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

Wednesday, December 11

The Goldbergs - "It's a Wonderful Life" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Hoping to outdo the Kremp family, Beverly decides the Goldbergs must do an even better family holiday card, but Geoff is surprised he is not invited to be in the photo. Meanwhile, a pranking war with Barry and JTP quickly spirals out of control.

Schooled - "Beanie Babies" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
CB hopes getting Lainey a Beanie Baby for Christmas will show his true feelings for her, but it doesn’t go as planned. Meanwhile, Principal Glascott tries to convince Felicia that she needs to participate and sing a song in a Kwanza play he has written for the students.

Modern Family - "The Last Christmas" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Cameron is hoping to keep everyone happy for their annual Christmas dinner as he hides and prepares for his big interview for a head coaching position out of state. Meanwhile, Haley is excited to finally be reunited with wine; and Mitchell is suspicious of Cam’s holiday trip to visit his family in Missouri.

Single Parents - "Good Holidays to You" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Graham writes a letter to Santa asking for either a white Christmas or to meet his father, Angie goes on a mission to find snow in Southern California with the help of Will and Sophie. Meanwhile, after Rory, Emma and Amy find out that Poppy and Douglas are romantically involved, the kids use this knowledge to their advantage to guilt their parents into buying them more Christmas presents…

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 9)

Wednesday, December 11

  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Watch Kevin on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Keri Russell (Running Wilde) - Keri stops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas) - Nick visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation/The Office) - Rashida is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Anthony guest hosts The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Giancarlo Esposito (Bakersfield P.D.) - Giancarlo drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Guys with Kids/Entourage) - Jamie-Lynn is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Wilmer Valderrama (That '70s Show) - Wilmer talks about his role on NCIS on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Robin Givens (Head of the Class) - Robin talks about OWN's Ambitions on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Andrea Barber (Fuller House/Full House) - Andrea reveals her struggles with anxiety and depression while playing D.J. Tanner’s best friend, Kimmy, on Full House on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Patti shares her comfort food secrets and how to entertain without breaking a sweat on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November/December)

Life with Lucy - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season

10/08 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series
10/08 - Life with Lucy - The Complete Series
10/15 - Mom - The Complete Sixth Season
10/16 - Our Miss Brooks - Season 1 - Volume 1
10/16 - Our Miss Brooks - Season 1 - Volume 2
11/05 - The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang - The Complete Animated Series
11/05 - Laverne & Shirley in the Army (Animated Series) - The DVD Edition
11/05 - Letterkenny - Seasons 1 & 2
11/05 - Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season (Blu-ray)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Series (Blu-ray Limited Edition)
11/18 - The Guest Book - Season Two
11/19 - The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/19 - The Kominsky Method - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
12/03 - The Simpsons - The Nineteenth Season
12/03 - The Simpsons - Seasons 1-20: Limited Collector's Set
12/10 - Family Guy - Season Seventeen
12/17 - Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

12/11 - Reno 911 Returning with New Episodes; Remembering Philip McKeon of Alice
12/10 - 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominees; Hugh Laurie HBO Comedy Set for January
12/09 - Remembering René Auberjonois of Benson; Brady Bunch Star to Give Tour of White House on HGTV
12/08 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of December 9, 2019)
12/07 - SitcomsOnline Digest: New Sitcom from Chuck Lorre Under Development at CBS; Remembering Legendary TV Producer Leonard Goldberg
12/06 - Fri-Yay: The Good Place Nearing the End; TBS Orders More Misery Index
12/05 - Antenna TV's News Year's Day with NewsRadio Marathon; American Housewife Star Gets Netflix Comedy Specials
12/04 - ABC's Schooled Gets Full Sophomore Year; Pop TV Rings in the New Year with Schitt's Creek
12/03 - Special Guest Hosts on Late Late Show; A Very COZI Christmas Marathon on COZI TV
12/02 - Roseanne Coming to COZI TV in January; Comedy Central Brings Back 31 Days of Holiday Survival
12/01 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of December 2, 2019)
11/30 - SitcomsOnline Digest: A Look at the Party of Five Reboot; The Simpsons Not Ending Soon, Says Producer
11/29 - Dove Channel Brings Out Holiday Classics; CW Gets DC Universe Series with Sitcom Star
11/28 - 2019 Thanksgiving TV Marathons on TV This Holiday Weekend
11/27 - CBS Slates I Love Lucy Christmas Special on Dec. 20; Is 2020 the Year of the Rabbit?
11/26 - New Ted Danson NBC Comedy Gets Holly Hunter; Mel Brooks Gets New HBO Comedy Special
11/25 - TV One Gets Family Matters and Schedules Holiday Stunts; Disney Channel Sitcom Gets Season 3
11/24 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 25, 2019)
11/23 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Price is Right and Jeopardy Primetime Specials in the Horizon; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Coming to DVD and Blu-ray
11/22 - Fri-Yay: Rick and Morty Season 4; ABC Midseason 2020 Schedule
11/21 - Miracle Workers Returns to TBS; ABC's Summer Fun & Games Lineup Renewed for 2020
11/20 - Lifetime's Winter Ripped from the Headlines; PIX11 Holiday Lineup
11/19 - Showtime Gets Vanessa Bayer Comedy Pilot; Jeopardy! Sees Who's the GOAT on ABC Primetime
11/18 - Viacom's Comedy Central Renews The Office & Parks and Recreation; E! Gets New Jason Kennedy Series
11/17 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 18, 2019)
11/16 - SitcomsOnline Digest: One Day at a Time Season Premiere Date Set; Brooklyn Nine-Nine Renewed
11/15 - Fri-Yay: Disney+ Launches; NBC Orders 8th Season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine
11/14 - Antenna TV's Classic Christmas Collection and Christmas Through the Years; TBS Orders a Fifth Season of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
11/13 - 2019 A Very Merry MeTV Lineup; Ricky Gervais Returns to Host Golden Globe Awards
11/12 - CBS Midseason 2020 Plans Include FBI Spin-off; E! Brings Back The Soup
11/11 - NBC Midseason 2020 Schedule; The CW Announces Midseason 2020 Lineup