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

Tuesday, January 16

The Middle - "Mommapalooza" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Frankie decides that she needs to find something new that she’s passionate about – life’s third act – and Reverend TimTom offers the perfect solution. Meanwhile, tired of hearing Sue and Brick argue because of the giant hole between their bedroom walls, Mike orders them to fix it; and after Axl refuses to let rich girlfriend Lexie pay for some extravagant outings, Lexie finds a way to fool him into thinking he’s becoming lucky when money and other high priced items suddenly make their way into his hands.

Fresh Off the Boat - "The Car Wash" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
With Jessica’s career as an author taking off, Louis worries that she is losing interest in him and attempts to rekindle the flame under Marvin’s guidance. Evan skips his way into Emery’s seventh grade English class with a particularly hard-to-please teacher, Ms. Doris (Tig Notaro). When neither can win her over, they seek advice from an unusual source.

black-ish - "Bow Knows" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Dre is selected to run point on a campaign that focuses on “The Talk,” which refers to the conversations that Black parents have with their children through the decades to prepare them for the racial bias they may face in the world. Meanwhile, Bow finds an online group of women that she leans on for advice and support.

Modern Family - "Sex, Lies & Kickball" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Jay’s best friend, Shorty, is back from Costa Rica and stays at the house so they can catch up and reconnect. However, Shorty is spending more time with Gloria and seems to be avoiding Jay. Meanwhile, Alex is ready to shed her good-girl image and is going to prove to Claire that her relationship with Ben is definitely a sexual relationship.

LA to Vegas - "Two and a Half Pilots" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
While Capt. Dave is absent, his staunch rival is given the responsibility of covering the flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas; Artem and Nichole decide to assist Colin while he plans a special birthday party for his son.

The Mick - "The City" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
While Mickey and the gang visit New York City, they learn that Jimmy has become quite successful at an investment firm, but Mickey tries convincing the firm's partners to give him a promotion; Chip goes to see his biological father.

Teachers - "Labor Pains" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
After Mrs. Adler announces she’s pregnant, we’re taken back in time to the 1940s, where the women of Fillmore fight for better treatment at work.

K.C. Undercover - "Revenge of the Van People" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Ernie hosts a group of young international agents while KC is away on a mission.

The Paynes - "A Surprise for the Paynes" (OWN, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Curtis and the rest of the Payne family take a road trip to Florida where Ella receives a stunning surprise.

The Paynes - "Revelations of Paynes" (OWN, 13:00PM ET/PT)
Ella fumes after Curtis makes a life-changing decision without her input; Curtis discovers that he was duped into a bad investment.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 15)

Tuesday, January 16

  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Catch Kristen on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Tracy Letts (Divorce) - Tracy appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Esther Povitsky (Alone Together) - Esther is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Molly Shannon (Divorce/Kath & Kim/Cracking Up) - Molly visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Rob Riggle (Golan the Insatiable/Gary Unmarried) - Rob guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Mike Epps (Survivor's Remorse/Uncle Buck) - Mike talks about the BET Social Awards on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Jackée Harry (The Paynes/The First Family/The Game/227) - Jackée talks about OWN's The Paynes on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Jamie Lee (Crashing) - Jamie is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • John Lithgow (Trial & Error/Twenty Good Years/3rd Rock from the Sun) - John talks about Broadway's Stories By Heart on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Laura Benanti (The Detour/Go On) - Clinton Kelly cooks with Laura on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie/Malibu Country) and Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie) - Lily and Jane talk about Grace and Frankie on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December/January)

The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season Living Single - The Complete Third Season Alice - The Complete Sixth Season One Day at a Time - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Second Season

11/07 - American Dad! - Volume 12
11/07 - Family Guy - Season Fifteen
11/07 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season
11/14 - D.C. Follies - The Complete Series
11/21 - Living Single - The Complete Third Season
11/24 - Grandfathered - Season 1
12/05 - Alice - The Complete Sixth Season
12/05 - One Day at a Time - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Simpsons - The Eighteenth Season
12/05 - South Park - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
12/12 - Fuller House - The Complete Second Season
12/19 - South Park - The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11
01/09 - Girlfriends - The Complete Series
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest