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

Thursday, May 24

The Big Bang Theory - "The Gates Excitation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Penny gets the opportunity to host Bill Gates at work when his company wants to partner with her pharmaceutical company. Also, Leonard, Koothrappali and Wolowitz do everything in their power to meet him, while Sheldon thinks he is the victim of an April Fools prank.

Young Sheldon - "A Computer, A Plastic Pony, And A Case of Beer" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon asks for a computer and unknowingly sparks a heated argument between Mary and George Sr. over the family’s finances.

Mom - "Fancy Crackers and Giant Women" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bonnie suffers withdrawal after giving up cable TV to help Christy pay for her law school applications, and the women rally around Jill after she has a breakdown in her favorite department store.

Life in Pieces - "Settlement Pacifier Attic Unsyncing" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When the entire Hughes family moves into John and Joan’s home after their kitchen is destroyed, their presence creates chaos for Joan. Also, Matt and Colleen are set to receive a huge monetary settlement from Colleen’s fall off the motel balcony on their wedding night; John tries to get Sophia back on track when she starts misbehaving; Tyler and Clementine make a surprise announcement to the family; and Jen and Greg attempt to persuade Lark to get rid of her pacifier.

Nobodies - "Alone Star State" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Mark-Paul and Rachel attend the Independent Spirit Awards together; an unassuming Hugh joins Larry in Austin, Texas, to teach unauthorized Groundlings-style seminars to a group of Texas businesspeople.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 21)

Thursday, May 24

  • Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project/The Office) - Catch Mindy on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ted Danson (The Good Place/Becker/Cheers) - Ted is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Tig visits Conan at 11pm on TBS. She will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne/The McCarthys/The Big Bang Theory) - Laurie stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Kelsey Grammer (Frasier/Cheers) - Kelsey chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Amy and Nick are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jussie Smollett (On Our Own) - Jussie appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Jane Lynch (Angel from Hell) - Jane talks about Red Nose Day and Hollywood Game Night on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Daphne Maxwell Reid (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/Eve/Let's Stay Together) - Daphne makes her mother Rosalee's waffles on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Oliver Hudson (Splitting Up Together/Rules of Engagement) - Oliver is a guest on a repeat of Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings/Step by Step) - Christine is part of the panel on a repeat of Steve, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April/May)

Atlanta - The Complete First Season Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season One Day at a Time - Season Two Perfect Strangers  - The Complete Third Season Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Final (Eighth) Season

03/06 - Atlanta - The Complete First Season
03/06 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season
03/13 - The New Adventures of Old Christine - The Complete First Season
03/27 - One Day at a Time - Season Two
04/03 - Ballers - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/03 - 90's Sitcom (Just Shoot Me!/The Larry Sanders Show/Wings) Starter Set - Season 1 & 2 Bundle
04/10 - Vice Principals - The Compelte Series
04/17 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Third Season
05/08 - Dear White People - Season 1
05/08 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Final (Eighth) Season
05/29 - I'm Dying Up Here - Season 1
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest