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, April 21

The Goldbergs - "The Dating Game" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Trying to move on from their breakup, Erica goes on a date with a guy from the coffee shop while Geoff ends up on an episode of “The Dating Game,” which winds up making things even more difficult for them both. Meanwhile, Beverly is thrilled to learn that Murray has spontaneously purchased a shore house until she realizes it’s not quite the luxury home she imagined.

Home Economics - "Bounce House Rental, $250" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Connor invites all the cousins over for an epic sleepover to cheer up his daughter, Gretchen. Meanwhile, Tom is determined to prove he can be a fun uncle too.

The Conners - "Cheating, Revelations and a Box of Doll Heads" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Mark is stressed and exhausted from studying for an important entrance exam so Darlene steps in to help, but her plan backfires.

Call Your Mother - "Save the Date" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After Danny’s divorce is finalized, he asks Jean to go out on an official first date with him, but things go awry on the date once Jean realizes it’s the same day as another special day in her life. Meanwhile, Freddie and Jackie fight over who should get to keep Jean’s old engagement ring.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 19)

Wednesday, April 21

  • Ed Helms (Rutherford Falls/The Office) - Watch Ed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory/Happy Family/Welcome to New York/Cybill) - Christine is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kevin James (The Crew/Kevin Can Wait/The King of Queens) - Kevin appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/A.U.S.A./Scrubs) - Scott will be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jane Levy (Suburgatory) - Jane is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Topher Grace (Home Economics/That '70s Show) - Topher appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony gives the scoop on his animated children's show and his role in the upcoming film about I Love Lucy on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.


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

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

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

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
04/15 - Aidy Bryant Comedy Shrill's Final Season; ABC's Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days
04/14 - Superstore Star Lauren Ash Signs Development Deal with NBCUniversal; Jenna Dewan Joins New CBS Dance Series
04/13 - NBC Schedules Peyton Manning Game Show; Apple TV+ Comedy Mythic Quest Returns in May
04/12 - The Price Is Right at Night Welcomes Two Funny Celebs; Peacock Comedy Girls5eva Premieres May 6
04/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 12, 2021)
04/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Nash Bridges Reprisal in the Works?; Season Finale Dates Set for Last Man Standing and MacGyver
04/09 - Fri-Yay: Fox Cancels Bless the Harts, Leaving Questions About Animated Block; Variety and Lifetime Presents Power of Women Comedians
04/08 - ABC Summer 2021 Schedule; Fox Summer 2021 Schedule
04/07 - MeTV Spring 2021 with The Addams Family and The Pink Panther; Fox Orders More Duncanville, While ABC Goes Into the Wild with Comedy
04/06 - HBO Max Announces Minx, Set in the 1970s; Remembering Gloria Henry of Dennis the Menace
04/05 - Head of the Class Reboot Cast and Info; Tia Mowry Expands with New Cookbook
04/04 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 5, 2021)
04/03 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Head of the Class Reboot Ordered at HBO Max; Friends Reunion Special Finally Happening
04/02 - Fri-Yay: Remembering Jessica Walter's Excellent Career; Fox's Let's Be Real Special Turns Into Series
04/01 - CSI Revived by CBS for Sequel Series in 2021-22 Season; NBC Orders Ordinary Joe for Next Season
03/31 - CBS Renews Young Sheldon for 3 More Seasons; DWTS Returns for Season 30 This Fall
03/30 - Amazon Starts Production on Being the Ricardos, An I Love Lucy Movie; NBC Schedules Lil Rel Game Show
03/29 - Antenna TV Spring 2021 Schedule; Eric Stonestreet to Host Fox Series
03/28 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 29, 2021)
03/27 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Don Cheadle to Narrate Wonder Years Reboot; Sharon Osbourne Out at The Talk
03/26 - Fri-Yay: Superstore Series Finale; Remembering Jessica Walter of Arrested Development and Richard Gilliland of Designing Women
03/25 - New Weekly Celebrity Sleepover Talk Show After SNL; Raven-Symoné Heads to HGTV Series
03/24 - Remembering George Segal, Pops from The Goldbergs; HBO Max Comedy Series Made for Love Drops April 1
03/23 - Mr. Mayor Returning for Season 2; CBS 2020-21 Season Finale Dates
03/22 - NBC Puts Meghan Trainor Comedy in Development; Apple TV+ Straight to Series Comedy with Maya Rudolph
03/21 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 22, 2021)
03/20 - SitcomsOnline Digest: James Burrows to Direct Pilot for ABC Comedy Starring Alec Baldwin and Kelsey Grammer; Carl Reiner's Archives Find a Home