Thursday, February 27, 2014

The CW 2014 Season Finales, Summer News; Episodic Review: Community - "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality" Airing Tonight on NBC

Labyrinth

The CW announced its May 2014 season finale dates and the broadcast television premiere of the four-hour event miniseries Labyrinth, airing across two consecutive nights on Thursday, May 22 from 8:00-10:00pm ET and concluding Friday, May 23 from 8:00-10:00pm ET. Filmed on-location in the medieval town of Carcassonne in southwest France and Cape Town, South Africa, the historical miniseries jumps back and forth between modern and medieval France as it follows the lives of two women who are separated by centuries, but united in their search for the Holy Grail. Labyrinth features a multi-national and award-winning cast, including John Hurt, Sebastian Stan, Jessica Brown-Findlay, Vanessa Kirby and Tom Felton. The series is an adaption of Kate Mosse's New York Times best-seller and multi-million selling, international hit adventure/thriller novel of the same title. The CW's 2014 season finale dates are as follow:

Monday, May 5, 9:00pm: The Tomorrow People
Monday, May 12, 8:00pm Star-Crossed
Tuesday, May 13, 8:00pm: The Originals
Wednesday, May 14, 8:00pm: Arrow
Thursday, May 15, 8:00pm-10:00pm: The Vampire Diaries and Reign
Friday, May 16, 9:00pm: Hart of Dixie
Tuesday, May 20, 9:00pm: Supernatural
Wednesday, June 11, 9:00pm: The 100




On the next...Community (NBC, Thur 8:00pm):
By: Vincent

NBC's ensemble comedy lead by Joel McHale airs Thursdays at 8:00pm and we have just watched the next episode that airs tonight (Feb. 27). In the episode airing tonight, "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality," Professor Duncan (guest star John Oliver, The Daily Show) decides it's time to seduce Britta (Gillian Jacobs) and Jeff (Joel McHale) counsels him on how to close the deal. Meanwhile, Britta runs into some old friends and realizes that they have moved on from their shared anarchist views of the past. Abed (Danny Pudi) runs afoul of Professor Hickey (Jonathan Banks) when he accidentally damages some drawings Hickey has been laboring over. When Hickey restrains Abed as punishment, the two end up spending some meaningful time together. Meanwhile, Chang (Ken Jeong) finds himself performing an impromptu one-man show for a ghostly audience.

At its heart, Community is a show about people trying to connect with each other. The show has become more known for its genre parodies and format bending over the years, but the thing that keeps it together is the strong, emotional undercurrent that focuses on how these people have been rejected from just about every other aspect of society and have to use Greendale to start themselves over. Five seasons in, it would be easy for Community to forget this undercurrent and just do a bunch of silly movie parodies every week. That's pretty much what the show did when it briefly lost its creator in Season 4, and it's the biggest reason why that season failed. But Season 5 has been a relief in that it's brought back those dark underlying in a big way. So it's nice to see the show pull off an episode like "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality," an episode that almost completely sidesteps the shows' inventive side and focuses in on its characters' emotions.



"Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality" reminded me a lot of "Mixology Certification", a season two episode that remains my favorite episode of the show. That episode centered around the study group going to be a bar and slowly tore apart each one of them, allowing us to see their vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It remains the gold standard for sitcom character development, in my mind – and although "Bondage" didn't *quite* reach those heights (mostly because it sidelines a few of its characters in favor of a silly Chang plot), it was certainly similar in its emotional honesty and its commitment to pathos. "Bondage" was also an episode that made good use of the shows' slightly altered ensemble. I was worried about the effect that Troy and Pierce's departures would have on the show, but it's done a really great job filling their void with the addition of Buzz Hickey and the re-introduction of Professor Duncan, both of whom fit quite neatly into the broken Community study group. Hickey, in particular, has been a surprisingly well-drawn and intriguing character. When a show adds a new character this late in the game, it's incredibly easy for that character to come off as a weak link, since they don't have the years of history and development like the rest of the ensemble. But Hickey has been a really rewarding addition, and the way the show has used him to sort of question each of its study group member has been fascinating. Like much of this season, "Bondage" re-highlighted what it is that makes this show work so well, while simultaneously finding new areas for its characters to explore. These kinds of episodes might not be as exciting as a paintball war of a school-wide game of Hot Lava, but they're just as rewarding, and arguably even more necessary. A-


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, November 12

The Conners - "Tempest in a Stew Pot" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jackie and Becky pitch their business plan to Darlene in hopes of getting the Lunch Box back, but Darlene’s decision leads to hostility among the three. Meanwhile, Dan bans Odessa from the house, causing a rift with Harris; and Mark makes extensive Thanksgiving plans that may inevitably fall apart.

Bless This Mess - "The Visit" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Donna springs a last-minute trip to Nebraska on Mike and Rio, which she claims is to relax, but Mike and Rio soon find out she has other plans in mind when she steps into competitive mode to get them to participate in the harvest. Meanwhile, Constance’s son Brandon is driving her crazy working at the store, so she pawns him off on Rudy.

mixed-ish - "Puttin' on the Ritz" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The kids are excited to learn more about their grandad after Harrison invites the crew to family day at his country club. Although Paul thinks it’s a bad idea, he is eventually overruled. Meanwhile, Alicia attempts to fit in at the country club but ends up fighting with Denise about keeping it real.

black-ish - "Daughters for Dummies" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Dre realizes that his relationship with Diane has been distant, he plans some daddy-daughter bonding sessions, but the plans backfire when he realizes the interest is one-sided. Meanwhile, Bow covers for Junior at his ChoreBoar gig.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 11)

Tuesday, November 12

  • Patrick Stewart (Blunt Talk) - Catch Patrick on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Da'Vine Joy Randolph (People of Earth) - Da'Vine appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. She also talks about Frozen 2 on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Laurie Metcalf (The Conners/Roseanne/The McCarthys/Getting On/The Norm Show) - Laurie stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jenny Slate (Married/Parks and Recreation/Bob's Burgers) - Jenny is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Rob Schneider (Real Rob/Rob) and Esther Povitsky (Dollface/Alone Together) - Rob and Esther are panelists on Lights Out with David Spade at 11:30pm on Comedy Central.
  • Lizzy Caplan (Party Down/The Class) - Lizzy drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ilana Glazer (Broad City) - Ilana appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Laura Dern (F Is for Family/Enlightened) - Laura is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Robin Givens (Head of the Class) - Robin visits The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Donald Faison (The Exes/Scrubs/Clueless) - Donald appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Nicole Byer (Loosely Exactly Nicole) - Nicole is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tim Robbins (The Brink) - Tim talks about Dark Waters on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Kristin Davis (Sex and the City/Bad Teacher) - Kristin talks about Holiday in the Wild on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.


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

My Three Sons - The Fourth Season - Volume One Modern Family - The Complete Tenth Season Life with Lucy - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season

09/03 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 9th Season
09/03 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fifth Season
09/03 - The Goldbergs - The Complete Sixth Season
09/03 - Single Parents - The Complete Season One
09/03 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Second Season
09/04 - What We Do in the Shadows - The Complete First Season
09/10 - American Dad! - Volume 14
09/10 - The Jetsons - The Complete Original Series (Blu-ray) (WBShop.com)
09/11 - My Three Sons - The Fourth Season - Volume One
09/11 - My Three Sons - The Fourth Season - Volume Two
09/17 - Friends - The Complete Series (25th Anniversary)
09/17 - Modern Family - The Complete Tenth Season
09/19 - Angel from Hell - The DVD Edition
09/19 - The Guest Book - Season 1
10/08 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series
10/08 - Life with Lucy - The Complete Series
10/15 - Mom - The Complete Sixth Season
10/16 - Our Miss Brooks - Season 1 - Volume 1
10/16 - Our Miss Brooks - Season 1 - Volume 2
11/05 - The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang - The Complete Animated Series
11/05 - Laverne & Shirley in the Army (Animated Series) - The DVD Edition
11/05 - Letterkenny - Seasons 1 & 2
11/05 - Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season (Blu-ray)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Series (Blu-ray Limited Edition)
11/19 - The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/19 - The Kominsky Method - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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