Friday, April 13, 2018

Fri-Yay: New Girl Begins Its Final Season; Trial & Error Returns to NBC July 19

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!

New Girl

by Vincent

This week, New Girl began its abbreviated 8-episode final season. I've been a fan of New Girl nearly since it began back in 2011, and over the course of its seven seasons, I've found the series to be an incredibly funny series with some top-notch characters that will certainly go down as one of the primest examples of the early '10s hangout comedy. What began as a Zooey Deschanel star vehicle quickly evolved into a quirky, strange little series about a truly weird group of friends navigating into adulthood. As it begins its final season with a time jump and a revelation that the main characters have moved on from the lost, I've been feeling a little nostalgic about the good times I've had with the show over the years, and how in many ways it already feels like a throwback to a time of sitcoms past, even before it's left the air.

The television industry and sitcoms themselves have transformed so much over the seven years of New Girl's run. When the show began, broadcast sitcoms were still the dominant form of television comedy - sure, cable comedies existed, but this was a world before streaming and before the full extent of cable. This was also a time when there were still multiple broadcast sitcoms bringing in tens of millions of viewers every week. So when the series began, it was a high-profile, hyped up Zooey Deschanel star vehicle, which premiered to huge ratings but mixed reviews. And yet, over the course of the first season, the series gradually toned down Zooey's Jess and expanded the characters of her male roommates, examining their quirks one-by-one until it felt like a real, complete ensemble series. As the show evolved, it became less a star vehicle and more an analysis of this world of hilarious, strange characters and the loft they inhabited. For the most part, the show remained incredibly consistent, as well - other than a slight dip in the third season stemming from too many character changes too fast, the series remained an enjoyable delight by digging deeply into its characters - both for comedy and drama.

So as the series heads into its final season, three years into the future, it feels like the end of an era - both for the series and for television in general. With the current splintering of comedy between cable, network and streaming, it's possible a series like New Girl wouldn't even exist in today's TV climate - most likely, it would be a cable or streaming series, given its young audience and niche sense of humor - but I'm glad it did. New Girl is a show I'll always remember and enjoy watching in reruns and streaming, and I'm ready to savor these final seven episodes.


Trial & Error: Lady Killer

Toplined by Tony and Emmy Award winner Kristin Chenoweth, NBC's Trial & Error: Lady, Killer will return to East Peck when the second season debuts Thursday, July 19 at 9 and 9:30 p.m. Last season the 9 p.m. telecast of Trial & Error averaged a 1.3 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.5 million viewers overall in "live plus seven day" ratings from Nielsen Media Research and the 9:30 episode averaged a 1.1 in 18-49 and 4.4 million viewers. The first season of Trial & Error is now available exclusively on the NBC App and Video on Demand.

In the spirit of true crime documentaries, the second season of this outrageous fish-out-of-water comedy centers on bright-eyed New York lawyer Josh Segal (Nicholas D'Agosto), still relatively a newcomer in a tiny southern town, who is sturdily posed for his next big case there. His mission? To defend the eccentric first lady of East Peck, Lavinia Peck-Foster (Kristin Chenoweth), known for her flamboyant outfits, large hats and hairless cat, and who suddenly finds herself accused of the bizarre murder of her beloved husband. As Josh continues to settle into his makeshift office behind a taxidermy shop while working with his quirky team of local misfits, he suspects that winning his second big case this time should be easy (especially when his client is the town favorite), but is it? The cast also includes Jayma Mays, Sherri Shepherd, Steven Boyer and Amanda Payton.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, October 23

The Conners - "Tangled Up in Blue'" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Darlene is in for one surprise after another when David introduces his girlfriend, Blue (Juliette Lewis), at a parent-teacher conference and mentions that Mark and Harris will be spending the weekend with them. Dan hires Becky to help out at work, but they both come to learn that she might need more help than she can offer.

The Kids Are Alright - "Timmy's Poem" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
To Peggy’s dismay, Timmy decides to enter a poetry contest to win the money he needs to repair his ventriloquist dummy. Stumped, he decides to plagiarize a poem and soon realizes he’s not the only one who passed it off as his own. Meanwhile, Mike and Lawrence continue to butt heads when Lawrence complains that there are no fresh vegetables in the family’s diet.

black-ish - "Don't You Be My Neighbor" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The neighbors decide to rent their house out for homestays and it’s causing problems for the Johnsons. Dre develops a newfound joy of calling the cops over petty neighborhood issues but begins to question the example he is setting for Jack. Meanwhile, Diane develops her first crush and Bow wants to help but lets Zoey take the lead.

Splitting Up Together - "Asking for a Friend" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Afraid that the answer could ruin his chances with Lena, Martin finds every way he can to avoid asking Lisa Apple if she is pregnant, while the potential pregnancy makes Lena more and more distant. At the same time, Lena worries Mason is changing himself to please his new girlfriend and finds parallels to her own relationship with Martin. Elsewhere, Maya tells Frank a pretend story about her “friend” who is dating someone new and pregnant to gauge what his honest reaction will be.

The Guest Book - "Finding Reality" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Vivian and Eddie leave Mt. Trace to make a fresh start in a small beachside town, where they meet Nikki and Tommy, the engaged couple running Emmy Lou's Grill and vacation home Barefeet Retreat, and Bodhi, the local handyman.

The Guest Book - "Under Cover" (TBS, 10:27PM ET/PT)
Rob and Shelley rent Barefeet Retreat to lure in their next mark, a woman named Angel who is abusing every substance that can be abused; Vivian develops a crush on Bodhi; Nikki goes into labor.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 22)

Tuesday, October 23

  • Oliver Hudson (Splitting Up Together/Rules of Engagement/My Guide to Becoming a Rock Star) - Catch Oliver on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • David Cross (Arrested Development/Running Wilde) - David stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Tyler Alvarez (Every Witch Way) - Tyler appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Scott Bakula (Murphy Brown/Eisenhower and Lutz/Gung Ho) - Scott will be on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Juliette Lewis (Camping/A Family for Joe/I Married Dora) - Juliette is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. She also talks about Camping on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Brenda Song (Dads/The Suite Life on Deck/The Suite Life of Zack & Cody/100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd) - Brenda guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Marla Gibbs (The Jeffersons/Checking In/227) - Marla appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Mike Epps (Uncle Buck/Survivor's Remorse) - Mike is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric will be on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso appears on Chatter on PeopleTV at 8pm.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric talks about Speechless on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Nik Dodani (Murphy Brown/Atypical) - Nik talks about Murphy Brown on the BUILD Series at 4pm.
  • Brandon Micheal Hall (The Mayor/Search Party) - Brandon talks about God Friended Me on the BUILD Series at 5pm.
  • Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show/Here and Now/Malcolm and Eddie/Listen Up!/Reed Between the Lines) - Malcolm-Jamal talks about The Resident on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Mary McCormack (The Kids Are Alright/Welcome to the Family) - Mary talks about The Kids Are Alright on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


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

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season Step by Step - The Complete Second Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season

09/04 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season 12
09/04 - Mom - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Superstore - Season Three
09/04 - Young Sheldon - The Complete First Season
09/11 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season (Blu-ray)
09/11 - The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - People of Earth - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - Community - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
09/18 - Step by Step - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fourth Season
09/25 - Blondie - The Complete 1957 Television Series
09/25 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season
10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest