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 (April/May)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, May 23

Downward Dog - "Boundaries" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Nan installs an automatic dog door so she can take away Jason’s key but still keep him as Martin’s dog walker, Martin is convinced he can suddenly open doors with his mind, and the new-found power goes to his head.  Meanwhile at work, Nan’s boss is unable to understand the new ad campaign Nan sold to the corporate bosses, and he spirals into confusion.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Bank Job" / "Crime & Punishment" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Jake and Rosa continue their search for a bank-robbing operation with Lieutenant Hawkins (guest star Gina Gershon), they realize there’s more to her team than meets the eye. After discovering a dangerous secret, they call for back-up from Holt and Pimento (guest star Jason Mantzoukas). Meanwhile, Boyle objects to Gina’s new boyfriend (guest star Ryan Phillipe). Then, Jake and Rosa are framed for a crime they didn’t commit, it’s up to the Nine-Nine to find a way to bust them out.

Great News - "Carol Has a Bully" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Carol (Andrea Martin) has a midterm she must pass in order to keep her internship. Katie (Briga Heelan) needs to choose between helping her mom and focusing on her hacking story, which she can't seem to crack. Meanwhile, Greg's (Adam Campbell) wealthy estranged grandmother (guest star Christina Pickles) pays a visit to the office. Chuck (John Michael Higgins) finds her cold and cruel, but almost immediately falls in love with her.

Great News - "Carol's Eleven" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie (Briga Heelan) makes a huge discovery about the story she's been chasing and, with the help of Carol (Andrea Martin) and the rest of the staff, concocts a scheme to get the story out. Greg (Adam Campbell) struggles with balancing his conflicting loyalties to his family, co-workers and conscience.

Mann & Wife - "Mann, Shut Yo Mouth" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Struggling to solve a tough case, an exhausted Daniel falls asleep and wakes up in a 70's blaxploitation cop show.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 22)

Tuesday, May 23

  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Catch Terry on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Rob Huebel (Trasparent/Burning Love) - Rob appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Al Madrigal (About a Boy/Welcome to The Captain/Gary Unmarried), Andrew Santino (I'm Dying Up Here/Sin City Saints) and Erik Griffin (I'm Dying Up Here) - Al, Andrew and Erik are guests on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ari Graynor (I'm Dying Up Here/Bad Teacher) - Ari stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Nick visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ben Falcone (Nobodies/A to Z/Joey) - Ben drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens) - Abigail appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Mayim talks about her new book Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular and The Big Bang Theory on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Kyle Chandler (What About Joan?) - Kyle teams up with Clinton Kelly to grill up a great entrĂ©e on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Nicole Byer ( Loosely Exactly Nicole) - Nicole is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • The Love Boat Cast - The cast of The Love Boat reunites on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace) - Debra chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Zoe Lister-Jones (Life in Pieces/Friends with Better Lives/Whitney) - Zoe talks about her new comedy Band Aid on the AOL Build Show 1pm.
  • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie talks about Beat Shazam on AOL Build Show 4pm.