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

Sunday, October 21

The Simpsons - "Flanders' Ladder" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bart is struck by lightning and is visited by ghosts seeking closure only he can provide.

Bob's Burgers - "The Wolf of Wharf Street" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
On Halloween night, Linda tries to impress the kids by taking them to look for a wolf that has been terrorizing the town; an injured and medicated Bob believes that Teddy has turned into a werewolf.

The Simpsons - Treehouse of Horror XXIX" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Homer wins an oyster-eating contest against the mythical Cthulhu; Springfield is overrun by plant body-snatchers; Lisa finally snaps; Mr. Burns opens a retirement home with some Jurassic upgrades.

Bob's Burgers - "Nightmare on Ocean Avenue Street" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The kids set out for their regular Halloween shenanigans, but when everyone's candy bags start mysteriously disappearing, it's up to Tina, Louise and Gene to find the culprit.

Family Guy - "Big Trouble in Little Quahog" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
After Brian teases Stewie for being small, Stewie invents a shrinking machine that results in both of them shrinking to a microscopic size.

Rel - "Halloween" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Rel, Nat, Brittany and Dad get together to watch a scary zombie movie around Halloween night, the film sparks a lot of controversy amongst the group.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 15)

Friday, October 19

  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Watch Bryan on on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul sits in with Cleto and The Cletones on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas LA) - Nick appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa makes a special appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory/8 Simple Rules) - Kaley is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Joel appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Regina Hall (Grandfathered/Second Generation Wayans) - Regina visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy drops by The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Chloe x Halle (grown-ish) - Chloe x Halle are guests on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Nicole Ari Parker (Second Time Around) - Nicole appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • John Stamos (Grandfathered/Jake in Progress/Full House) - John talks about You on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love/Operation Petticoat) - Jamie Lee talks about Halloween on People Now at 12pm.
  • Ashley Johnson (Growing Pains/Phenom/Maybe This Time) and Ennis Esmer (You Me Her/Red Oaks) - Ashley and Ennis talk about Blindspot on the BUILD Series at 1pm and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace talks about her new children's book Candace Center Stage on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (September/October)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season Step by Step - The Complete Second Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season

09/04 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season 12
09/04 - Mom - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Superstore - Season Three
09/04 - Young Sheldon - The Complete First Season
09/11 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season (Blu-ray)
09/11 - The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - People of Earth - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - Community - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
09/18 - Step by Step - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fourth Season
09/25 - Blondie - The Complete 1957 Television Series
09/25 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season
10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest