Friday, February 09, 2018

Fri-Yay: High Concept Sitcoms; Bravo's Imposters Returns in April

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!

Life in Pieces

by Vincent

Sitcoms tend to go in phases, and one of the many phases of the sitcom is "high concept vs. low concept." This trend can be dated way back to the earliest decades of television - I'd argue the '50s were a "low concept" decade as most shows from that era were fairly simple in premise, shows such as I Love Lucy or Leave it to Beaver, which had straightforward and realistic premises (newlyweds in the city, families in the suburbs) and relied on character antics for their laughs and plot. However, following the '50s came the '60s, which had huge concepts - just look at shows like I Dream of Jeannie or Bewitched, shows about magical creatures which had complex rules and universes of their own. This became the norm in the '60s - shows about talking horses, flying nuns, witches, and genies were the norm, perhaps as a form of a escapism from the turbulent political climate. While we saw some high-concept shows after the '60s, for the most part, shows began to get gradually lower in their concept until Seinfeld became the quintessential low concept series - it was a sitcom that was proud to be a "show about nothing."

However, for the first time in many years, we're beginning to see a rise in high concept sitcoms again. The biggest example of this is likely The Good Place, which is one of the most high-concept hit sitcoms in quite some time, revolving around a woman and her friends in the afterlife. But you can see it around other shows and networks, too - think of a show like The Last Man on Earth, revolving around the apocalypse, or Search Party, a plot-heavy film noir comedy. Even something like CBS's Life in Pieces, which shows several different families lives and how they intersect, and is told in short "pieces", could qualify. Like the '60s, perhaps this could be a form of escapism for people in today's similarly tumultuous political climate? Either way, it's certainly a good time for creative, original and high-concept sitcoms.


Imposters

Bravo Media and Universal Cable Productions' original scripted series Imposters, starring Inbar Lavi, Rob Heaps, Parker Young, Marianne Rendón, Brian Benben and Stephen Bishop, returns for a second season on Thursday, April 5 at 10pm ET/PT. From executive producers Adam Brooks and Paul Adelstein, Imposters follows Maddie (Lavi), a persona-shifting con artist and the "Bumblers," a trio of her recent, heart-broken victims, Ezra (Heaps), Richard (Young) and Jules (Rendón). To catch up on Imposters season one, tune in to Bravo on Monday, February 19 from 8am-6pm ET for an all-day marathon. Additionally, season one is currently available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, XBOX, Playstation, FandangoNow and Vudu, and is available starting today on Netflix.

Golden Globe winning actress Uma Thurman reprises her guest role as lethal fixer, Lenny Cohen. Additionally, executive producer Paul Adelstein will guest star with a story arc spanning multiple episodes, playing Shelly Cohen, a mysterious fixer who happens to be Lenny's former husband. In the season two premiere, Maddie decides to lay low at a lake house in Michigan as she tries to escape her former existence. However, she finds her past much harder to shake than anticipated, leaving her in a state of paranoia. The Bumblers head to Richard's hometown hoping to sell the rare, very expensive ring Ezra stole from Patrick. Their hope for a clean getaway backfires when the tables turn and they find themselves on the run... again.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, December 10

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Stolen Sneakers" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Malcolm is robbed and won’t reveal the culprit, Calvin and Dave team up to crack the case of the missing sneakers. Also, Tina takes a unique approach to teaching Gemma self-defense.

Happy Together - "Home Insecurity" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When one of Cooper’s stalkers sneaks into Jake and Claire’s house, they reluctantly decide to install a home security system.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 10)

Monday, December 10

  • Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen/The Ellen Show) - Watch Ellen on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Pete Holmes (Crashing) - Pete appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • John Mulaney (Mulaney) - John stops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless) - Vanessa is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Bryan drops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Sean Hayes (Will & Grace/Sean Saves the World) - Sean appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Wilmer Valderrama (That 70s Show) - Wilmer is a guest on E!'s Busy Tonight at 10pm.
  • Steve Harvey (The Steve Harvey Show) - Steve visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Odette Annable (Breaking In) - Odette and her husband Dave talk about Freeform's No Sleep 'Til Christmas on Access Live (check your local listings), on E! News at 7pm on E! and on KTLA 5 in Los Angeles at 9:15am PT.
  • Robert Townsend (The Parent 'Hood) - Robert talks about Making the Five Heartbeats on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Jake Johnson (New Girl) - Jake talks about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm and on the BUILD Series at 1pm.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Crazy Ones) - Sarah will be on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) - Miley can be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection Alice - The Complete Eighth Season Step by Step - The Complete Third Season

10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 6th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 7th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 8th Season
10/02 - Ghosted - The Complete First Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Community - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/23 - Alice - The Complete Eighth Season
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Two
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Three
10/31 - The Bad News Bears - The Complete Series - All 26 Episodes
11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest