Friday, January 25, 2019

Fri-Yay: Broad City and The Other Two: One Ending, One Beginning; NBC Schedules Abby's, The First Outdoor Multi-Camera Sitcom

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!

Broad City

by Vincent

Last night on Comedy Central, it was the beginning of an end of an era: Broad City premiered its final season, as the show looks to end its run after five seasons of non-stop laughs and wildly funny antics. It's sad to see Broad City coming to an end, but it also is nice to see a show going out on its own terms while it's still on top, rather than puttering away after years of mediocrity. Broad City was truly a landmark series, one of the funniest sitcoms of the decade and certainly one that played fast and loose with established comedy rules and format. It's a show that I expect will very much define the comedy of the 2010s, and I'll miss it being such a consistent provider of laughs. I'm really trying to savor everything I have left with the show, because it truly was something special - and I know I'll be rewatching it endlessly in reruns.

The Other Two

Immediately after the final season of Broad City, Comedy Central will air the first season of The Other Two, an original comedy from Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, former SNL head writers. The Other Two is still in its early going, but it seems to hold a lot of promise, and the critical reception surrounding it has generally been quite positive. It certainly feels a bit like a "passing of the baton" situation, and The Other Two has some similarities with Broad City - it seems interested in breaking sitcom norms, follows quirky young people in New York City, and has an off-beat, wild sense of humor. The Other Two isn't quite at Broad City levels yet, but it certainly could get there with some time, and hopefully Comedy Central gives it a fair shot, as it'd be great if Broad City's departure didn't spell the end for high-quality comedy on the network. (Side note that Corporate is still airing and is still very darkly funny, and I really hope it doesn't go the way of poor Detroiters and get cancelled after its sophomore season.) So if you're interested in great cable comedy, Thursdays from 10 to 11 on Comedy Central for the next 10 weeks will be your spot. (Or, you know...streaming them on Hulu the next night.)


Abby's

NBC will launch its new 10-episode midseason comedy Abby's on Thursday, March 28 at 9:30 p.m., following two weeks of Will & Grace lead-in at 9 p.m. on March 28 and April 4. The new comedy will run through Thursday, June 13, when it has its season finale. Abby's is executive produced by Josh Malmuth, Michael Schur and David Miner. Pamela Fryman directed the pilot. Abby's is shot outdoors in front of a live studio audience, the first time a multi-camera comedy has done so. This unlicensed, makeshift establishment in Abby's backyard is the perfect gathering place for locals to find camaraderie and sanctuary. To maintain the perfect bar ecosystem, all patrons must abide by a specific set of rules. This includes no cell phones (not even to look something up), understanding that earning a seat at the bar takes time to rise through the hierarchy and knowing that losing a challenge may have some unpleasant and unpalatable drink-related repercussions.

As bar owner, Abby (Natalie Morales, Parks and Recreation, The Grinder, Trophy Wife) has found her true calling, hosting friends and newcomers alike. No nonsense, Abby is ex-military, having served two tours as a Staff Sergeant in the Marines. Her world is shaken when new landlord Bill (Nelson Franklin, black-ish, Veep, New Girl), who recently inherited the house from his deceased aunt, unexpectedly shows up citing all kinds of reasons why the whole venture is illegal. Newly divorced, he is a cautious worrier and definite non-risk-taker who eventually warms to the place and agrees to let the bar remain open, provided Abby makes some changes.

The cast of regulars also includes Fred (Neil Flynn, The Middle, Scrubs), a fixture at the bar who is grateful for a place to enjoy a beer and conversation - and refuses to allow some bureaucratic busybody to disrupt his perfect refuge; Beth (Jessica Chaffin, Big Mouth, Search Party, Pitch Perfect 3), a harried mom living next door who can escape the madness of her home life while still keeping an eye on things from her perch atop a bar stool; Rosie (Kimia Behpoornia, Unicorn Store, Pop Rox), the bar manager who prides herself on having memorized all 162 rules and regulations; and James (Leonard Ouzts, Set It Up, Master of None), the gentle scaredy-cat of a bouncer who crumbles in the face of confrontation.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, February 22

Fresh Off the Boat - "Be a Man" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jessica drives Principal Hunter crazy at Evan’s school when she declares that she’s “shadow principal” and follows him around for a day to learn about his job. When she finds out perfect son Evan has been caught acting out, she immediately blames Eddie’s bad influence, but there’s more to it than that. Louis, having watched one too many episodes of “The Sopranos” with Honey, is convinced that Marvin and Grandma are gossiping about him behind his back after Marvin offers to trap the rat that has invaded Grandma’s apartment.

Speechless - "G-A-- GAME N-I-- NIGHT" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Maya insists that it’s time to meet Izzy, a reluctant JJ arranges a game night for his family and new girlfriend. Ray tries to help on the big night, but his attention to detail puts a major crimp in JJ’s evening. Meanwhile, Dylan and Kenneth let their appetites get the better of them.

Last Man Standing - "Arrest Her Development" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Vanessa "helps" Mandy and Kyle look for an apartment; Mike is thrilled by Ryan's decisions.

The Cool Kids - "Sid's First Relationship" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The gang comes together around Sid in order to help him overcome the commitment issues he struggles with his new beau, John; Margaret decides to become an airport volunteer in the hopes of conquering her strong fear of flying.

Andi Mack - "The Ex Factor" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Andi, Buffy and Cyrus worry about Jonah's unusual behavior; Miranda tries to cause problems for Bowie and Bex.

Sydney to the Max - "Adventures in Babe-Sitting" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Sydney and Olive struggle with their baby-sitting business when the child they are hired to watch happens to be the brother of one of the most popular kids in their class.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 18

Friday, February 22

  • Don Cheadle (Black Monday/House of Lies/The Golden Palace) - Watch Don on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Thomas Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World) - Thomas is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Rita Moreno (One Day at a Time/Happily Divorced/9 to 5) - Rita stops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Finesse Mitchell (A.N.T. Farm) - Finesse is a panelist on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Lori Loughlin (Fuller House/Hudson Street/Full House) - Lori talks about When Calls the Heart on People Now at 12pm.
  • Jay Baruchel (Man Seeking Woman/Undeclared) - Jay is a guest on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken talks about You Complete Me, Ho on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For your Love) - Holly appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Autumn Reeser (Complete Savages) - Autumn drops by Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February)

Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season

01/08 - Family Guy - 20 Greatest Hits
01/22 - Fuller House - The Complete Third Season
01/22 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season (WBShop.com)
01/29 - Ballers - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
01/29 - Crashing - The Complete Second Season
01/29 - The Game - The Complete Series
01/29 - Kidding - Season One
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest