Released ahead of the fifth season ostensibly as a sort of mea culpa following the tepid response to the highly anticipated fourth season on Netflix, this “remixed” version rearranges the events of the season to match the structure of the original three seasons. Unfortunately, it only serves to highlight how confusing and overstuffed the narrative is, including recaps up to six minutes long, and the majority of the jokes and set-ups feel strained and forced. A number of new characters (ranging from Maria Bamford to John Slattery to a sorely underused Mary Lynn Rajskub) distract from the already-overabundant proceedings, and it’s rare to see the returning characters in the same scenes together, which makes the whole thing feel fractured and unnecessary. This season seems to be have been driven by audience demand and not organic inspiration, and the finished result is an interminable facsimile of the original show.
Rating: ★★ (out of 5)