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, December 13

The Big Bang Theory - "The Procreation Calculation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Wolowitzes’ life gets complicated when Stuart starts bringing his new girlfriend home. Also, Penny and Leonard talk about starting a family while Koothrappali explores an arranged marriage. Keith Carradine returns as Penny’s father, Wyatt.

Young Sheldon - "Gluons, Guacamole, and the Color Purple" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Sheldon is no longer academically challenged at Medford High, he audits a college class taught by Dr. John Sturgis (Wallace Shawn).

Mom - "Foot Powder and Five Feet of Vodka" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Christy’s search for the perfect Secret Santa gift leads her to discover Adam has been hiding something from Bonnie. Also, Tammy looks for a job in order to avoid being sent back to prison.

Murphy Brown - "AWOL" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
A disillusioned Avery seeks career inspiration from his extended family at “Murphy in the Morning,” as the team tries to salvage a major story that hinges on a source in the Middle East who has gone silent. Series star Joe Regalbuto directed the episode.

Superstore - "Shadowing Glenn" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Glenn (Mark McKinney) drives Amy (America Ferrera) crazy with a new, over the top training system. Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) and Mateo (Nico Santos) brainstorm a new business, while Dina (Lauren Ash) recruits Jonah (Ben Feldman) to help her when she starts second-guessing her own future.

I Feel Bad - "We're Not Fun Anymore" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Emet grows tired of her and David's life being overrun by kid-centric events, she contrives a weekend without the kids to rekindle the fun in their relationship - only to find out his idea of fun isn't the same as hers anymore. Chewey and Norman are stuck caring for Griff after he injures himself.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 10)

Thursday, December 13

  • Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) - Catch Miley on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Regina King (227) - Regina appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. She also talks about If Beale Street Could Talk on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Adam Pally (Making History/The Mindy Project/Happy Endings) - Adam stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also talks about Champaign ILL on the BUILD Series at 1pm and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Ron Funches (Powerless/Undateable) - Ron visits Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Leah Remini (Kevin Can Wait/The Exes/Family Tools/The King of Queens/Fired Up) - Leah drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House/Hollywood Darlings/Full House) - Jodie guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. She also talks about Hallmark Channel's Entertaining Christmas on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT and on KTLA in Los Angeles.
  • Sam Rockwell (F Is for Family) - Sam is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy talks about E!'s Busy Tonight on Access Live (check your local listings) and on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) and Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years/Sullivan & Son) - Danica and Dan talk about Hallmark Channel's Christmas at Grand Valley on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Karen Gillan (Selfie) - Karen talks about The Party's Just Beginning on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Ashley Williams (The Jim Gaffigan Show/How I Met Your Mother/Good Morning, Miami) - Ashley talks about Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Northern Christmas Lights on People Now at 12pm.


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

The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection Alice - The Complete Eighth Season Step by Step - The Complete Third Season

10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 6th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 7th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 8th Season
10/02 - Ghosted - The Complete First Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Community - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/23 - Alice - The Complete Eighth Season
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Two
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Three
10/31 - The Bad News Bears - The Complete Series - All 26 Episodes
11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest