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!


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


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, August 22

The Mick - "The Mess" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Mickey’s attempts at disciplining the kids are ignored, she decides to shed her “cool aunt” persona and lay down the law.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Monster in the Closet" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Pimento and Rosa decide to pick up where they left off and get married, so the whole squad preps a perfect wedding under Amy’s careful direction. Pimento enlists Jake and Gina to hunt for his grandmother’s ruby earrings for Rosa to wear in the ceremony, but the universe has other plans for them.

Wrecked - "Nerd Speak" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
As the ship sinks, the survivors try to escape.

Still the King - "Vernon's Single" (CMT, 1:00AM ET/PT)
Vernon discovers his manager has given his new single to another recording artist to perform.

Still the King - "Who's Your Daddy?" (CMT, 1:30AM ET/PT)
It's Debbie and Ronnie's big wedding day, but when Debbie's water breaks on the altar, Vernon races against the clock to be there for the birth.

In The Cut - "Party Things" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jay and Smitty see dollar signs when an enthusiastic lawyer convinces them their complaints can result in big cash settlements; Kenny reconnects with Angelique, but it's her new boyfriend, Conrad, that is interested in a relationship with Kenny.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 21)

Tuesday, August 22

  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Catch Jim on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later/Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) - Michael appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Maya Rudolph (Up All Night) - Maya is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Topher Grace (That '70s Show) - Topher appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Jake Smollett (On Our Own) - Jake takes store-bought ramen to the next level on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Spencer Sutherland (Still the King) - Spencer dishes on playing a young Billy Ray Cyrus on Still the King on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Mindy Sterling (Con Man/A.N.T. Farm) - Mindy talks about Syfy's Con Man on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • John Corbett (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/United States of Tara/Lucky) - John talks about All Saints on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. He can also be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 11am.