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, August 20

In The Cut - "Checkin' In, Dozin' Off" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Kenny fails to check in with Angelique, leading to some tough love; Smitty struggles with insomnia.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 20)

Monday, August 20

  • Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) - Watch Ray on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Joel McHale (Community/The Great Indoors) - Joel appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley) - Jimmy visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Betty Gilpin (GLOW/Nurse Jackie) - Betty appears on a repeat of Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • J.K. Simmons (Growing Up Fisher/Family Tools) - J.K. discusses the series Counterpart on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Vanessa Bell Calloway (Rhythm & Blues) - Vanessa is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rachael Harris (Surviving Jack/My Boys/Notes from the Underbelly) - Rachael appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Son of Zorn/Suburgatory) - Cheryl is a guest on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) - Peter drops by Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Melissa Peterman (Baby Daddy/Reba) - Melissa guest co-hosts Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Katie O'Brien and Katy Colloton (Teachers) - Katie and Katy are guests on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Marilu Henner (Taxi/Evening Shade) - Marilu talks about Broadway's Gettin' The Band Back Together on the BUILD Series at 1pm.


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

Alice - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season The Good Place - The Complete Second Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
07/03 - New Girl - The Final (Seventh) Season
07/10 - Alice - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - The Bill Engvall Show - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season
07/10 - The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season
07/17 - Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life - The Complete Series
07/17 - The Good Place - The Complete Second Season
07/17 - Son of Zorn - The Complete Series
08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest