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-


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, October 23

The Big Bang Theory - "The Collaboration Contamination" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon and Koothrappali confide in Bernadette when they can’t handle Amy and Wolowitz working together. Also, Penny and Leonard learn new tactics for how to deal Sheldon from an unlikely source.

9JKL - "High Steaks" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Josh begs Andrew and Harry to let him join their racquetball game only to learn the monthly outing is actually a cover for having a steak and scotch dinner behind Judy’s back. Also, Eve and Judy begrudgingly spend their free evening together.

Kevin Can Wait - "Grief Thief" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Vanessa plots her revenge on Kevin after learning he lied his way out of working on a Sunday to attend a football game with Goody. Also, Kyle has a new girlfriend, Denise (Deborah Unger), and Chale and Kendra have their first squabble as a married couple.

Me, Myself & I - "Family Tree" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Mid-life Alex helps his daughter, Abby, with a family tree project, he’s tempted to find his biological father. Also, Young Alex must perform at Ron’s family reunion talent show, and Older Alex meets Older Abby’s new boyfriend.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 23)

Monday, October 23

  • George Clooney (The Facts of Life/Roseanne) - Watch George on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Anna Faris (Mom) - Anna appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She chats about the book Unqualified on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 12pm.
  • John Cho (Selfie/Go On/Kitchen Confidential) - John is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.
  • Method Man (Method & Red) - Method Man visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Stephanie stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Bobby Moynihan (Me, Myself & I) - Bobby appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Mark Feuerstein (9JKL/Good Morning, Miami/Conrad Bloom/Fired Up) - Mark is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Betsy Brandt (Life in Pieces/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Betsy will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Heather Graham (Californication/Emily's Reasons Why Not) - Heather talks about Law & Order: True Crime on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 2pm. She can be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 9:25am.
  • Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/CafĂ© Americain/One Day at a Time) - Valerie shows Clinton Kelly how to make her amazing pumpkin dish on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Judith Light (Transparent/Phenom/Who's the Boss?) - Judith is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.


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