Friday, January 05, 2018

Fri-Yay: Brooklyn Nine-Nine Continues to Delight Five Seasons In; TCA 2018 Winter Press Tour: Fox

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!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

by Vincent

With January upon us, sitcoms are going to be getting back into action - in fact, many have already returned. So for the next few weeks, I'll be checking in on some sitcom that I'm particularly enjoying this TV season, the first of which is Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is in its fifth season, and I've rarely seen a TV show remain so consistent through-out its run. Since Season 1, the series has been a go-to for wacky hi-jinks mixed with characters who manage to be both over-the-top funny and relatable. While Brooklyn Nine-Nine's premise of "eclectic weirdos in a nontraditional workplace" may be similar to other Mike Schur-penned comedies such as Parks & Recreation and The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine differentiates itself by having a cast of characters that feel truly different in subtle ways. Jake Peralta may seem like a typical "man-boy who needs to learn how to grow up" leading man, but while that may be an apt description of his character, he's written and played in ways that make him more interesting than that. Peralta's family background describes his man-boyish persona, and the way he supports his friends, keeps an open mind to social issues, and seems unconcerned with traditional standards of masculinity makes him quite an interesting protagonist, particularly for a NYPD detective (a role that might classically be played by a more traditional macho man.) Another groundbreaking in a subtle way character is Captain Holt, an openly gay police captain who is upfront about his struggles to rise in the ranks despite his sexuality and the open racism in the PD. These subtle hints of progression appear in all of the characters - Rosa is a tough police captain who (spoiler alert) comes out as bisexual in a recent episode, and Terry is an extremely tough man who also has a clear and celebrated soft side (he has maybe cried more than any other character on the show.)

Also, the show is just funny. Every episode is a well-written adventure with plenty of comic hi-jinks, and just the right combination of big physical comedy set pieces with subtle and effective character-based humor. It deals with serious issues but always feels light and approachable, making it a show that does provoke thought and analysis but also is fun to just sit and unwind with after a long work day. Brooklyn Nine-Nine's ratings have taken a significant hit this season, and cancellation rumors have begun to swirl. I'm really hoping that Fox sees what a gem they have in the show, though, and either give it a chance to formally wrap things up next year or give it to another network (perhaps TBS, who is expanding their comedy slate and will also begin airing re-runs of the show this month) who can make better use of its charms.


New Girl

Fox kicked-off the TCA 2018 Winter Press Tour yesterday. We got some news, too. The seventh and final season of New Girl will premiere Tuesday, April 10 at 9:30PM ET/PT on Fox. The eight-episode final season will have a special one-hour finale on Tuesday, May 15 from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT. The series stars Zooey Deschanel as Jess Day; Jake Johnson as Nick Miller; Max Greenfield as Schmidt; Lamorne Morris as Winston Bishop; and Hannah Simone as Cece Schmidt. As the series' sixth season came to a close, Jess told Nick of her true feelings for him. Also, Winston and Aly (guest star Nasim Pedrad) got engaged, and Cece and Schmidt received news that they are expecting. When the series returns for its final season, a three-year time jump will have occurred. Jess and Nick are happily together and returning from a whirlwind European book tour; stay-at-home dad Schmidt and working mom Cece are raising their daughter, Ruth; and Winston and Aly are married, with a child on the way. In addition to Nasim Pedrad, the final season will feature the return of many of the series' notable guest stars, including Damon Wayans, Jr., Dermot Mulroney, David Walton, Nelson Franklin, Sam Richardson, Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner. JB Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) also will make their series debuts in guest-starring roles.

Fox has renewed The Gifted, the family adventure series set in Marvel's X-Men universe, for a second season. In the all-new, two-hour first season finale of The Gifted, "eXtraction/X-roads," airing Monday, Jan. 15 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT on Fox, Dr. Campbell (guest star Garret Dillahunt) attends the Humanity Today summit, attempting to take the Hound program national, while some of the team at Mutant HQ go on a dangerous mission to stop his efforts. Then, the Mutant HQ comes under attack. With everything to lose, alliances shift and relationships are put to the test. Moving on, in a Family Guy first, the Emmy Award-winning animated series will air an extended-length episode with limited commercial interruption Sunday, March 11 from 9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT on Fox. In the "Send in Stewie, Please" episode, Stewie (Seth MacFarlane) gets sent to the office of his school's child psychologist, Dr. Cecil Pritchfield (guest voice Sir Ian McKellen), after pushing one of his classmates. During the session, Stewie experiences a series of personal and emotional revelations about himself that fans will not want to miss.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, February 22

Fresh Off the Boat - "Be a Man" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jessica drives Principal Hunter crazy at Evan’s school when she declares that she’s “shadow principal” and follows him around for a day to learn about his job. When she finds out perfect son Evan has been caught acting out, she immediately blames Eddie’s bad influence, but there’s more to it than that. Louis, having watched one too many episodes of “The Sopranos” with Honey, is convinced that Marvin and Grandma are gossiping about him behind his back after Marvin offers to trap the rat that has invaded Grandma’s apartment.

Speechless - "G-A-- GAME N-I-- NIGHT" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Maya insists that it’s time to meet Izzy, a reluctant JJ arranges a game night for his family and new girlfriend. Ray tries to help on the big night, but his attention to detail puts a major crimp in JJ’s evening. Meanwhile, Dylan and Kenneth let their appetites get the better of them.

Last Man Standing - "Arrest Her Development" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Vanessa "helps" Mandy and Kyle look for an apartment; Mike is thrilled by Ryan's decisions.

The Cool Kids - "Sid's First Relationship" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The gang comes together around Sid in order to help him overcome the commitment issues he struggles with his new beau, John; Margaret decides to become an airport volunteer in the hopes of conquering her strong fear of flying.

Andi Mack - "The Ex Factor" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Andi, Buffy and Cyrus worry about Jonah's unusual behavior; Miranda tries to cause problems for Bowie and Bex.

Sydney to the Max - "Adventures in Babe-Sitting" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Sydney and Olive struggle with their baby-sitting business when the child they are hired to watch happens to be the brother of one of the most popular kids in their class.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 18

Friday, February 22

  • Don Cheadle (Black Monday/House of Lies/The Golden Palace) - Watch Don on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Thomas Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World) - Thomas is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Rita Moreno (One Day at a Time/Happily Divorced/9 to 5) - Rita stops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Finesse Mitchell (A.N.T. Farm) - Finesse is a panelist on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Lori Loughlin (Fuller House/Hudson Street/Full House) - Lori talks about When Calls the Heart on People Now at 12pm.
  • Jay Baruchel (Man Seeking Woman/Undeclared) - Jay is a guest on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken talks about You Complete Me, Ho on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For your Love) - Holly appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Autumn Reeser (Complete Savages) - Autumn drops by Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


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