Friday, October 13, 2017

Fri-Yay: The Middle on The Top; Hulu Snags Futurama

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!

The Middle

by Vincent

This week I'll be talking about a show that just started its final season but remains worthy of your attention: The Middle. The Middle is the quiet bedrock of ABC's comedy line-up, an unassuming little show about how hard it can be to be a lower middle class family in contemporary American society. The Middle premiered during the same fall as Modern Family, so it's always unfortunately been a little "in the shadow" of that series. But over its nine seasons, The Middle has distinguished itself as an often hilarious, always painfully real, and consistently great family sitcom that has helped shape ABC's solid family comedy line-up.

The Middle centers around the Heck family, a working class family in the fictional town of Orson, Indiana. It's anchored by an excellent performance from parents Neil Flynn and Patricia Heaton, but like many other ABC sitcoms, it also stars a surprisingly excellent cast of child actors - though at this point they aren't really "children" anymore. While many sitcoms begin running out of ideas as their younger cast members begin to grow older, The Middle has consistently found new ways to tell stories about its young adult cast members that still tie into the series' "down on their luck yet still optimistic" overall vibe. The Middle will be ending its run on ABC this year, and in a way, it's a shame, because it's the type of show I could see running for years and never growing old. It's not afraid to grow and change with its characters, and it's gotten to a point where I look forward to just hanging out with the Heck family. Plus, the series continues to experiment and toy with its formula - last year the show did an extended serialized arc centered around oldest son Axl's feud with his mom, and mostly nailed it.

It's too bad that The Middle hasn't always gotten the recognition it deserves, but luckily the show has one more full season for you to catch up if you've slept on the show, and will undoubtedly live on in syndication for years, so if you haven't checked it out yet, you have plenty of time. But you should do it soon!


Futurama

On Monday, October 16, 2017, the entire Futurama library - including all four films - will make their long-awaited streaming return, only on Hulu. Matt Groening, the multiple Emmy(R) Award-winning creator and executive producer of The Simpsons, has hatched another outrageous look at the world, Futurama. But we're not in Springfield anymore - we're in New York, a thousand years from now, and it's like no future you ever imagined! FRY (voiced by Billy West), a young Everyman, finds himself accidentally transported 1,000 years in the future. Just like right now, life in the future is a complex mix of the wonderful and horrible, where things are still laughable no matter how wild and crazy they get. And against a backdrop of pesky aliens, exasperating robots and malfunctioning gadgets, people still struggle with the same daily anxieties of life and love... and, of course, traffic is still a nightmare!

Having literally escaped his unfulfilled past, Fry uses his newfound sense of freedom to help his friends in the future escape their regimented lives. His companions include LEELA (voiced by Katey Sagal), a beautiful female alien who can kick some serious butt, and BENDER (voiced by John DiMaggio), a hopelessly neurotic assembly line robot. Working together, Fry and his colleagues buck the system in pursuit of happiness. And with each passing day, the future becomes Fry's home. With his unique satirical humor and distinctive style, Matt Groening has created another unconventional but lovable family. Futurama explores all the joys and disappointments of human existence, as well as some problems we don't have to worry about yet, such as what to do when the cell phone implanted in your thumb dials the wrong number. And while the show has a lot to say about today, more than anything Futurama is a celebration of the future at its wildest.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, July 22

The Simpsons - "3 Scenes Plus a Tag from a Marriage" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Homer and Marge recount the story of their transition from loving their life without kids to being miserable parents.

Bob's Burgers - "Mo Mommy Mo Problems" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Belchers attend open houses for the free food; Linda meets a charming real estate agent and agrees to a private showing; the kids stumble upon an unexpected surprise; the family ends up getting involved with a real estate scheme.

Family Guy - "V is for Mystery" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Stewie and Brian are detectives who embark on solving a string of mysterious murders set in Victorian-era London.

Ghosted - "Hello Boys" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
While trying to prove their worth to Capt. LaFrey, Leroy and Max finally get a lead on the whereabouts of Agent Checker; Leroy finds himself in the odd position of being the believer when Max loses faith that they have what it takes.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 16)

Friday, July 20

  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Watch Terry on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Bobby Cannavale (Nurse Jackie) - Bobby appears on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Billy Eichner (Difficult People) - Billy is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • James Van Der Beek (Friends with Better Lives/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - James appears on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your lcoal listings.
  • Louie Anderson (Baskets/The Louie Show/Life with Louie) - Louie is a guest on a repeat of Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia chats with Rach about her debut cookbook on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Nikki DeLoach (Awkward) - Nikki guest co-hosts Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly talks about the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries original Morning Show Mystery: Murder on the Menu on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Melissa Leo (I'm Dying Up Here) - Melissa talks about The Equalizer 2 on the BUILD Series at 2pm.


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

New Girl - The Complete Seventh Season 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

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
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