Friday, June 30, 2017

Fri-Yay: Get Your GLOW On; FX and FXX Set Comedy Returns in September

It's time for another edition of Fri-Yay! That means we will take a look back on some sitcom happenings in recent days or weeks or other fun sitcomy stuff. It's a sitcom lover's paradise! Happy Fri-Yay!

GLOW

by Vincent

Summer has always been a slow time for TV, but that's changed a bit in recent years with streaming services and premium cable, who generally try to keep their operations running all year. Even still, there is significantly less TV to be found in the summer months, and especially less good TV. So it's a nice surprise when we have a show like Netflix's GLOW, a refreshing new half-hour comedy from Orange is the New Black producer Jenji Kohan.

GLOW has a bit of an unconventional premise. It's based on the real female wrestling television series "GLOW," which aired from 1986-1990 in syndicated TV. GLOW was a breakthrough female wrestling show that fought many odds to become a long-running, successful program, and GLOW follows the show's conception and journey to the pilot. (The first season, at least, focuses on the show's preparation for the pilot: assumingly, future seasons would follow the rest of the show.) While Netflix's GLOW is only "based" on the true story, and takes many liberties with its characters and plot (much like Kohan's other Netflix series Orange is the New Black) it retains the same scrappy underdog energy. You get the sense that the odds are low for the show's success, and the only way it can survive is if the show's cast fights hard and really believes in themselves.

In that way, GLOW sort of feels like your classic "underdog" story, and follows many of the similar beats of one. It's sort of a "Friday Night Lights, but with female wrestlers" type of show (or, I've been describing it as "Glee, except with female wrestlers, and also unlike Glee, it's good.") There hasn't really been a good "underdog" story on TV in quite a while (since maybe the first season of the aforementioned Glee?), and it's fun to settle back into those rhythms of watching characters that start off hating each other work towards a common goal that seems impossible at the start of the series but gradually seems more and more and reach. GLOW also adds enough interesting spins on the "underdog" dynamic that it doesn't feel completely "done" before, particularly in its lead character Ruth (portrayed brilliantly by Alison Brie), who is more complex, flawed, and nuanced than you might expect from a "hero" of a show like this. In fact, the entire cast is doing a great job of taking what could be stock characters and turning them into genuinely interesting people. Betty Gilpin's Debbie could be the typical "diva" lead, but instead she's someone who feels trapped in her failing marriage and uses GLOW as an escape. Marc Maron's Sam could be a typical sleazeball director, and he kind of his, but the way Maron plays him gives insight into why he's that way. And Chris Lowell does such an excellent job with his character (the show's producer, Bash) that he somehow transforms the spoiled, coked up rich boy into one of the most lovable characters on the show.

There isn't much to watch on TV right now. So there's really no reason not to check out Netflix's GLOW, which is not only "great for a summer show" - it's just great TV.


You're the Worst

FX Networks has set the premiere dates for the acclaimed comedy series You're the Worst, which returns to FXX on Wednesday, September 6, and Better Things, which comes back to FX on Thursday, September 14. From Creator/Executive Producer Stephen Falk, You're the Worst returns to FXX for its fourth season with a special one-hour premiere on Wednesday, September 6 at 10 PM ET/PT. You're the Worst is a modern look at love and happiness told through the eyes of two people who haven't been very successful with either. It's the story of Gretchen and Jimmy, fear, heartbreak, romance, sex, food, Los Angeles, Sunday Funday, friendship, and the fact that sometimes the worst people make the best partners.

Better Things

Peabody(R) Award Winner Better Things is back for its second season on FX beginning Thursday, September 14 at 10 PM ET/PT. Better Things centers on Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon), a single, working actor with no filter raising her three daughters, Max (Mikey Madison), Frankie (Hannah Alligood) and Duke (Olivia Edward) in Los Angeles. She's mom, dad, referee and the cops. Sam also watches out for her mother, Phil (Celia Imrie), an English expatriate, who lives across the street. Sam is flawed and fierce with her love for her daughters, and her own mother, as well. Sometimes, heaping the love on when she feels guilty. Sam's just trying to earn a living, navigate her daughters' lives, have fun with a friend or two and also - just maybe - squeeze in some private time once in a while.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, June 21

The Big Bang Theory - "The Tesla Recoil" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Leonard and Wolowitz are furious after they learn Sheldon went to work with the military behind their backs. Also, while Bernadette is on bed rest, she asks Raj to do some digging when she suspects Ruchi is trying to steal her job.

Young Sheldon - "Killer Asteroids, Oklahoma, and a Frizzy Hair Machine" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A disappointing loss at the science fair sends Sheldon’s life in a new direction. Jason Alexander guest stars as Sheldon’s drama teacher, Mr. Lundy.

Mom - "Esta Loca and a Little Klingon" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy and Bonnie help Jill get sober again, and Christy’s boyfriend, Patrick (Steven Weber), is less than understanding when it ruins his birthday weekend.

Life in Pieces - "Meal Potty Cart Middle" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Tim and Heather go to an expensive dinner to celebrate their anniversary, they are determined to finish every bite of their pricey 20-course meal. Also, Jen and Greg try to quickly potty-train Lark before her first day of preschool; Tyler gets jealous of the attention Clementine is getting at work; and Matt and Samantha team up for a “Middle Child Day” and go to a trapeze school. Emmy Award-winning food expert Padma Lakshmi guest stars as Stephanie, Heather and Tim’s server at an upscale restaurant.

Marlon - "Sisters" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Marlon’s (Marlon Wayans) sisters come to town, he convinces Ashley (Essence Atkins) to pretend they are still married to keep them from being disappointed. As the weekend goes on, the charade gets harder to keep up and Marlon finally confronts them in an epic confession. After receiving a psychic reading from Lenora (guest star Sherri Shepherd), Stevie (Diallo Riddle) tries to woo Yvette (Bresha Webb) as he thinks they are destined to be together.

Marlon - "Divorce Counseling" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Marlon (Marlon Wayans) and Ashley (Essence Atkins) go to see Kamala Shabazz (Kim Wayans), a strong-willed relationship therapist, to help stabilize their rocky divorce. When Marlon exposes Kamala as a fraud, he experiences a breakthrough and realizes he should change his ways. Stevie (Diallo Riddle) gives Yvette (Bresha Webb) an intense massage.

American Woman - "The Party" (Paramount Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Desperate to connect with her role model, Lori, Kathleen drags Bonnie and Diana to a party in the hills; when Diana tries to cut loose, things get out of hand; Bonnie finds herself in an exciting new position.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 18)

Thursday, June 21

  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Catch Drew on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Cameron Esposito (Take My Wife) - Cameron visits The Opposition with Jordan Klepper at 11:30pm on Comedy Central.
  • Alison Brie (GLOW/Community) - Alison stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) - Cynthia chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Craig T. Nelson (Coach) - Craig drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jenny McCarthy (Two and a Half Men/Jenny) - Jenny is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Hearts Afire) - Billy Bob appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace/Ned & Stacey) - Debra talks about the launch of The Maxx You Project on People Now at 12pm.
  • Fran Drescher (The Nanny/Happily Divorced/Living with Fran) - Fran talks about Hotel Transylvania 3 on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris talks about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June)

Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season Step by Step - The Complete First Season Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
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