Friday, July 14, 2017

Fri-Yay: Single Camera vs Multi-Camera; TNT's Claws Gets Second Season

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!

The Office

by Vincent

In last week's column, I highlighted the resurgence of the multi-camera sitcom, spearheaded by several excellent shows such as The Carmichael Show, One Day at a Time and Mom. This week, I'll be using those shows to get into the long-lasting debate between sitcom fans: which is superior, multi-camera sitcoms with a laugh track or single-camera sitcoms shot "movie-style" such as The Office, Modern Family and Parks and Recreation?

Truthfully, each form has its strengths and weaknesses. At its very best, both form has produced some of the greatest television of all-time - from Cheers or The Mary Tyler Moore Show for multi-camera sitcoms to 30 Rock and Arrested Development for single-camera sitcoms, and those are just a few of the many excellent examples of each form. Multi-camera sitcoms gained a reputation for being sillier and more lightweight, but although that's true of many more recent multi-camera sitcoms such as Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, the form at its best can be starkly serious - it's hard to top the level of gut-punch when the audience laughter went silent on a show such as All in the Family or Roseanne. And while single-camera sitcoms gained a reputation for being more "niche" and "sophisticated," they can be just as silly and playful as the multi-camera sitcom, as shows like Modern Family and New Girl can attest. Additionally, it's somewhat unfair to blame multi-camera sitcoms for having "cues to laugh," making them somehow less intelligent - after all, isn't the bouncy score of a show like 30 Rock or the "stare at the camera" cues of The Office just as much of a joke signal as audience laughter?

So, truthfully? There's not one kind of sitcom that truly stands out as superior, and the "multi-camera vs. single camera debate" strikes me as somewhat silly. While single-camera went through a long period of reigning as where a viewer could generally find the best comedy on television, multi-camera sitcoms are making a great comeback - and, of course, the shows that started the very genre of "sitcom" are multi-camera. So the moral of the story is: don't worry about whether or not there's audience laughter in your sitcoms or not. Just worry about whether or not it's funny.


Claws

Turner's TNT has renewed its new original drama series Claws for a second season. From Warner Horizon Scripted Television, Claws follows the rise of five diverse and treacherous manicurists working at the Nail Artisan of Manatee County, where a lot more is going on besides silk wraps and pedicures. The series stars Niecy Nash, Carrie Preston, Judy Reyes, Karrueche Tran, Jenn Lyon, Jack Kesy, Kevin Rankin, Jason Antoon with Harold Perrineau and Dean Norris. New episodes of Claws premiere across TNT platforms Sundays at 9 p.m. (ET/PT), with the season finale set for Aug. 13. The second season is slated to launch in 2018.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April/May/June)

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
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
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 20

The Big Bang Theory - "The Brain Bowl Incubation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After a successful experiment combining their genes, Sheldon will stop at nothing to convince Amy they should procreate. Also, Koothrappali is embarrassed to tell the gang what the new woman he’s dating does for a living.

Life in Pieces - "Awkward Bra Automated Ordained" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dinner gets awkward for Jen and Matt when they find themselves alone without Greg and Colleen. Also, Lark accidentally locks out Greg and Jen from the house, prompting Greg to install a complicated home automation system; Heather and Tim try to sneak wine into an ice skating show to get out of paying at the venue; and John and Joan agree to an impromptu wedding after Colleen mentions that she’s an ordained minister.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 17)

Thursday, July 20

  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - Catch T.J on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move) - Jason visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Abby Elliott (Odd Mom Out) - Abby appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Issa Rae (Insecure) - Issa stops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Kate Micucci (Raising Hope/The Big Bang Theory) - Kate is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith (A Different World) - Jada drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. She will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Regina Hall (Grandfathered) - Regina guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Tim Daly (Wings) - Tim is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Laura Linney (The Big C) - Laura talks about Netflix's The Big C on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Steve Guttenberg (Ballers) - Steve talks about HBO's Ballers on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Madison Iseman (Still the King) - Madison talks about CMT's Still the King on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.