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

Thursday, February 21

The Big Bang Theory - "The D&D Vortex" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the gang finds out Wil Wheaton hosts a celebrity Dungeons and Dragons game involving William Shatner, Joe Manganiello, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kevin Smith, deception and betrayal are the path to make it to the one open seat.

Young Sheldon - "A Loaf of Bread and a Grand Old Flag" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Things spiral out of control when Sheldon boycotts his favorite bread company. Also, Georgie offers Veronica a shoulder to cry on when she’s dumped by her boyfriend.

Mom - "Skippy and the Knowledge Hole" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Christy finds it challenging to quit smoking, while Bonnie helps Tammy prepare to take the GED test.

Fam - "Drunk in Love" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
During their engagement party, Clem and Nick are both shocked to learn that the other has been keeping an embarrassing secret about how they met.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Honeypot" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jake and Holt clash over the merits of a new hire in the 99th precinct. Terry, Amy, Rosa and Charles try to do something about the cluttered bullpen.

Will & Grace - "The Pursuit of Happiness" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Grace (Debra Messing) is enlisted by Malcolm (guest star Alec Baldwin) to help him win back Karen's (Megan Mullally) affections. Will's (Eric McCormack) flirtation with his co-worker, Paul (guest star Barrett Foa), takes a turn when details about Paul's home life put Will in an ethical dilemma. And Jack's (Sean Hayes) run-in with Zusanna (guest star Andrea Martin), the sister of his former acting teacher, reignites Jack's passion for performing.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 18

Thursday, February 21

  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Catch Ken on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • James Spader (The Office) - James stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kal Penn (Deadbeat/We Are Men) - Kal visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Chris O'Dowd (Family Tree) - Chris is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mark Duplass (Togetherness/The Mindy Project/The League) - Mark appears on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Reba McEntire (Reba/Malibu Country) - Reba drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Finesse Mitchell (A.N.T. Farm) - Finesse is a panelist on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Bill Pullman (1600 Penn) - Bill appears on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • D'Arcy Carden (The Good Place) - D'Arcy will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February)

Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season

01/08 - Family Guy - 20 Greatest Hits
01/22 - Fuller House - The Complete Third Season
01/22 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season (WBShop.com)
01/29 - Ballers - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
01/29 - Crashing - The Complete Second Season
01/29 - The Game - The Complete Series
01/29 - Kidding - Season One
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest