I watched the first three episodes today.
Not sure what to think. So far, it seems uneven.
If you think of it as an eight-hour Arrested Development
film, it feels a little better. That first episode was bad
That makes sense, since it's all inter-related.
I agree, the first episode was a mess. Michael seemed totally out of character to me.
The more episodes I watch (I made it through 7 yesterday), the less "out of character" he seems and the more "desperate" he appears. I mean, yes, he is out of character, but that's because of what he's gone through (I'm guessing) and not poor writing.
I do agree that it takes a while for it to start getting good. Probably about the same time this new batch of episodes is able to start relying on its own on-going jokes (such as "coincidence").
And, wow, I got the joke right away, but apparently some people are upset about the "Scenestealer Pro Trail Version"
watermark. I guess it's just a reminder that Arrested Development
's humor is very meta, as I assume the joke is a reference to the numerous people who used similar software to rip DVDs for things like YouTube or to create Gifs.