Friday, October 13, 2017

Fri-Yay: The Middle on The Top; Hulu Snags Futurama

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!

The Middle

by Vincent

This week I'll be talking about a show that just started its final season but remains worthy of your attention: The Middle. The Middle is the quiet bedrock of ABC's comedy line-up, an unassuming little show about how hard it can be to be a lower middle class family in contemporary American society. The Middle premiered during the same fall as Modern Family, so it's always unfortunately been a little "in the shadow" of that series. But over its nine seasons, The Middle has distinguished itself as an often hilarious, always painfully real, and consistently great family sitcom that has helped shape ABC's solid family comedy line-up.

The Middle centers around the Heck family, a working class family in the fictional town of Orson, Indiana. It's anchored by an excellent performance from parents Neil Flynn and Patricia Heaton, but like many other ABC sitcoms, it also stars a surprisingly excellent cast of child actors - though at this point they aren't really "children" anymore. While many sitcoms begin running out of ideas as their younger cast members begin to grow older, The Middle has consistently found new ways to tell stories about its young adult cast members that still tie into the series' "down on their luck yet still optimistic" overall vibe. The Middle will be ending its run on ABC this year, and in a way, it's a shame, because it's the type of show I could see running for years and never growing old. It's not afraid to grow and change with its characters, and it's gotten to a point where I look forward to just hanging out with the Heck family. Plus, the series continues to experiment and toy with its formula - last year the show did an extended serialized arc centered around oldest son Axl's feud with his mom, and mostly nailed it.

It's too bad that The Middle hasn't always gotten the recognition it deserves, but luckily the show has one more full season for you to catch up if you've slept on the show, and will undoubtedly live on in syndication for years, so if you haven't checked it out yet, you have plenty of time. But you should do it soon!


Futurama

On Monday, October 16, 2017, the entire Futurama library - including all four films - will make their long-awaited streaming return, only on Hulu. Matt Groening, the multiple Emmy(R) Award-winning creator and executive producer of The Simpsons, has hatched another outrageous look at the world, Futurama. But we're not in Springfield anymore - we're in New York, a thousand years from now, and it's like no future you ever imagined! FRY (voiced by Billy West), a young Everyman, finds himself accidentally transported 1,000 years in the future. Just like right now, life in the future is a complex mix of the wonderful and horrible, where things are still laughable no matter how wild and crazy they get. And against a backdrop of pesky aliens, exasperating robots and malfunctioning gadgets, people still struggle with the same daily anxieties of life and love... and, of course, traffic is still a nightmare!

Having literally escaped his unfulfilled past, Fry uses his newfound sense of freedom to help his friends in the future escape their regimented lives. His companions include LEELA (voiced by Katey Sagal), a beautiful female alien who can kick some serious butt, and BENDER (voiced by John DiMaggio), a hopelessly neurotic assembly line robot. Working together, Fry and his colleagues buck the system in pursuit of happiness. And with each passing day, the future becomes Fry's home. With his unique satirical humor and distinctive style, Matt Groening has created another unconventional but lovable family. Futurama explores all the joys and disappointments of human existence, as well as some problems we don't have to worry about yet, such as what to do when the cell phone implanted in your thumb dials the wrong number. And while the show has a lot to say about today, more than anything Futurama is a celebration of the future at its wildest.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, April 9

Young Sheldon - "A Slump, a Cross and Roadside Gravel" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon and Georgie mine for platinum in roadside gravel. Also, Mary is concerned when Missy misuses religion to help with a batting slump.

Man with a Plan - "Adam's Big Little Lie" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Adam promises not to lie to Andi again but finds himself in a tough spot when he has to cover for Joe.

Mom - "Hot Butter and Toxic Narcissism" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy regrets fleeing the scene after hitting a parked car. Also, Bonnie’s therapist, Trevor (Rainn Wilson), offers tools to help her better communicate with Adam.

Broke - "Jobs" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Jackie encourages Javier and Elizabeth to get jobs so they can contribute financially to the household, Javier gets work as a ride share driver, with Luis’ help, and Elizabeth is employed as a personal shopper. Also, Jackie worries Sammy will get hurt by becoming so close with his uncle Javier.

Last Man Standing - "Garage Band" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A car restoration article throws Mike, Chuck, and Ed into the spotlight, while leaving Joe feeling unappreciated; Ryan overreacts after taking Kyle's psych test.

Last Man Standing - "A Bedtime Story" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Mike tries to avoid hurting Vanessa's feelings due to her snoring; Mandy goes overboard preparing for the arrival of Kristin and Ryan's new baby.

Superstore - "" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Valloweaster" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The squad competes in an effort to determine who is the greatest human/genius.

Will & Grace - "We Love Lucy" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Will claims living with Grace is like Ricky living with Lucy. When Karen and Jack hear this, they each claim that they are the Lucy of the group. Grace, Karen, and Jack each imagine themselves as Lucy (during “Vitameatavegamin,” “Chocolate Factory,” and “Grape-Stomping”), with Will as the Ricky to all of them. Lucie Arnaz and Leslie Jordan guest star.

Indebted - "Everybody's Talking About King and Queens" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Debbie decides to become a certified life coach to help her and Stew get out of debt and immediately make waves in Dave and Rebecca’s lives. Stew rejects Joanna’s help while trying to come up with a great new as-seen-on-TV product.

Better Things - "High Man. Bye Man" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam goes to the weed store and visits her brother; Frankie and Sam eat ice cream.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 6)

Thursday, April 9

  • Don Cheadle (Black Monday/House of Lies/The Golden Palace) - Catch Don on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:05am on ABC.
  • Regina Hall (Black Monday/Grandfathered) - Regina appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:05am on ABC. She will also be on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie) - Jane is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Abby Elliott (Indebted/Odd Mom Out) and Adam Pally (Indebted/Making History/The Mindy Project/Happy Endings) - Abby and Adam are guests on A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Tig will be on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Casey Wilson (Marry Me/The Hotwives/Happy Endings) - Casey appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Danielle Schneider (The Hotwives) - Danielle is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Victor Rasuk (How to Make It in America) - Victor previews the new series The Baker and the Beauty on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • David Spade (Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - David appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rob Lowe (The Grinder/Parks and Recreation) - Rob is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kim Fields (The Facts of Life/Living Single) - Kim appears on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Christine Baranski (Happy Family/Welcome to New York/Cybill) - Christine will be on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Tim Robbins (The Brink) - Tim is a guest on a repeat of Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy appears on a repeat of Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Daniella Monet (Baby Daddy/Victorious/Listen Up!) - Daniella cooks lentil soup on a repeat of Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


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

My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One Martin - The Complete Series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season

01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume Two
01/14 - Veep - The Final (Seventh) Season (Blu-ray)
01/14 - Veep - The Complete Series (DVD)
01/21 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Third Season (WBShop.com)
01/21 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Fifth and Final Season
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Series
01/28 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (DVD)
02/04 - Martin - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
02/11 - Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season (WBShop.com)
02/18 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/25 - Better Things - The Complete Third Season
03/17 - Crashing - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/07 - Cheers - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
04/14 - Police Squad! - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/14 - The Righteous Gemstones - The Complete First Season
04/21 - Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season (WBShop.com)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

04/09 - May is The Month of Mayberry on MeTV; The Happy Days of Garry Marshall Special Airing May 12 on ABC
04/08 - TBS Has Your Misery Covered in Pandemic; CBS Producing Episode of Series Virtually
04/07 - Fox Renews Duncanville for Second Season; Remembering Forrest Compton of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
04/06 - Quibi Launching Today, Brings on Will Smith Hosted Series; NBC Calls on Blindspot Earlier Than Planned
04/05 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 6, 2020)
04/04 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Executive Producers of The Office Considering New Work-at-Home Comedy; Lights Out with David Spade Gets Lights Turned Out Permanently
04/03 - Fri-Yay: Community Moving to Netflix Next Week; NBC Announces Final Episodes of Season List
04/02 - American Dad! Celebrates 15th Anniversary; The Official Robin Williams YouTube Channel Launches
04/01 - CBS All Access Is Tooning Out the News in This Pandemic Crisis; The CW Summer 2020 Schedule
03/31 - The CW Announces Returns of Series Affected; Adult Swim Orders YOLO: Crystal Fantasy
03/30 - Schedule Changes on ABC, CW Due to COVID-19; Insecure: The Game
03/29 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 30, 2020)
03/28 - SitcomsOnline Digest: One Day at a Time a Hit in Ratings; Late Night Talk Set to Return Next Week
03/27 - Fri-Yay: Review of One Day at a Time Season 4 Premiere; NBC Sets Will & Grace Finale Night and Special I Love Lucy Episode
03/26 - CBS Slates Primetime Special from Home with James Corden; Fox Announces Living Room Concert for America
03/25 - Antenna TV Schedule Change on March 30, Doubling Up Comedies; Millionaire 20th Anniversary Premiere Celebs
03/24 - ABC Giving A Modern Farewell to Series; Samantha Bee Returns from Home on Wednesday
03/23 - Bounce Sitcom Returns April 1, No Foolin'; Never Have I Ever Gets Netflix Premiere Date
03/22 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 23, 2020)
03/21 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix and Hulu to Share Rights to Community; Preview of New Netflix Series Never Have I Ever
03/20 - Fri-Yay: Best Sitcom Episodes for Coronavirus Isolation; Antenna TV Weekend Binge Marathons for Tough Times
03/19 - Conan Returns March 30 via iPhone Video; Showtime Alters Schedule for Black Monday
03/18 - Billboard Music Awards Postponed on NBC; Acorn TV Extends Free 30-Day Trial
03/17 - Network Upfronts Canceled But Will Go on Digitally
03/16 - Hallmark Slots More Golden Girls, Frasier; Primetime Schedule Changes Due to Coronavirus
03/15 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 16, 2020)
03/14 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Shout! Factory Acquires Broadcasting and Streaming Rights to Stephen J. Cannell Library; Schitt's Creek Plans for Series Finale
03/13 - Fri-Yay: One Day at a Time Moves to Pop TV and Takes Jab at Former Home; Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt's Creek Farewell
03/12 - Quibi Announces Fire Island Sitcom; ABC Picks Up 4th Season of Red Hot Drama
03/11 - Apple TV+ Animated Comedy Premieres May 29; Brooke Burns Returns to GSN to Host Game Show
03/10 - Netflix's Lost in Space Gets Final Season; Remembering Sitcom Writer Earl Pomerantz
03/09 - Hulu Gears Up for Comedy Premieres in May; Quibi Programming Slate for April 6 Launch