Thursday, February 27, 2014

The CW 2014 Season Finales, Summer News; Episodic Review: Community - "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality" Airing Tonight on NBC

Labyrinth

The CW announced its May 2014 season finale dates and the broadcast television premiere of the four-hour event miniseries Labyrinth, airing across two consecutive nights on Thursday, May 22 from 8:00-10:00pm ET and concluding Friday, May 23 from 8:00-10:00pm ET. Filmed on-location in the medieval town of Carcassonne in southwest France and Cape Town, South Africa, the historical miniseries jumps back and forth between modern and medieval France as it follows the lives of two women who are separated by centuries, but united in their search for the Holy Grail. Labyrinth features a multi-national and award-winning cast, including John Hurt, Sebastian Stan, Jessica Brown-Findlay, Vanessa Kirby and Tom Felton. The series is an adaption of Kate Mosse's New York Times best-seller and multi-million selling, international hit adventure/thriller novel of the same title. The CW's 2014 season finale dates are as follow:

Monday, May 5, 9:00pm: The Tomorrow People
Monday, May 12, 8:00pm Star-Crossed
Tuesday, May 13, 8:00pm: The Originals
Wednesday, May 14, 8:00pm: Arrow
Thursday, May 15, 8:00pm-10:00pm: The Vampire Diaries and Reign
Friday, May 16, 9:00pm: Hart of Dixie
Tuesday, May 20, 9:00pm: Supernatural
Wednesday, June 11, 9:00pm: The 100




On the next...Community (NBC, Thur 8:00pm):
By: Vincent

NBC's ensemble comedy lead by Joel McHale airs Thursdays at 8:00pm and we have just watched the next episode that airs tonight (Feb. 27). In the episode airing tonight, "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality," Professor Duncan (guest star John Oliver, The Daily Show) decides it's time to seduce Britta (Gillian Jacobs) and Jeff (Joel McHale) counsels him on how to close the deal. Meanwhile, Britta runs into some old friends and realizes that they have moved on from their shared anarchist views of the past. Abed (Danny Pudi) runs afoul of Professor Hickey (Jonathan Banks) when he accidentally damages some drawings Hickey has been laboring over. When Hickey restrains Abed as punishment, the two end up spending some meaningful time together. Meanwhile, Chang (Ken Jeong) finds himself performing an impromptu one-man show for a ghostly audience.

At its heart, Community is a show about people trying to connect with each other. The show has become more known for its genre parodies and format bending over the years, but the thing that keeps it together is the strong, emotional undercurrent that focuses on how these people have been rejected from just about every other aspect of society and have to use Greendale to start themselves over. Five seasons in, it would be easy for Community to forget this undercurrent and just do a bunch of silly movie parodies every week. That's pretty much what the show did when it briefly lost its creator in Season 4, and it's the biggest reason why that season failed. But Season 5 has been a relief in that it's brought back those dark underlying in a big way. So it's nice to see the show pull off an episode like "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality," an episode that almost completely sidesteps the shows' inventive side and focuses in on its characters' emotions.



"Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality" reminded me a lot of "Mixology Certification", a season two episode that remains my favorite episode of the show. That episode centered around the study group going to be a bar and slowly tore apart each one of them, allowing us to see their vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It remains the gold standard for sitcom character development, in my mind – and although "Bondage" didn't *quite* reach those heights (mostly because it sidelines a few of its characters in favor of a silly Chang plot), it was certainly similar in its emotional honesty and its commitment to pathos. "Bondage" was also an episode that made good use of the shows' slightly altered ensemble. I was worried about the effect that Troy and Pierce's departures would have on the show, but it's done a really great job filling their void with the addition of Buzz Hickey and the re-introduction of Professor Duncan, both of whom fit quite neatly into the broken Community study group. Hickey, in particular, has been a surprisingly well-drawn and intriguing character. When a show adds a new character this late in the game, it's incredibly easy for that character to come off as a weak link, since they don't have the years of history and development like the rest of the ensemble. But Hickey has been a really rewarding addition, and the way the show has used him to sort of question each of its study group member has been fascinating. Like much of this season, "Bondage" re-highlighted what it is that makes this show work so well, while simultaneously finding new areas for its characters to explore. These kinds of episodes might not be as exciting as a paintball war of a school-wide game of Hot Lava, but they're just as rewarding, and arguably even more necessary. A-


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, September 20

The Goldbergs - "Graduation Day" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Graduation Day is quickly approaching, and Erica cannot wait to get out of the house, until it dawns on her how much Beverly’s love means to her. She attempts to delay her graduating so she can stay home. Later, Barry has plans for him and Lainey, but they turn to dust. Meanwhile, Dana makes a surprise visit just as Adam and Jackie officially become a couple.

Speechless - "C-A-- CAMP" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
As the family readies for their flight to JJ’s camp, Maya gets a surprise at the airport. Ray sees the summer as an opportunity to reinvent himself while Jimmy and Dylan turn the trip to camp into a father/daughter bonding moment.

Modern Family - "The Graduates" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Manny’s father, Javier (guest-star Benjamin Bratt), shows up for his graduation and takes him out on a wild night of celebration, and then Jay steps in to pick-up the pieces. Meanwhile, the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan is getting ready for Luke and Manny’s big day and dealing with the emotions that come with seeing your kids grow up and leave the nest.

American Housewife - "Can't Hide It Anymore" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Katie has been avoiding the mandatory volunteer hours at her kids’ schools all year. But when the other moms pressure her, she hits on a genius excuse after wearing a fake pregnancy “empathy” bump leads everyone to think she is pregnant. But things soon get out of hand after her former frenemies plan a baby shower for her.

Swedish Dicks - (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Ingmar and Axel get asked to find the breeding ram, Russel Crowe, but before they can start, Ingmar gets picked up by the FBI. Axel calls Sarah to ask her help Ingmar, while he himself continues to look for the missing animal. The situation looks grim for Ingmar, but the FBI seems to be willing to offer him a dangerous deal.

Swedish Dicks - (Pop, 8:30PM ET/PT)
A number of incidents convince Ingmar that he has to move back to Sweden. Sun is quick to take his place in the agency, but before Ingmar has time to leave, they get a case where his own daughter seems to be in danger. When it hits the fan, they all get dragged into the mess - in their most dangerous case to date - leading them towards Ingmar's mysterious past.

You're the Worst - "This Is Just Marketing" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Jimmy learns that his literary novel is being marketed as erotica. While doing Vernon's podcast, Gretchen realizes she's been letting Jimmy off easy. When Edgar and Lindsay babysit Tallulah, Lindsay learns for the first time that she's capable of love and Edgar tries a new technique to pick up women.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 18)

Wednesday, September 20

  • Adam Scott (Ghosted/Parks and Recreation) - Watch Adam on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Pamela Adlon (Better Things/The King of Queens/The Facts of Life) - Pamela is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bobby Moynihan (Me, Myself & I) - Bobby visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Mayim stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Tig drops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Garcelle Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Garcelle guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Adrian Grenier (Entourage) - Adrian talks about his life after Entourage and his ocean conservation foundation's Strawless September Challenge on Harry, so check your local listings. He will also be on the AOL Build Show 4pm.
  • Christopher McDonald (Good Advice/Walter & Emily) - Christopher will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Walton Goggins (Vice Principals) - Walton shows Rach how to make his perfect cocktail on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Judith Light (Transparent/Phenom/Who's the Boss?) - Judith is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian talks about Mr. Robot on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Sky Katz (Raven's Home) - Sky appears on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:45am.