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, June 19

The Middle - "Hecks vs. Glossners: The Final Battle" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
It’s the Orson showdown of the century when the Hecks – along with the Donahues and Bill Norwood – wage a war against the Glossners after they steal Sue’s car.

The Middle - "Thank You for Not Kissing" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Dr. Fulton (Dave Foley) calls Frankie and Mike into his office to inform them that Brick and Cindy have been making out all over school, Frankie tasks Mike into having a talk with his son to discuss dating etiquette. Meanwhile, Sue attempts to work up the gumption to give Sean the snow globe and confess how much she likes him; and after discovering a box full of unfinished thank you notes for gifts received over the years, Frankie orders Axl to finish and mail them all out.

black-ish - "Juneteenth" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Johnsons go to Jack and Diane’s school play about Columbus Day, and Dre is dismayed by the historically inaccurate way that the holiday is portrayed. He feels like there aren’t enough black holidays, so he enlists Aloe Blacc at work to help him create a catchy song to raise awareness for a holiday worth celebrating, Juneteenth.

black-ish - "Dog Eat Dog World" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The family is divided over the idea of getting a dog after Dre and Bow promise Jack they can get one after he gets Straight A’s – and he does! Meanwhile, Bow’s brother Johan is in town and he doesn’t get the warm welcome he expects from Ruby.

Younger - "The End of the Tour" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Liza faces complications on the Marriage Vacation book tour. Kelsey and Zane head to D.C. to court a speechwriter’s prospective memoir.

Teachers - "Of Lice and Men" (TV Land, 10:34PM ET/PT)
Ms. Bennigan wrestles with how far she’s willing to go sexually with Hot Dad, while Ms. Cannon learns how to drive in the midst of an apocalyptic lice outbreak at Fillmore.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 18)

Tuesday, June 19

  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Catch Martin on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Michael Ian Black (The Jim Gaffigan Show/Ed) - Michael stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Tracy Morgan (The Last O.G./30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Michael visits LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce/Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Jennifer Lawrence (The Bill Engvall Show) - The Ellen DeGeneres Show has the best moments from the biggest stars in Season 15, so check your local listings.
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace/Ned & Stacey) - Debra is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Marlon Wayans (Marlon/The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon drops by Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) - Brian is a guest on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • BD Wong (All-American Girl) - BD talks about the off-Broadway production of The Great Leap on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June)

Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season Step by Step - The Complete First Season Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest