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, February 27

Young Rock - "On the Road Again" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Pennsylvania, 1987: Dwayne pretends he's rich to impress popular girl Karen, but a date to Rocky's wrestling match at the flea market risks exposing the truth; stressed about money, Ata takes on a wealthy new client.

Kenan - "Hard News" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Kenan, Rick and Gary go to great lengths to uncover what they think is a deep, dark secret Cori was hiding; Mika believes the morning show should cover more hard news stories.

Danger Force - "Twin It to Win It" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Captain Man makes ShoutOut and AWOL compete over who can catch more criminals using their own ways of crime-fighting.

Side Hustle - "Karaoke Kickoff" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Presley, Lex and Munchy are excited when they buy a karaoke machine from the "Karaoke Kickoff" show; when the machine breaks, the kids head to the studio to get their money back.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 22)

Friday, February 26

  • Will Arnett (Flaked/Arrested Development/The Millers/Up All Night/Running Wilde) - Watch Will on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Will appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Annie Mumolo (Mapleworth Murders/About a Boy) - Annie is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Regina King (227/Leap of Faith) - Regina appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Constance Zimmer (Entourage/Good Morning, Miami) - Constance talks about the series Good Trouble on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G./The Carmichael Show) - Tiffany guest hosts The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Mark-Paul Gosselaar (mixed-ish/Saved by the Bell/Truth Be Told) and Tika Sumpter (mixed-ish/The Game) - Mark-Paul and Tika are guests on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) and Cherie Johnson (Punky Brewster) - Soleil and Cherie talk about Peacock's Punky Brewster on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. Soleil also appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Freddie Prinze Jr. (Punky Brewster/Freddie) - Freddie is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jason Biggs (Outmatched/Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Jason is filling us in on hosting the new game show Cherries Wild on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman/Veronica's Closet/The Larry Sanders Show) - Mary Lynn talks about Live from the Pandemic on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan) - Brooke will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


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

The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Schitt's Creek - The Complete Collection Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series

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
11/17 - Carol's Second Act - The Complete Series
11/17 - Robbie - Season 1
11/24 - Corporate - Season 1
11/26 - Man with a Plan - Season Four
12/01 - The Neighborhood - Season Two
12/15 - Avenue 5 - The Complete First Season
01/22 - Corporate - Season 2
01/22 - Corporate - Season 3
02/02 - Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - The Complete Series (2021 Retail Release)
02/23 - Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

02/26 - Fri-Yay: CBS's Mom Announces End, Marking Another End of An Era for Sitcoms; Hulu Orders More Shrill and Love, Victor
02/25 - Frasier Revival Coming to Paramount+, While Final Season of Younger to Premiere on Paramount+; The CW Spring 2021 Schedule
02/24 - TBS Comedy Chad Launches April 6; Netflix Drama Raising Dion Adds to Cast
02/23 - Norman Lear Sets Two Series for IMDb TV; Nick Jonas to Pull Double Duty on SNL This Saturday
02/22 - Jamie Foxx Returns with Multi-Camera Sitcom; Mythic Quest Season 2 Launches in May
02/21 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 22, 2021)
02/20 - SitcomsOnline Digest: South Park Plans Second Pandemic Special; Mom Coming to an End After Eight Seasons
02/19 - Fri-Yay: Young Rock Delivers Promise for Sitcom Ratings; The Moodys Returns April 1 on Fox Replacing Call Me Kat
02/18 - CBS Renews 2 Comedies, Cancels Mom and Drama NCIS: New Orleans; Peacock Bulks Up on Original Series
02/17 - Punky Brewster Gets WWE Stars; DuckTales to End with 90-Minute Series Finale
02/16 - NBC Midseason Pilot Review: Young Rock - Premieres Tonight (Feb. 16); TBS Version of Wipeout Premieres April 1
02/15 - Netflix Sitcom The Crew Starring Kevin James Launches; Sex and the City Now Remastered on HBO Max
02/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 15, 2021)
02/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Brooklyn Nine-Nine Coming to an End; Chappelle's Show Returns to Netflix
02/12 - Fri-Yay: Brooklyn Nine-Nine Ending After 8 Seasons; HBO Max Orders Comedy from Issa Rae
02/11 - HBO Max Orders Animated Comedies; Peacock Reunites The Best Man Franchise Into Limited Series
02/10 - NBC Sets March 25 for Superstore Finale; Search Party Renewed for 5th Season
02/09 - COZI TV's The Office Valentine's Day Marathon; HBO Max's Jean Smart Comedy Announces Casting
02/08 - The Jetsons Coming to the MeTV Network; Lana Condor to Star in Netflix Comedy Series
02/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 8, 2021)
02/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: More Guest Hosts Lined Up for Jeopardy; Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Reboot?
02/05 - Fri-Yay: Has the Sitcom Revival Bubble Finally Burst?; NBC Announces Rest of Spring 2021 Schedule
02/04 - 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominees; The CW Renews 12 Dramas for 2021-22
02/03 - New Sitcom Joining AMC Network's Streaming Service; Antenna TV Valentine's Day Marathon and Birthday Celebration Continues
02/02 - New Sonic Series Coming to Netflix; Remembering Dustin Diamond, Hal Holbrook and Sitcom Producer Allan Burns
02/01 - Report: Antenna TV Launching New Secondary Companion Network; Season Premiere of New Amsterdam Premieres March 2 on NBC
01/31 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 1, 2021)
01/30 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Reboots in the Works for The Wonder Years and Kate & Allie; Saturday Night Live Finally Sees Ratings Success After 46 Years
01/29 - Fri-Yay: We Need to Be More Patient with New Sitcoms; Norman Lear to Receive The Carol Burnett Award at The Golden Globe Awards
01/28 - No Foolin' New CBS Comedy Premieres April 1; Remembering the Legendary Cloris Leachman
01/27 - Modern Family Heading to Hulu and Peacock for Streaming; NBC Schedules New Drama on Mondays
01/26 - ABC Midseason - Spring 2021 Schedule; NBC Renews Weakest Link for 2nd Season