Friday, August 10, 2018

Fri-Yay: Orange Is the New Black Season 6: A Tightrope Between Comedy and Drama; King of the Hill Labor Day Marathon on Comedy Central

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!

Orange Is the New Black

by Vincent

Classifying Orange Is the New Black as a "sitcom" may be stretching it a bit. It's an hour long, and often feels more dramatic than comedic. But in the dog days of summer, it's a little difficult to spot any genuine sitcoms worth discussing. Plus, Orange's balance between comedy and drama is increasingly indicative of the way TV comedy is headed, blending the difference between comedy and drama - after all, shows structured like more traditional sitcoms like One Day at a Time or animated comedies like Bojack Horseman often feel even more dramatic than Orange at times. Genre is becoming increasingly blended, and part of that reality has added to Orange's struggle to keep up its initial quality and interest in its most recent seasons.

Orange was initially presented as a somewhat light-hearted look at life in a women's prison that nevertheless took its characters and the situation they were in seriously. The world that it introduced us to was fairly grim, but the characters were lively, fun, and lovable. We liked hanging out at Litchfield, even if we acknowledged that our characters didn't. Still, because we cared about the characters so deeply, the show was able to cover serious topics well - we wanted these characters to do well, and we got frustrated when the prison system treated them with injustice. It was a delicate, difficult balance that the show managed to navigate incredibly well in its first three seasons.

However, the show took a turn somewhere in season four, a season that was markedly darker than anything the show had attempted before. The season was incredibly grim, shedding a light on issues like the prison industrial complex and showcasing the level of abuse that prisoners may go through. Without spoiling a major plot point, the season ended on an absolutely heartbreaking note - one that wound up being a bit controversial. Whether or not you felt that the season's climax was earned or not, it was clearly a turning point for the series. Since that moment, the show's previous balance has felt off. This is no longer a world we want to spend any time in, and it's gotten to the point where each episode almost feels like we're simply watching characters we love be tortured, as their circumstances somehow get worse and worse. And yet, because the show is presented as a "dramadey", there are still moments of comedy inserted in, which makes the tone feel jumbled. Things are very serious, and yet...the show is still making ill-timed jokes. It's an example of how the blending of tone that shows like to do can be an incredibly difficult balance to make. Frankly, I'm really hoping that the already-ordered seventh season of Orange will be its last. The show's sixth season (released a few weeks ago) had some great moments and was a marked improvement over the incredibly messy fifth season, but it still feels as if the show has lost its sense of what it wants to be, trapped in big, dramatic storylines with seemingly no easy out. Orange was a landmark series for television, but it may be time to for it to gracefully bow out, preserving its legacy before its tone gets even more muddy.


King of the Hill

A King of the Hill Labor Day Marathon has been added to Comedy Central's line-up on Monday, September 3, 2018 from 7am-4am. The episodes in the marathon will go in order beginning with the Pilot episode. All 12 first season episodes will air, followed by the entire second season (23 episodes) and the first ten episodes of season three. King of the Hill regularly airs in the late nights on Comedy Central, with times varying, sometimes from 12-1:30am. The series started on the network on July 23, as we mentioned. Comedy Central also airs other off-network series such as Scrubs, The Office, That '70s Show, and Futurama. In King of the Hill, which originally aired on Fox from 1997 to 2010, depicts the life and times of Hank Hill, his family and their neighbors in the fictional suburb of Arlen, Texas, the heartland of America. A hard-working, loyal family man and proud Texan, Hank is assistant manager of Strickland Propane. He's an average Joe who sees himself as the voice of common sense and reason in a world of incompetent sales clerks, meddling bureaucrats and do-good liberals. Created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, King of the Hill is executive produced by Judge, Daniels, Howard Klein, Michael Rotenberg, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky.


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