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

Saturday, October 20

Henry Danger - "Flabber Gassed" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After acting too confident before a fight, Kid Danger and Captain Man are sprayed with Flabber Gas making them powerless to defeat a new villain in Swellview; Schwoz puts the heroes in Exo-Suits which Charlotte and Jasper control.

Knight Squad - "Fright Night" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After the Princess defies her father's orders and attends the Party of Darkness, the Shadow Ghost appears and threatens to possess her, forcing the Phoenix Squad to fight to save their friend.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 15)

Friday, October 19

  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Watch Bryan on on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul sits in with Cleto and The Cletones on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas LA) - Nick appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa makes a special appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory/8 Simple Rules) - Kaley is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Joel appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Regina Hall (Grandfathered/Second Generation Wayans) - Regina visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy drops by The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Chloe x Halle (grown-ish) - Chloe x Halle are guests on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Nicole Ari Parker (Second Time Around) - Nicole appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • John Stamos (Grandfathered/Jake in Progress/Full House) - John talks about You on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love/Operation Petticoat) - Jamie Lee talks about Halloween on People Now at 12pm.
  • Ashley Johnson (Growing Pains/Phenom/Maybe This Time) and Ennis Esmer (You Me Her/Red Oaks) - Ashley and Ennis talk about Blindspot on the BUILD Series at 1pm and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace talks about her new children's book Candace Center Stage on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.


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