Friday, September 15, 2017

Fri-Yay: BoJack Horseman - The Best Show on TV?; Not Kidding, Jim Carrey Joins Showtime Comedy

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!

BoJack Horseman

by Vincent

Is BoJack Horseman currently the best show on TV? Netflix released the fourth season of BoJack Horseman on Friday. BoJack was my favorite show of 2016 - its third season was a tour-de-force of original, offbeat comedy mixed with genuine exploration of dark human emotions such as depression, failure, and regret. Oh, and by the way, it's an animated Hollywood satire that takes place in a society where animals are sentient beings that look and act just like humans.

If you think all of that sounds unlikely to add up to a great television show, I understand. Frankly, much of BoJack's run has been an obvious attempt to balance these two extremely different television shows in one - the strange, Adult Swim-esque Hollywood satire starring animals mixed with an almost Mad Men or Sopranos-esque exploration of deep human darkness. And early on, the show didn't always strike the right balance - the first half of the first season oscillates sometimes uncomfortably between the two extremes, often relying too heavily on gross-out, Family Guy­­-esque gags to toe the line. But around the halfway point of the first season, the show began digging into its dark side more comfortably, exploring the regret and shame behind the life of its washed-up sitcom star BoJack and the "island of misfit toys" type figures that surround him in his personal life. In the excellent second half of the first season, the show transformed into one of the deepest, most meaningful series on TV, and that only continued throughout the astonishing second and third seasons. The fourth season continues to astound me at just how deep it's willing to go - without spoiling anything, I'll just say that this season dives into BoJack's past to explore themes such as loss, regret and the idea of how we inherit the trauma and pain of our parents and grandparents without even realizing it. It's heavy stuff that I rarely see any show on TV digging into, never mind an animated comedy starring a talking horse.

Even as it's gotten darker and darker, though, BoJack still remains a top-notch comedy, as well. Anyone who considers themselves a sitcom fan would dig the way the show pays tribute to sitcoms and television of years past and is in many ways informed by them. BoJack did get his start starring in a TGIF-esque '90s sitcom, after all, and the series often takes cues from those kinds of shows, only to spin them around on their head. (There's even a Christmas special made in between the show's first and second seasons that actually shows us a full episode of Horsin' Around, the family sitcom that BoJack got his start in.) That's what makes BoJack the best show currently airing on television - it has the very best that drama has to offer mixed with the very best that comedy has to offer, without any kind of sacrifice on either end of the spectrum. "Hilarious comedy about depression starring talking animals" may sound too ridiculous to be true, but it's not. It's just BoJack Horseman.


Jim Carrey

Showtime announced the pick-up of new half-hour comedy series Kidding, starring Golden Globe(R) winner Jim Carrey (The Truman Show) in his first series regular role in more than two decades and reuniting him with Oscar winner Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), who will direct the project with a 10-episode first-season order for Kidding, Carrey - one of the most beguiling, popular screen stars of his time - will executive produce with Gondry, Emmy(R) nominee Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Jim Garavente (Bad Words), Raffi Adlan (The Green Hornet) and Michael Aguilar (I'm Dying Up Here). Kidding was created by Dave Holstein (Weeds, Raising Hope), who wrote the pilot and will serve as showrunner.

In the comedy series, Carrey plays Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles, an icon of children's television, a beacon of kindness and wisdom to America's impressionable young minds and the parents who grew up with him - who also anchors a multimillion dollar branding empire. But when this beloved personality's family - wife, two sons, sister and father - begins to implode, Jeff finds no fairy tale or fable or puppet will guide him through this crisis, which advances faster than his means to cope. The result: a kind man in a cruel world faces a slow leak of sanity as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, February 17

The Middle - "The Setup" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Frankie is tasked with being at her mom Pat’s (Marsha Mason) beck and call when she has to stay for a few days at the Heck house after coming down with an ailment. Meanwhile, just when it looks like Sean is about to ask Sue out on a date, Sue nervously blurts out that maybe they should both try to set each other up on a date with one of their friends; and Axl and Brick ponder what it is exactly that Mike does at the quarry.

The Middle - "Eyes Wide Open" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Axl heads to Chicago to visit Hutch for the weekend but discovers that his friend, who has his own apartment and a job, is now acting more like a responsible adult than the free-spirited college student he once knew. Meanwhile, Sue’s excitement over having the apartment to herself over the weekend turns to horror when she is unable to sleep after watching “Silence of the Lambs”; and Brick enlists Frankie and Mike’s aid to help convince Lilah, a new student who doesn’t know anyone at school yet, that she and Brick would make a cute couple.

black-ish - "Please Don't Feed the Animals" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bow keeps in touch with Dre’s incarcerated godbrother, Omar, but when they find out he is being released from prison, Omar’s future sparks debate. Meanwhile, Ruby lets it slip to the kids that she’s been to jail and they push her to tell them more secrets from her past.

black-ish - "Charity Case" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dre is chosen to lead Stevens & Lido’s new charity campaign which helps people give back to their community. When Bow advises Dre that there is more to giving back than cutting checks, he decides to donate some of his clothes to a man in need. Meanwhile, Junior fails his driving test, so Ruby offers to chaperone a trip with him and the twins on an informative outing.

The Thundermans - "Rhythm n' Shoes " (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Determined to meet a famous pop singer visiting Hiddenville High, Phoebe and Max devise elaborate schemes to insert themselves into her performance that quickly lead to disastrous results.

Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn - "The Harper Quad-Jobbers" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The quads try to earn money for a pool so that their house can be the place everyone wants to hang out at during the summer.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 12)

Friday, February 16

  • Sam Rockwell (F Is for Family) - Watch Sam on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Laura Benanti (The Detour/Go On/Starved) - Laura appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Alexa & Katie/Good Morning, Miami/Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly and her husband Rodney talk about the Hallmark Channel original series Meet the Peetes on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Becki Newton (Divorce/Weird Loners/The Goodwin Games/How I Met Your Mother) - Becki chats about Divorce on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Lori Loughlin (Fuller House/Hudson Street/Full House) - Lori appears on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December/January)

The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season Living Single - The Complete Third Season Alice - The Complete Sixth Season One Day at a Time - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Second Season

11/07 - American Dad! - Volume 12
11/07 - Family Guy - Season Fifteen
11/07 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season
11/14 - D.C. Follies - The Complete Series
11/21 - Living Single - The Complete Third Season
11/24 - Grandfathered - Season 1
12/05 - Alice - The Complete Sixth Season
12/05 - One Day at a Time - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Simpsons - The Eighteenth Season
12/05 - South Park - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
12/12 - Fuller House - The Complete Second Season
12/19 - South Park - The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11
01/09 - Girlfriends - The Complete Series
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest