Friday, February 16, 2018

Fri-Yay: Is the Era of the "Sadcom" Over?; TBS Lands Pilot from Emmy Winner

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!

You're the Worst

by Vincent

You've probably heard the term "sadcom" before. From about 2014 through 2017, it was all of the rage in television comedy - shows that were comedies, and often very funny, but dealt with some dark, depressing topics, and at times seemed to be just as sad as they were humorous. These shows didn't sugarcoat their characters' misery, which earned them the title of "sadcom." The most obvious examples are shows like You're the Worst or Bojack Horseman, comedies that deal head-on with the topic of mental illness. But you could say that a huge slew of TV comedies from the past few years fall into this category - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Mom, even wacky shows like Review can fall into this territory. These shows are very funny, but certainly aren't afraid to get dark when they want to.

However, over the past year or so, I've noticed a resurgence of bright, happy shows that still deal with serious topics, but still do their best to impose a sense of warmth and empathy even in their darkest moments. The best examples of this are some of my favorite shows on television, One Day at a Time, The Good Place and Superstore. These three shows may seem incredibly different from one another, but they all share in common the fact that they go to some sad places, but still make it clear that their characters truly love each other and are there for each other, no matter how bad things get - whether it be the tight-knit Alvarez family on One Day at a Time, the "core four" of The Good Place, and the makeshift family of Cloud 9 in Superstore, these are shows about people who care about each other very much, even if they're going through some pretty rough stuff much of the time. Even when these shows get dark, there's still a warm, comforting aura to them - and as much as I love some of the "sadcoms" that have come out over the past five years, sometimes it's nice to be in a world where even when things get bad, everything winds up being okay.


On the heels of her Emmy(R) win for Best Comedy Writing and the launch of her series The Chi, TBS has picked up writer and Master of None star Lena Waithe's project Twenties to pilot. Twenties is a single-camera comedy that follows the adventures of a queer black girl, Hattie, and her two straight best friends, Marie and Nia, who spend most of their days talking shit and chasing their dreams. It's a show about friendship, finding love, and messing everything up along the way. Twenties is created, written, and executive produced by Waithe through her production company Hillman Grad Productions and executive produced by Andrew Coles, her manager, for The Mission Entertainment.

TBS, now the #1 comedy network with 3 of the top 5 new cable comedies to date, continues to attract fresh, award-winning talent with new shows The Last O.G. premiering on April 3rd starring Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish, and Miracle Workers starring Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, March 22

Superstore - "Target" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Jeff (Michael Bunin) leaves Cloud 9 to work at Target, Garrett (Colton Dunn) leads Glenn (Mark McKinney) to believe that he's poaching other employees to go with him. In return Glenn tries to poach employees from Target. Amy (America Ferrera) goes on a double date with Dina (Lauren Ash), and Kelly (Kelly Stables) and Jonah (Ben Feldman) discuss moving in together.

A.P. Bio - "Selling Out" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Jack (Glenn Howerton) receives an offer from Miles' (Tom Bennett) publisher to write a book of feel-good philosophy that could be his ticket out of Toledo. Durbin accidentally sets off an emotional firestorm when he reveals that while Stef (Lyric Lewis) chose Mary (Mary Sohn) as her emergency contact, Mary chose Michelle (Jean Villepique).

Atlanta - "Money Bag Shawty" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
People act differently outside the city.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 19)

Thursday, March 22

  • Roseanne Barr (Roseanne) and John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - Catch Roseanne and John on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Will is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Rob Riggle (Golan the Insatiable/Gary Unmarried) - Rob appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) - Thomas visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Eddie Kaye Thomas ('Til Death/How to Make It in America) - Eddie drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Natasha Leggero (Dice/Another Period/Free Agents) - Natasha is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Jay Pharoah (White Famous) - Jay appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jussie Smollett (On Our Own) - Jussie stops by Desus & Mero at 11pm on Viceland.
  • Mark Hamill (The Texas Wheelers) - Mark chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Nia Long (Uncle Buck/The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Nia appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jason George (Eve) - Jason drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan and The Real, so check your listings. He opens up about Station 19 on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Lamorne Morris (New Girl) - Lamorne is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Josh Henderson (One on One) - Josh appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher (Take My Wife) - Cameron and Rhea are guests on Good Mythical Morning with Rhett & Link on YouTube.
  • Keith Carradine (Complete Savages) - Keith is at the kitchen table on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • John Corbett (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/United States of Tara/Sex and the City) - John joins Clinton Kelly in the kitchen on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. He talks about his movie God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Alexa & Katie/Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani talks about Netflix's Alexa & Katie on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella talks about Midnight Sun on the BUILD Series at 1:30pm.
  • Jim Jefferies (Legit) - Jim talks about Comedy Central's The Jim Jefferies Show on the BUILD Series at 2:30pm.