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

Monday, October 23

The Big Bang Theory - "The Collaboration Contamination" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon and Koothrappali confide in Bernadette when they can’t handle Amy and Wolowitz working together. Also, Penny and Leonard learn new tactics for how to deal Sheldon from an unlikely source.

9JKL - "High Steaks" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Josh begs Andrew and Harry to let him join their racquetball game only to learn the monthly outing is actually a cover for having a steak and scotch dinner behind Judy’s back. Also, Eve and Judy begrudgingly spend their free evening together.

Kevin Can Wait - "Grief Thief" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Vanessa plots her revenge on Kevin after learning he lied his way out of working on a Sunday to attend a football game with Goody. Also, Kyle has a new girlfriend, Denise (Deborah Unger), and Chale and Kendra have their first squabble as a married couple.

Me, Myself & I - "Family Tree" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Mid-life Alex helps his daughter, Abby, with a family tree project, he’s tempted to find his biological father. Also, Young Alex must perform at Ron’s family reunion talent show, and Older Alex meets Older Abby’s new boyfriend.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 23)

Monday, October 23

  • George Clooney (The Facts of Life/Roseanne) - Watch George on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Anna Faris (Mom) - Anna appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She chats about the book Unqualified on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 12pm.
  • John Cho (Selfie/Go On/Kitchen Confidential) - John is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.
  • Method Man (Method & Red) - Method Man visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Stephanie stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Bobby Moynihan (Me, Myself & I) - Bobby appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Mark Feuerstein (9JKL/Good Morning, Miami/Conrad Bloom/Fired Up) - Mark is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Betsy Brandt (Life in Pieces/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Betsy will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Heather Graham (Californication/Emily's Reasons Why Not) - Heather talks about Law & Order: True Crime on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 2pm. She can be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 9:25am.
  • Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/CafĂ© Americain/One Day at a Time) - Valerie shows Clinton Kelly how to make her amazing pumpkin dish on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Judith Light (Transparent/Phenom/Who's the Boss?) - Judith is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest