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.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, November 23

The Big Bang Theory - "The Holiday Summation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon and Amy visit Leonard and Penny for the first time since the holidays and share details about their terrible trip to Texas. Laurie Metcalf returns as Sheldon’s mother, Mary.

Young Sheldon - "A Solar Calculator, A Game Ball, and A Cheerleader's Bosom" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Sheldon struggles with newfound popularity after utilizing statistics to help the football team.

Mom - "Fancy Crackers and Giant Women" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie suffers withdrawal after giving up cable TV to help Christy pay for her law school applications, and the women rally around Jill after she has a breakdown in her favorite department store.

Life in Pieces - "Testosterone Martyr Baked Knife" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Heather, Clementine and Jen offer to save Joan from the stress of preparing the Thanksgiving meal, the free time leaves Joan even more frazzled. Also, Greg has a boost of self-confidence after learning he has high levels of testosterone; Samantha keeps a secret from her family during Thanksgiving dinner; and John is determined to continue the tradition of using his old, unsafe knife to carve the turkey.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 20)

Thursday, November 23

  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Watch Tracy on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul is a musical guest on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Tig is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Stephanie appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kaitlin Olson (The Mick/It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) - Kaitlin chats on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna is a guest on a repeat of LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Jussie Smollet (On Our Own) - Jussie appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/One Day at a Time) - Valerie reveals her favorite, good-for-you dessert she swears by on a repeat of The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.