet smart, it is on the list of shows that won critical plaudits but never the audiences it deserved. Which was fine by me, as it allows me to shift through the list of strangers that may become potential friends quickly. Not amused by repeated shots of Liza Minnelli falling over whilst trying to cougar it up? Don’t expect a Christmas card or an invite to drinks with me.

Which makes season 4 all the more disappointing. I have found the first 3 instalments a real slog, although admittedly the Lindsay episode had its moments, although these tellingly stemmed more from Tobias’ self-delusions than anything the central character had to offer. Several fellow fans have commented likewise, although many say the show picks up once the cast are united and we are no longer watching disparate threads.

I hope this is the case as it is the ensemble that really sold it to me when it first began. Whilst telling separate stories makes sense when trying to fill in the back story, AD always shined when the episode revolved around two or three plot threads (some long-term brewing for around 4 or 5 episodes, others just in that one episode) coming together, the step forward of one destroyed by the two steps back of the others.

More importantly, when they are all together the family is shown to be one that although they hate each other and inflict petty cruelties, there is also that weird undying love that dysfunctional families have. All the best shows have at their heart ties you want to break but can’t. I hope AD remembers its strengths before it becomes a tarnished gem.