Friday, July 19, 2019

Fri-Yay: Beyond Friends and The Office: Other Great Sitcoms on Streaming Services; Mad About You Launches During Holiday 2019 Season

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!

Parks and Recreation

by Vincent

The past few weeks have brought news that Friends and The Office will be leaving Netflix within the next few years. This is a big deal for many people, as Friends and The Office are reportedly the two most-streamed sitcoms in our current era. But while both of these shows deserve titles as classics in their respective decades, there's no reason your search for great comedy needs to end there. If you're someone who has spent all of your time at Dunder Mifflin or at Central Perk, consider giving these similar comedies a try:

Parks and Recreation (streaming on Netflix): Parks and Recreation is another popular mockumentary comedy similar to The Office - in fact, helmed by longtime Office writer Michael Schur and co-created by Office exec Greg Daniels, the series is in some ways a little sister to the show. It's a warm, sunny series about the workers of the Pawnee parks department that, like The Office, puts big stock in its characters and cares deeply about them under its silly exterior.

30 Rock (streaming on Hulu): 30 Rock and The Office were timeslot partners for much of each of their lives, and it makes sense why: both are fast-paced, smart and well-crafted comedies that demonstrate the single-camera, 21st century sitcom at its finest. 30 Rock, like The Office, follows a workplace that seems too ridiculous to be true much of the time. If you like the fly-on-your-seats humor of The Office, you'll love 30 Rock.

New Girl (streaming on Netflix): New Girl follows the relationship/friendship model of Friends very closely - there are definitely parallels between Jess/Nick and Ross/Rachel - and is set up, in many ways, like Friends, following a group of young professionals in the big city (except this big city is LA, not New York). However, New Girl has the humor stylings more in line with The Office or 30 Rock - the characters are all incredibly funny and silly people, who make you laugh, cringe, and cry. The humor is also fast-paced and bizarre in a way similar to The Office, so if you're looking for a show that melds the best of the two worlds, New Girl is a great choice.

Happy Endings (streaming on Hulu): You've probably heard of the other shows on this list, but you may not have heard of Happy Endings. Although the series was cut short after three seasons, its legacy has lived on via internet memes by its most ardent supporters. In many ways, Happy Endings can be thought of as a millennial Friends. The set up is very similar - six friends living near each other in Chicago - but the humor is over-the-top, ridiculous and cutting, in a way that feels very appropriate for our current era. If you love Friends but want something that's a bit more reflective of our times, check out Happy Endings.

Better Off Ted (streaming on Hulu): Another short-lived series (cut down after just 2 seasons), this show is like an even more satirical version of The Office that takes a real look at how the workplace runs. I won't give too much away, but it's the sort of comedy where you can't believe what's happening much of the time, much like the cringiest episodes of The Office. If you like that side of the show, you'll love Better Off Ted.


Mad About You

Winner of a coveted Peabody and a Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series, Mad About You aired its final episode in May 1999. Now, 20 years later, Spectrum Originals reunites stars Paul Reiser and Emmy(R) Award winner Helen Hunt for a new limited series, debuting for the Holidays in late 2019. To set the stage for this comedic return, Spectrum will make all 164 episodes of the original series available free on-demand, exclusively for Spectrum subscribers beginning August 1. Over seven seasons of the beloved original series, Reiser and Hunt played Paul and Jamie Buchman, a married couple in New York City who mine the gentle humor in domesticity and life's everyday situations. For its limited-series return, Mad About You will explore the fertile ground of modern marriage through the eyes of the Buchmans as empty-nesters. Spectrum Originals is a premier destination for premium original series available exclusively to Spectrum video subscribers on-demand and ad-free. This free service launched with the Sony and Bruckheimer-produced drama L.A.'s Finest, starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, August 25

Last Man Standing - "The Courtship of Vanessa's Mother" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Vanessa's mother comes to visit and hits it off with Ed; Mandy and Kyle tutor Boyd, but they may be the ones getting outsmarted.

Last Man Standing - "Dreams vs. Realty" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Mandy nearly gives up on her dream of becoming a fashion designer when she is faced with rejection; Vanessa looks back at her own career path, which stirs up regrets; Mike steps in to help the women in his family realize their dreams.

The Simpsons - "Crystal Blue-Haired Persuasion" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Homer's work cuts children's health care benefits, Marge turns to buying healing crystals as a cheaper solution for Bart's ADD; Bart begins to succeed in school, prompting Marge to open her own crystals empire and sell to mothers at school.

What Just Happened??! with Fred Savage - "Neighbor" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Fred struggles to discuss the mysterious cliffhanger from "The Flare" and speak with his guests because of a new noisy neighbor on the stage next door; Eric Stonestreet and Randall Park stop by.

Family Guy - "Trans-Fat" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Peter is mistakenly identified as transgender, which leads to an unexpected event and him learning an important lesson.

What Just Happened??! with Fred Savage - "Elevator" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Fred gets stuck in an elevator and is unable to host the show, Taylor must face her biggest fear: hosting the show alone; Ike Barinholz, Jillian Bell and Taran Killam stop by.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 19)

Sunday, August 25

  • Adam DeVine (Workaholics/Modern Family) - Catch Issa on a repeat of Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

The Brady Bunch - 50th Anniversary The Brady-est TV & Movie Collection Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season Two The Good Place - The Complete Third Season Life in Pieces - The Complete Fourth Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Six

06/04 - The Brady Bunch - 50th Anniversary The Brady-est Brady Bunch TV & Movie Collection
06/18 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season Two (Blu-ray)
07/08 - Man with a Plan - Season Two
07/09 - Broad City - Season 5
07/09 - Broad City - The Complete Series
07/09 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Fourth Season
07/09 - Speechless - The Complete Third Season
07/16 - Eight Is Enough - The Complete First Season
07/17 - The Practice (1976) - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
07/23 - Brockmire - The Complete First Season
07/23 - What I Like About You - The Complete First Season
07/30 - The Good Place - The Complete Third Season
08/06 - Caroline in the City - The Third Season
08/06 - Caroline in the City - The Fourth Season
08/13 - I Love Lucy - Colorized Collection
08/13 - Leave it to Beaver - Seasons One and Two
08/20 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

08/24 - SitcomsOnline Digest: NBC Developing Serendipity Series; Designing Women Making Streaming Media Debut
08/23 - Fri-Yay: Fall Sitcom Slate Check-In: ABC; Antenna TV Acquires The Facts of Life, Diff'rent Strokes, Who's the Boss? and More
08/22 - Dancing with the Stars Cast for Season 28; Lilly Singh Gets NBC Primetime Special
08/21 - Decades Celebrates Bob Newhart's 90th Birthday with Big Marathon; Wanda Sykes & Mike Epps Get Netflix Sitcom
08/20 - James Corden Gets Extended by CBS; Freeform's Halloween House Returns for 31 Nights of Halloween
08/19 - Silicon Valley Returns for Final Season; Netflix Gears Up for Elvis Animated Comedy
08/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 19, 2019)
08/17 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Paley Center to Honor TV Legends; NBC Developing St. Elmo's Fire TV Series
08/16 - Fri-Yay: Fall Sitcom Slate Check-In: CBS; E! Gets Reality Sitcom Meet the Frasers
08/15 - Comedy Central Gets Phoebe Robinson Series; Crank Yankers Returns for 5th Season
08/14 - Fox to Air Holiday Comedy Series; CBS and Viacom to Combine
08/13 - The Flintstones Coming to MeTV in Fall 2019; Lifetime Tackles The College Admissions Scandal
08/12 - Freeform Celebrates 30 Days of Disney in September; A-List Stars Visit Fox's Animation Domination This Fall
08/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 12, 2019)
08/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Emmy Awards to Go Without Host; New Caroline in the City DVDs Arrive
08/09 - Fri-Yay: Pop TV: The Next Home for Great Sitcoms?; The Tonight Show Gets 5 Sunday Specials and Premiere Week Live Episodes
08/08 - Archie Bunker's Place 40th Anniversary Marathon on Antenna TV; Mariah Carey to Sing mixed-ish Theme Song
08/07 - FX Orders Atlanta Season 4; Netflix to Turn The Baby-Sitters Club Into Series
08/06 - ABC to Air 2 More Live in Front of a Studio Audience Specials; The Goldbergs Head to Disneyland
08/05 - CW Seed Gets Schitt's Creek Streaming Rights; Adam Scott to Host ABC Comedic Game Show
08/04 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 5, 2019)
08/03 - SitcomsOnline Digest: HBO Max Acquires BBC Library; Loretta Devine to Recur on black-ish
08/02 - FX's Baskets to End After This Season; GSN's Catch 21 Returns with Dancing with the Stars Duo Reunion
08/01 - Ovation Airs Classic Episodes of Actors Studio; FX Orders Limited Series Starring Kate Mara and Nick Robinson
07/31 - Netflix Goes Big with New Sitcom; CW Seed Expands to 24/7 Linear Channel
07/30 - A Very Brady Renovation Premieres Sept. 9 on HGTV; Trinkets Gets Conclusion Season in 2020 on Netflix
07/29 - Hulu Nabs Designing Women, More from TCA Tour; Exclusive: Modern Family's Ariel Winter to Guest Star on Law & Order: SVU
07/28 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 29, 2019)
07/27 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Brady Kids Reunite; DVDs for The Simpsons and Lucille Ball's Final Sitcom on the Way
07/26 - Fri-Yay: What Sitcoms Can We Expect on Disney+?; National Golden Girls Day on July 30, Event in Florida
07/25 - TV Land Gets Lucky 7 with Younger; The Last O.G. Enlists Keenen Ivory Wayans
07/24 - getTV Acquires Hot in Cleveland in August; Sean Hayes to Roast Alec Baldwin