Friday, June 08, 2018

Fri-Yay: Arrested Development Returns for a Funny But Hollow 5th Season; FX Orders Atlanta Season 3

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!

Arrested Development Season 5 Poster

by Vincent

Last week, Arrested Development dropped the first half of its fifth season on Netflix (the second half will be released at an unspecified later date, an interesting strategy that Netflix is also using for the fourth season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). It's been five years since the fourth season dropped on the streaming service in May 2013 - and, of course, when the fourth season was released it had been seven years since the abrupt conclusion of the series' original run on Fox. The revival of Arrested Development was one of the first Netflix original series and arguably the major flagship of Netflix's foraging into original content (along with House of Cards). In many ways, it's a great representation of this new era of peak TV. The cancellation of the original run of Arrested Development had long been one of the biggest examples of a network failing a widely beloved series, and Netflix swooping in like a savior to bring the show back after nearly a decade off the air seemed to signal a new era of TV, where a fan-beloved but slightly off-kilter sitcom could succeed and even thrive without the constraints of network television. And yet, through-out both the fourth and fifth seasons of Arrested Development, two thoughts often popped into my mind: 1) It's super cool that they were able to bring this show back, and 2) This show probably should've stayed dead.

To be fair, the fifth season of Arrested Development is not bad. It's an improvement upon the messy fourth season, which had some great moments but never quite lived up to the sum of its parts. The jokes are tighter and funnier, and the chemistry of the entire cast bouncing off of each other allows it to have more of that classic Arrested Development vibe that Season 4 was missing (the fourth season focused on each characters' separate journeys and rarely saw them in the same place at the same time, largely due to difficulties syncing the cast's schedules.) But while the show gets the rhythm and the pacing of Arrested Development right, it all just feels a little tired. The spark of the original run is only there in spurts - in many ways, it feels like the later seasons of many long-running sitcoms, where everyone is sort of on autopilot, getting through the motions of the show without ever truly aspiring for something more. That's not true of everyone - Alia Shawkat truly gives it her all in what may very well be Maebey's best season, Will Arnett does a great job handling some surprisingly emotional GOB material, and Jessica Walter's Lucille is as perfect as she's ever been - but for the most part, the fifth season of Arrested Development never makes a great case for why it needs to exist. That could change when the second half of the episodes drop, as a lot of these episodes felt like they were cleaning up the messes that the fourth season left. But as of now, it's hard to get too excited about the prospect of more Arrested Development, which is something I never thought I'd say before the Netflix revival seasons.


Atlanta

FX has ordered a third season of the critically-acclaimed and award-winning comedy series Atlanta. The premiere of Atlanta Robbin' Season, the latest chapter in the Emmy(R) Award-winning comedy series, nabbed the best ratings of any recent basic cable comedy. The first season of Atlanta won two Emmy(R) Awards as well as two Golden Globe(R) Awards and AFI, Peabody, PGA, WGA, TCA, NAACP and Critics' Choice Awards. In the recently concluded Atlanta Robbin' Season, two cousins work through the Atlanta music scene in order to better their lives and the lives of their families. "Earn Marks" (Donald Glover) is a young manager trying to get his cousin's career off the ground. "Alfred Miles" (Brian Tyree Henry) is a new hot rapper trying to understand the line between real life and street life. "Darius" (Lakeith Lee Stanfield) is Alfred's right-hand man and visionary. "Van" (Zazie Beetz) is Earn's best friend and the mother of Earn's daughter.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, August 15

The Goldbergs - "Dinner with the Goldbergs" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Erica warns Geoff about going to dinner with her family to celebrate her birthday, but he insists. Upon arrival, it’s apparent this will be no ordinary dinner out: The family changes tables multiple times, Beverly sends her food back, Murray insists Adam order off the children’s menu and Barry wants to change his order, but it’s too late. By evening’s end, Geoff hits his breaking point.

American Housewife - "Midlife Crisis" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Katie takes Oliver out of school for a day to help loosen him up after Oliver suffers from a meltdown about something minor. Meanwhile, Anna-Kat takes Greg to the park to help him make new friends.

Modern Family - "Wine Weekend" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The family goes on a wine tasting trip and stays in Haley’s new boss’ country house where the only rule is: Don’t touch the tiara! Meanwhile, Gloria and Mitch are invited to a party at Oprah’s house but can’t bring anyone else.

American Housewife - "All Coupled Up" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Otto children are beginning to experience struggles in their love lives after jumping into the dating world: Oliver is forced to choose between his girlfriend and his friend Cooper who come from two different worlds; Greg must play the “bad cop parent” to halt the PDA between Taylor and Trip; and Anna-Kat tries to make her relationship with Franklin official, without his consent.

Alone Together - "Daypassers" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Benji and Esther snag a day pass to an upscale gym.

Alone Together - "Drama Story" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Benji realizes his former high school hasn't changed.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 13)

Wednesday, August 15

  • Tom Arnold (Roseanne/The Tom Show/Tom) - Watch Tom on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jerrod Carmichael (the Carmichael Show) - Jerrod stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Chris O'Dowd (Family Tree/The IT Crowd) - Chris visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He talks about Juliet, Naked on the BUILD Series at 3pm.
  • Regina Hall (Insecure/Grandfathered) - Regina appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ariana Grande (Sam & Cat/Victorious) - Ariana is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley) - Jimmy drops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Sanaa Lathan (Family Guy/The Cleveland Show/LateLine) - Sanaa chats on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jennifer Finnigan (Better with You/Committed/Student Bodies) - Jennifer appears on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Rob Lowe (The Grinder/Parks and Recreation) - Rob is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tony Rock (Living Biblically) - Tony appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Jason Ritter (The Class) - Jason is a guest on a repeat of Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Debby Ryan (Insatiable/Jessie/The Suite Life on Deck) - Debby talks about Insatiable's controversies on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) and Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Constance and Ken talk about Crazy Rich Asians on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Rev Run and Justine Simmons (All About the Washingtons) - Rev Run and Justine talk about All About the Washingtons on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Regina King (227) - Regina talks about Seven Seconds on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Melissa Carcache (Every Witch Way) - Melissa talks about her Hallmark Channel original movie Love at Sea on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Zach Braff (Alex, Inc./Scrubs) - Zach is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Alice - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season The Good Place - The Complete Second Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five

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
07/03 - New Girl - The Final (Seventh) Season
07/10 - Alice - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - The Bill Engvall Show - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season
07/10 - The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season
07/17 - Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life - The Complete Series
07/17 - The Good Place - The Complete Second Season
07/17 - Son of Zorn - The Complete Series
08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest