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, March 23

Stuck in the Middle - "Stuck in a Mysterious Robbery" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the Bait N' Bite is robbed, the Diaz children use their resources to track down the culprit.

Bizaardvark - "Amelia's Perfectly Imperfect Volleyball Adventure" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After Paige convinces the volleyball coach to put Amelia on the team, the DIY diva's ego lands the volleyball team in a match against the state champions.

The Paynes - "Payneful Repairs" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Curtis and Ella learn some troubling news about Nyla.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 19)

Friday, March 23

  • Jim Jefferies (Legit) - Watch Jim on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Lena Waithe (Master of None) - Lena appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenna Fischer (Splitting Up Together/The Office) and Oliver Hudson (Splitting Up Together/Rules of Engagement) - Jenna and Oliver chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. They will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and the BUILd Series at 2:30pm.
  • Jamie Lee (Crashing) - Jamie appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Boris Kodjoe (The Last Man on Earth/Second Time Around) and Nicole Ari Parker (Second Time Around) - Boris and Nicole are guests on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Alexa & Katie/Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani stops by Access Live, so check your local listings. She shares her recipe for spiked hot chocolate on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Zach Braff (Alex, Inc./Scrubs) - Zach appears on Good Mythical Morning with Rhett & Link on YouTube.
  • Jay Pharoah (White Famous) - Jay creates something delicious with Carla Hall on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Mark Hamill (The Texas Wheelers) - Mark will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He can also be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella talks about Midnight Sun on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.