Friday, September 15, 2017

Fri-Yay: BoJack Horseman - The Best Show on TV?; Not Kidding, Jim Carrey Joins Showtime Comedy

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!

BoJack Horseman

by Vincent

Is BoJack Horseman currently the best show on TV? Netflix released the fourth season of BoJack Horseman on Friday. BoJack was my favorite show of 2016 - its third season was a tour-de-force of original, offbeat comedy mixed with genuine exploration of dark human emotions such as depression, failure, and regret. Oh, and by the way, it's an animated Hollywood satire that takes place in a society where animals are sentient beings that look and act just like humans.

If you think all of that sounds unlikely to add up to a great television show, I understand. Frankly, much of BoJack's run has been an obvious attempt to balance these two extremely different television shows in one - the strange, Adult Swim-esque Hollywood satire starring animals mixed with an almost Mad Men or Sopranos-esque exploration of deep human darkness. And early on, the show didn't always strike the right balance - the first half of the first season oscillates sometimes uncomfortably between the two extremes, often relying too heavily on gross-out, Family Guy­­-esque gags to toe the line. But around the halfway point of the first season, the show began digging into its dark side more comfortably, exploring the regret and shame behind the life of its washed-up sitcom star BoJack and the "island of misfit toys" type figures that surround him in his personal life. In the excellent second half of the first season, the show transformed into one of the deepest, most meaningful series on TV, and that only continued throughout the astonishing second and third seasons. The fourth season continues to astound me at just how deep it's willing to go - without spoiling anything, I'll just say that this season dives into BoJack's past to explore themes such as loss, regret and the idea of how we inherit the trauma and pain of our parents and grandparents without even realizing it. It's heavy stuff that I rarely see any show on TV digging into, never mind an animated comedy starring a talking horse.

Even as it's gotten darker and darker, though, BoJack still remains a top-notch comedy, as well. Anyone who considers themselves a sitcom fan would dig the way the show pays tribute to sitcoms and television of years past and is in many ways informed by them. BoJack did get his start starring in a TGIF-esque '90s sitcom, after all, and the series often takes cues from those kinds of shows, only to spin them around on their head. (There's even a Christmas special made in between the show's first and second seasons that actually shows us a full episode of Horsin' Around, the family sitcom that BoJack got his start in.) That's what makes BoJack the best show currently airing on television - it has the very best that drama has to offer mixed with the very best that comedy has to offer, without any kind of sacrifice on either end of the spectrum. "Hilarious comedy about depression starring talking animals" may sound too ridiculous to be true, but it's not. It's just BoJack Horseman.


Jim Carrey

Showtime announced the pick-up of new half-hour comedy series Kidding, starring Golden Globe(R) winner Jim Carrey (The Truman Show) in his first series regular role in more than two decades and reuniting him with Oscar winner Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), who will direct the project with a 10-episode first-season order for Kidding, Carrey - one of the most beguiling, popular screen stars of his time - will executive produce with Gondry, Emmy(R) nominee Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Jim Garavente (Bad Words), Raffi Adlan (The Green Hornet) and Michael Aguilar (I'm Dying Up Here). Kidding was created by Dave Holstein (Weeds, Raising Hope), who wrote the pilot and will serve as showrunner.

In the comedy series, Carrey plays Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles, an icon of children's television, a beacon of kindness and wisdom to America's impressionable young minds and the parents who grew up with him - who also anchors a multimillion dollar branding empire. But when this beloved personality's family - wife, two sons, sister and father - begins to implode, Jeff finds no fairy tale or fable or puppet will guide him through this crisis, which advances faster than his means to cope. The result: a kind man in a cruel world faces a slow leak of sanity as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, June 23

Dave - "The Observer" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Dave and Benny's friendship blossoms in strange and unexpected ways, leading them to confront questions of privilege, race, sexuality, and dermatology; Mike's isolation deepens, and a chance encounter sheds light on the root of his anger.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 21)

Wednesday, June 23

  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) - Watch Billy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Henry Winkler (Barry/Out of Practice/Monty/Happy Days) - Henry appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Christine Baranski (Happy Family/Welcome to New York/Cybill) - Christine is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She also talks about The Good Fight on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Josh Gad (Central Park/Avenue 5/1600 Penn/Back to You) - Josh will be on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Dana Carvey (One of the Boys) - Dana is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Caroline Rhea (Sydney to the Max/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) and Ruth Righi (Sydney to the Max) - Carolina and Ruth are guests on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alyssa Milano (Romantically Challenged/Who's the Boss?) - Alyssa discusses how she is inspiring a new generation of female leaders, the latest book of her children's series and her podcast on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Laura Prepon (Are You There, Chelsea?/That '70s Show) - Laura stops by to chat and shares her new kitchen gadget line on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi is a guest on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • D. L. Hughley (The Hughleys) - D. L. talks about the onstage collapse that led to his COVID-19 diagnosis on a repeat of The Doctors, so check your local listings.


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

Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series Happy Together - The Complete Series 'Til Death - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Series Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series

02/02 - Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - The Complete Series (2021 Retail Release)
02/16 - Fam - The Complete Series
02/23 - Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series
03/02 - Blue Mountain State - The Complete Series
03/02 - Happy Together - The Complete Series
03/02 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-4 (DVD) (Blu-ray)
04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series
05/11 - Dead to Me - Season Two
06/08 - The Critic - The Complete Series
06/08 - Fuller House - The Fifth and Final Season
06/08 - Fuller House - The Complete Series
06/08 - Our Cartoon President - Season 3
06/15 - The Office - Season 1 (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
06/15 - Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

06/22 - MeTV Summer 2021 Schedule, Monk Joins Lineup; HBO Max Sets Cast for Period Comedy
06/21 - New Chip 'n' Dale Series Premieres July 28 on Disney+; Cruel Summer Returning for 2nd Season
06/20 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 21, 2021)
06/19 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Perfect Strangers Reboot in the Works; New Head of the Class DVD Release
06/18 - Fri-Yay: Master of None Pivots Genres in Season 3; Highway to Heaven Event Movies Coming to Lifetime; Remembering Frank Bonner of WKRP in Cincinnati
06/17 - Antenna TV Summer 2021 Schedule; The CW Fall 2021 Premiere Dates
06/16 - All-Star Cast Set for Paramount+ Animated Comedy Series; Home Makeovers with Marsai Martin
06/15 - Netflix's Popular Never Have I Ever Returns July 15; Peacock's Girls5eva Renewed for Season 2
06/14 - Chicago Fire Finally Heads to Syndication; Peacock Picks Up New Comedy Which Takes Place at a Singing Competition
06/13 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 14, 2021)
06/12 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Valerie Bertinelli Cast in Comedy Pilot with Demi Lovato; Broadway Version of The Nanny in the Works
06/11 - Fri-Yay: Kim's Convenience Is An Underrated Streaming Sitcom; Ted Revived as Series for Peacock
06/10 - CNN's History of the Sitcom Premieres July 11; Miracle Workers Returns to TBS for 3rd Season This Summer
06/09 - Antenna TV's Bewitched Double the Darrins Father's Day Marathon; HBO Max Renews Hacks for 2nd Season
06/08 - COZI TV Father's Day Marathon: Herman Munster vs. Dan Conner; Paramount+ Bolsters Offerings This Summer
06/07 - Who Are You, Charlie Brown? Debuts June 25 on Apple TV+; FX, FXX and FX on Hulu Announce 8 Premieres for Summer/Early Fall
06/06 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 7, 2021)
06/05 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Warner Bros. and Discovery Merger Moving Forward; Saturday Night Live Ends Season 46 on Top
06/04 - Fri-Yay: Happy Endings Now on Netflix, a Perfect New Comedy Binge; Remembering Arlene Golonka of Mayberry R.F.D.
06/03 - Leah Remini GSN Game Show Receives 2nd Season; Helen Mirren to Narrate ABC's When Nature Calls
06/02 - black-ish Coming to Freeform in July; TBS Sets Cast for Comedy Pilot Called Space
06/01 - Remembering Gavin MacLeod of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Love Boat; Mr. Big Returns in New Sex and the City Chapter
05/31 - Memorial Day 2021 TV Marathons
05/30 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 31, 2021)
05/29 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Looking at the Fall 2021 Lineup; Amazon to Buy MGM
05/28 - Fri-Yay: Friends Reunion Special Thoughts; Breeders Renewed for Season 3 on FX
05/27 - NBC Launches NBC Summer Games, Schedules Family Game Fight; Modern Love Returns Aug. 13 on Amazon Prime Video
05/26 - The CW Gets Nostalgic with The Waltons & Scooby-Doo; A Black Lady Sketch Show Coming Back for Season 3
05/25 - The CW Upfront 2021-22: Fall 2021 Schedule; Former Grey's Star Joins Sex and the City New Chapter
05/24 - TBS Launches Best of Friends Awards; AMC Networks Adds to All-Star Cast of Ultra City Smiths
05/23 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 24, 2021)
05/22 - SitcomsOnline Digest: First Look at Reboot of The Wonder Years; Kaley Cuoco Signs Development Deal with Warner