I wouldn't disagree with most of what you've said
but the lack of laughs in season 4 ultimately undoes my ability to appreciate the ambition and groundbreaking nature. It was a failed experiment and the fact that they "remixed" it seems like a lame and desperate acknowledgement of this on the part of the creators. Did they maybe play it a little too safe with season 5 as a reaction to season 4's backlash? Maybe, but I honestly don't see how anyone could prefer season 4 (though I do recall that you were one of the only people who had a positive reaction when it debuted). This ain't "Twin Peaks"- it's a comedy series. If it doesn't make me laugh, it's not doing its job.
Didn't realize that there was still so much more of season 5 to go (thought it was over for some reason) but I'm psyched because "average" AR episodes are still better than most of what passes for TV comedy.