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

Monday, November 23

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Election" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Dave faces off against incumbent Isaiah Evans (guest star Wayne Brady) in a debate for a city council seat, and the race comes to a dramatic conclusion.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "Paris Is for Lovers, Not Mothers" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Kemi leans on Abishola after an argument with Chukwuemeka, disrupting her and Bob’s engagement celebration. Also, Dottie gives Douglas a new job at MaxDot.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 23)

Monday, November 23

  • Ben Falcone (Nobodies/Joey) - Watch Ben on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. He will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael J. Fox (Family Ties/Spin City/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Michael is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) - Constance appears on A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Goldie Hawn (Good Morning World) - Goldie and Kurt Russell will be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Ryan Michelle Bathe (Retired at 35) - Ryan guest co-hosts The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Mario is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa discusses how she is inspiring a new generation of female leaders, the latest book of her children's series and her podcast on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Annaleigh Ashford (B Positive) - Annaleigh stops by to chat about her popular Wednesdays with wigs videos on Instagram, raising her 4-year-old son Jack and more on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G./The Carmichael Show) - Tiffany talks about quarantining with Common but why she hasn't moved in with him yet, her Thanksgiving plans, and how she plans to help others to fight hunger around the holidays on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - NBC's Today has Thanks + Giving with Marlo and St. John Hospital sometime between 7-9am.
  • Kimberly Williams-Paisley (According to Jim) - Kimberly talks about The Christmas Chronicles 2 on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Rochelle Aytes (Work It) - Rochelle talks about A Christmas Tree Grows in Colorado on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


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

Young Sheldon - The Complete Third Season Mom - The Complete Seventh Season The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

08/04 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Eighth Season
08/04 - The Neighborhood - Season One
08/11 - Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens - Season 1
08/11 - Final Space - The First and Second Seasons (Blu-ray)
09/01 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Season 14
09/01 - What We Do in the Shadows - The Complete Second Season
09/01 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
09/15 - Mom - The Complete Seventh Season
09/15 - South Side - Season 1
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Second Season
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Third Season
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Fourth Season
09/22 - Man with a Plan - Season Three
09/29 - The Bob Newhart Show - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
10/13 - The Jetsons - The Complete Series (Diamond Collection)
10/13 - Our Cartoon President - Season Two
10/23 - Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - The Complete Collection
10/27 - The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
10/27 - Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
11/10 - Letterkenny - Seasons 5 & 6
11/10 - The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
11/10 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Collection

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

11/22 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 23, 2020)
11/21 - SitcomsOnline Digest: NBC Sets Premiere Date for Mr. Mayor; New Version of Name That Tune in the Works at Fox
11/20 - Fri-Yay: Thoughts on Fresh Prince Reunion on HBO Max; Nick at Nite Renews Friends in Multi-Year Deal
11/19 - PBS to Air A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Christmas; Cybill Shepherd Gets Showtime Comedy Pilot
11/18 - Hulu Orders Second Season of Woke; HBO Max Gets Conan Variety Series, While Conan Ends on TBS in June 2021
11/17 - COZI TV Thanksgiving and Christmas Marathons; Stream 65 Full Episodes of The Carol Burnett Show Unedited
11/16 - Antenna TV Holiday 2020 Stunts and Marathons; The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion Premieres This Thursday!
11/15 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 16, 2020)
11/14 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion Preview Released; Peacock Launches Saved by the Bell Channel
11/13 - Fri-Yay: Any Hope Left for Broadcast Sitcom Ratings?; BET Presents CBS Monday Series Tonight; BUZZR Remembers Alex Trebek Tomorrow
11/12 - CBS Orders New Chuck Lorre Comedy to Series; MeTV and Game Show Network to Remember Alex Trebek
11/11 - Fox Announces Winter Premiere Dates for New and Returning Series; ABC Announces Early 2021 Unscripted Premiere Dates
11/10 - ABC Orders Celebrity Wheel of Fortune; Turner Networks Celebrate Thanksgiving to the HBO Max
11/09 - Remembering Alex Trebek; Decades Changes Schedule in December with The Odd Couple and The Love Boat Added
11/08 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 9, 2020)
11/07 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Jeopardy GOATS to Return in New Version of The Chase; Holly Robinson Peete Joins American Housewife Cast
11/06 - Fri-Yay: Superstore Tackles the Pandemic in a Smart, Funny Way; Family Ties Cast to Reunite
11/05 - Dave Chappelle Returns to SNL for Post Election Episode; Remembering Writer Jeremy Stevens of Everybody Loves Raymond
11/04 - Showtime's Moonbase 8 Gets Early Release Online; Lark Voorhies to Appear on Peacock's Saved by the Bell
11/03 - NBC Pulls Connecting... From Lineup; Fox Says The Great North to Air in February
11/02 - Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas Schedule for 2020; HBO Max Licenses Comedy Central Library in Streaming Deal
11/01 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 2, 2020)
10/31 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Fox to Remake British Comedy; Judy Justice Headed to IMDb TV
10/30 - Fri-Yay: The Best Sitcom Halloween Episodes; CBS All Access Renews No Activity for 4th Season
10/29 - Even More Ted Lasso on Way at Apple TV+; Craig Robinson to Host The Masked Dancer on Fox
10/28 - COZI TV Halloween Marathons of The Munsters & Roseanne; Apple TV+ Orders Another Comedy, This Time with Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen
10/27 - Freeform's The Clock Is Ticking Special with Yara Shahidi; Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Ends on New Year's Eve
10/26 - TBS Orders 3rd Season of Miracle Workers; SNL Extended to 6 New Episodes in a Row - A Record!
10/25 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 26, 2020)
10/24 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Another Addams Family Reboot in the Works?; Quibi Says Goodbye After Six Months
10/23 - Fri-Yay: Archer Goes Back to Its Roots for Season 11; Everybody Loves Raymond Cast Reunion Tonight
10/22 - CBS Announces More Fall Premieres; REELZ Books Jennifer Aniston Special