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

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