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

Saturday, May 15

Side Hustle - "Bot Club" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Lex, Presley and Munchy discover that Fisher is a big-time player in the underground robot fight club scene in Altoonisburg; having not lost a robot fight yet, the kids decide to bet their KidDING money on a Fisher win.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 10)

Friday, May 14

  • Fred Armisen (Los Espookys/Forever/Big Mouth) - Watch Fred on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) and Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G./The Carmichael Show) - Billy and Tiffany are guests on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Richard Kind (Mad About You/Spin City) - Richard appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Denise Richards (Blue Mountain State) - Denise discusses the movie The Treasure of Pirates Cove and the show The Bold and The Beautiful on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (In the House/The Fresh of Prince of Bel-Air/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Denis Leary (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll/The Job) - Denis and Rachael share the work they did together on International Firefighters' Day on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Jean Smart (Samantha Who?/Center of the Universe/The In-Laws/Designing Women) - Jean talks about HBO Max's Hacks on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


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

Corporate - Season 2 Fam - The Complete Series Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series Happy Together - The Complete Series Til Death - The Complete Series

01/22 - Corporate - Season 2
01/22 - Corporate - Season 3
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

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

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05/13 - Billy Porter and More Join The Proud Family Revival; HBO Max Orders Gordita Chronicles
05/12 - FXX Orders Animated Comedy Little Demon; The CW to Revive Legends of the Hidden Temple
05/11 - Fox 2021-22 Updates Includes Comedy News; ABC Renews Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 for 2021-22, NBC Orders Dark Comedy Pilot
05/10 - Netflix Sitcom The Upshaws Premieres on Wednesday (May 12); Hallmark Channel Sitcom Schedule Changes
05/09 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 10, 2021)
05/08 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Trailer Released for Upcoming Rugrats Reboot; Final Airdate Set for Conan
05/07 - Fri-Yay: Rolling Stone's 100 Best Sitcoms of All Time; Marion Cunningham Greatest Classic TV Mom in New Poll
05/06 - E! Reunites TV Casts in Reunion Road Trip; Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Mr. Corman on Apple TV+
05/05 - COZI TV's Roseanne Mother's Day Mom Genes Marathon; Conan's Final TBS Episode to Air June 24
05/04 - NBC Orders Night Court Revival to Pilot; House of Payne and Assisted Living Return May 25 and Ordered for Additional Season
05/03 - Young Rock and Kenan Set to Return for Season 2; Schmigadoon! A New Apple TV+ Comedy Coming This July
05/02 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 3, 2021)
05/01 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Night Court Reboot One Step Closer to Reality; IMDb TV Picks Up Comedy From My Name Is Earl Creator
04/30 - Fri-Yay: Rewind TV Offers Sitcom Lovers a Chance to Watch Their 80s/90s Faves; CBS Announces Season Finale Dates
04/29 - ABC Revises Summer Premieres and Finales, Announces Drama Finale Dates; IMDb TV Gets Greg Garcia Comedy
04/28 - Fox Producing New Flintstones Series Titled Bedrock; Sarah Silverman Joins Damon Wayans Jr. TBS Pilot
04/27 - Antenna TV's Companion Network, Rewind TV Launching September 1 with 80s and 90s Series; Remembering Sitcom Writer Bernie Kahn
04/26 - Disney Channel Orders Second Season of Time Travel Comedy; Selena Gomez Returning for 3rd Season of HBO Max Series
04/25 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 26, 2021)
04/24 - SitcomsOnline Digest: How I Met Your Mother Spinoff Picked Up at Hulu; Complete Series of Baywatch Arriving on DVD
04/23 - Fri-Yay: Netflix's New Jamie Foxx Sitcom Has Potential But Not Quite There Yet; Remembering Felix Silla of The Addams Family and James Hampton of F Troop
04/22 - Hulu Orders How I Met Your Father Starring Hilary Duff; Robot Chicken Takes on Riverdale
04/21 - Ted Lasso Returns July 23, Mark Your Calendars; ABC Comedies Season Finale Dates
04/20 - FXX's Dave Season 2 Premiere Set for June; HBO Max Orders Michael Che Comedy Series
04/19 - Starz Announces Courteney Cox Comedy; Fox Pulls The Moodys
04/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 19, 2021)
04/17 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Will Sasso Joins HBO Max Sitcom Pilot; Home Economics Off to Solid Start
04/16 - Fri-Yay: Home Economics Is a Solid Addition to ABC’s Comedy Block; Mr Inbetween Season 3 Premiere Date Set
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