Friday, August 04, 2017

Fri-Yay: Insecure; BET Fall 2017 Lineup Has New Comedies

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!

Insecure

by Vincent

It's been a bit of a slow summer for sitcoms, even going by typical summer standards. So if you're feeling like you're missing your weekly dose of sitcom fun, I'd highly recommend checking out HBO's sophomore comedy Insecure. Insecure may not be your "typical" sitcom - it's more of a half-hour dramady, true - but it's a genuinely hilarious show that's also capable of some truly moving moments and intricate character work that cuts deep for anyone in their 20s or 30s who's not quite sure about the direction their life seems to be taking them in. Plus, if this season's strong season premiere was any indication, Insecure has only gotten better in its second season, with a more careful blend of both its comedic chops and its lofty dramatic ambitions.

Insecure was created and stars Issa Rae as the titular "Issa," a woman who finds herself at a bit of a crossroads as she enters her 30s. The first season of Insecure dealt heavily with Issa's uncertainty about her career as well as her long-term but stagnant relationship with her boyfriend Lawrence, who (spoiler alert for Season 1) she winds up cheating on towards the end of the season, which ends their relationship. Season 2 picks up in the aftermath of Issa and Lawerence's break-up, and also finds Issa continuing to struggle to make an impact in her career. Issa Rae formerly produced the hit YouTube web series Awkward Black Girl, which was a seriously hilarious and painfully relatable series that showed all of Issa's strengths as a writer and performer. Insecure takes well-crafted "true to life" vibe and mixes it with the glossy and addicting narrative stylings of an HBO series, which creates something that's both relatable but feels thoughtful and high-brow, all of which pays very well to Issa's strengths.

While Issa is certainly the biggest driving force of the series, Insecure is populated with lots of incredibly entertaining supporting characters, the most notable being Issa's best friend Molly. Molly and Issa's friendship serves as the anchor of the series, and their ability to be brutally honest with each other allows us to peer into what's really going on in each other's minds, even when they don't want to admit to themselves what's going on in their minds. Meanwhile, arguably the funniest character on the series is played by Natasha Rothwell's Kelli, who feels like she has the potential to be HBO's beloved breakout character. Rothwell is a comedic mastermind who plays the unpredictable and wild Kelli with just the right balance of comedy and heart to make her a truly memorable comic character. There's a lot to like in Insecure, so if you're feeling the effects of the summer TV drought, I'd highly recommend giving it a chance - it has just the right amount of sitcom and HBO prestige to make it a perfect blend of the two types of shows.


BET

Get ready to clutch your pearls and laugh 'til it hurts as BET Networks unveils its new Fall 2017 lineup! BET is pushing the comedy limits as it debuts series from some of the biggest names in the game including new showcase 50 Central starring the legendary Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson; new boundary-pushing game show Face Value from executive producer Wanda Sykes and starring Deon Cole and Tiffany Haddish; and new weekly satire series The Rundown with Robin Thede from executive producer Chris Rock.

On the scripted side, The Comedy Get Down goes behind the scenes of a mega standup comedy tour with George Lopez, DL Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin and the late, much-beloved Charlie Murphy. Viewers will also get an all-access pass to the hip-hop wedding of the year as rapper Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka'oir become one in Gucci Mane & Keyshia Ka'Oir: The Mane Event. Irv Gotti's Tales also returns with new episodes, including "song stories" from Jay-Z's "99 Problems" and Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen". And fan favorite tentpole specials return including the biggest night in hip-hop with the Hip Hop Awards and smoothest sounds in R&B with the Soul Train Awards. New programming kicks off Wednesday, September 27, with brand new episodes premiering every week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, December 11

The Conners - "O Sister, Where Art Thou?" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Becky helps Harris keep a secret from Darlene, it opens up a can of worms that causes a rift between the two sisters. Jackie supports Peter with his Nordic history project, and Dan reunites with an old friend.

The Kids Are Alright - "Christmas 1972" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Peggy’s successful brother, Tom, drops in for Christmas, Mike immediately oozes with jealousy. Thus begins Mike’s one-sided competition with Tom, using his kids as pawns to help. After Tom gives the Clearys an extravagant Christmas gift, pride prevents Mike from taking it – putting him at odds with the rest of the family. Meanwhile, Timmy mistakenly receives $100 from his great-aunt for Christmas and contemplates whether he should do “the right thing” or keep it. Elsewhere, Eddie forgets to get Wendi a Christmas present and panic sets in.

black-ish - "Christmas in Theater Eight" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The Johnsons have a tradition of going to the movies on Christmas and they can never agree on what to see. Dre wants to see an important film about Rosa Parks, but they all want to see the latest action-packed superhero blockbuster. Meanwhile, Junior becomes embarrassed about taking a gap year after he runs into his ex-girlfriend Megan at the theater.

Splitting Up Together - "Messy" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After Lena and Vlad’s unexpected kiss, things get more complicated as they begin their new work partnership while working with a new client. Elsewhere, Martin goes to Paige’s house for more privacy and gets a glimpse into what a more typical divorced home life is, causing him to become uneasy. Back at home, Mason and Mae go head-to-head after Mae finds out that Mason has a crush on a pretentious girl at school.

The Guest Book - "Everybody Loves Clark" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Tommy surprises Nikki with a spontaneous wedding ceremony; both are blithely oblivious to the fact that Vivian is kidnapping their child; some familiar faces from Mt. Trace return to sort things out.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 10)

Tuesday, December 11

  • Ron Livingston (Loudermilk/Search Party) - Catch Ron on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Adam Pally (Making History/The Mindy Project/Happy Endings) - Adam is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless) - Vanessa stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Nicole Byer (Loosely Exactly Nicole) - Nicole is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen/The Ellen Show) - Ellen drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jenny McCarthy (Two and a Half Men/Jenny) - Jenny appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Maura Tierney (NewsRadio) - Maura is a guest on E!'s Busy Tonight at 10pm.
  • Kathy Bates (Disjointed) - Kathy chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch/Two and a Half Men/That 70s Show) - Ashton guest co-hosts The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Eugene Levy (Schitt's Creek/Greg the Bunny/Hiller and Diller) and Catherine O'Hara (Schitt's Creek) - Eugene and Catherine are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso and his wife Angela discuss holiday hacks on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Leah Remini (Kevin Can Wait/The Exes/Family Tools/The King of Queens/Fired Up) - Leah talks about Second Act on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela talks about The Good Place on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Dan Bucatinsky (Marry Me/Web Therapy/The Comeback) - Dan talks about Second Act on People Now at 12pm.
  • Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - Marlo discusses the season of giving thanks and the amazing efforts of St. Jude on the BUILD Series at 2pm.


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
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