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

Tuesday, April 24

Roseanne - "Twenty Years to Life" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
During the first half-hour episode of the season premiere, Roseanne and Dan adjust to living under the same roof with Darlene and her two children, Harris and Mark, when Darlene loses her job. Meanwhile, Becky announces she is going to be a surrogate to make extra money; and Roseanne and Jackie are at odds with one another.

Roseanne - "Dress to Impress" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
During the second half-hour episode, Darlene’s son, Mark, gets caught with a pocket knife after being bullied on the first day of his new school. Meanwhile, Becky invites Andrea over to meet the family and is nervous to bring her home.

Roseanne - "Eggs Over, Not Easy" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A crucial moment for Becky’s surrogacy arrangement forces her and Darlene to critically assess each other’s lives. Meanwhile, an animal rescue organization rejects Jackie’s application to adopt a puppy; and Roseanne makes a plan to change their mind.

Roseanne - "Darlene v. David" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
David unexpectedly shows up for Harris’ birthday after being absent for years, forcing Darlene to re-examine their relationship and the rest of the family. Meanwhile, Roseanne and Jackie’s mother, Bev, temporarily moves into the Conner home after an incident at the nursing home prevents her from returning.

LA to Vegas - "Captain Dave's on a Roll" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
In a depressed state after breaking up with Patricia, Dave agrees to go gambling with Artem and Colin while the others cover for him when he runs late to do his job; Ronnie has difficulties deciding whether to move in with Bryan or not.

New Girl - "Lillypads" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Schmidt asks Jess to help prepare Ruth for an interview to get into a prestigious pre-school; Nick begins procrastinating with his writing; Winston gets ready to confront his specific fear of appearing in court to testify.

The Last O.G. - "Swipe Right" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Cousin Bobby convinces Tray to try a popular dating app; he lands a great match but realizes that he's not emotionally ready for a new relationship.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 23)

Tuesday, April 24

  • Kevin James (Kevin Can Wait/The King of Queens) - Catch Kevin on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Hank Azaria (Brockmire/The Simpsons/Free Agents) - Hank is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Judy Greer (Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided/Arrested Development) - Judy appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Zach Braff (Alex, Inc./Scrubs) - Zach visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Alia Shawkat (Search Party/Arrested Development) - Alia stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) and Mark Consuelos (Alpha House/Hope & Faith) - Kelly and Mark are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Monty/Out of Practice/Arrested Development) - Henry speaks about the series Barry on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • T.R Knight (Charlie Lawrence) - T.R. appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (Modern Family) - Aubrey is a guest on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Jason Biggs (Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Jason and his wife Jenny Mollen are guests on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Molly Ringwald (Townies/The Facts of Life) - Molly talks about her new film All These Moments on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Ali Wentworth (Nightcap) - Ali talks about her new book Go Ask Ali on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Chris Rock (Everybody Hates Chris) - Chris and Adam Sandler talk about The Week of on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Lori Loughlin (Fuller House/Hudson Street/Full House) - Lori is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi cooks up something delicious with Michael Symon on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March/April)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Complete Fifth Season Mayberry R.F.D. - The Complete First Season One Day at a Time - Season Two Perfect Strangers  - The Complete Third Season

02/06 - All in the Family - Seasons 1-5
02/06 - Bosom Buddies - The Complete Series
02/06 - Women of the House - Complete 12 Episode Series
02/13 - Broad City - Season 4
02/13 - Three's Company - The Complete Series - Come and Knock on Our Door Collection
02/27 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Seventh Season
02/27 - Green Acres - The Complete Fifth Season
02/27 - Mayberry R.F.D. - The Complete First Season
03/06 - Atlanta - The Complete First Season
03/06 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season
03/13 - The New Adventures of Old Christine - The Complete First Season
03/27 - One Day at a Time - Season Two
04/03 - Ballers - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/03 - 90's Sitcom (Just Shoot Me!/The Larry Sanders Show/Wings) Starter Set - Season 1 & 2 Bundle
04/10 - Vice Principals - The Compelte Series
04/17 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Third Season
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