Friday, November 08, 2019

Fri-Yay: Thoughts on Netflix's Living with Yourself; ABC Orders More Episodes of American Housewife and Bless This Mess

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!

Living with Yourself

Living with Yourself: A potentially great comedy-drama squandered by some questionable decisions

by Vincent

A few weeks ago, Netflix released its latest "comedy," the half-hour science fiction series about cloning entitled Living with Yourself. Starring Paul Rudd, the series really stretches the definition of a sitcom. But it's being billed as a comedy series, and has a 30 minute running time, so technically, in the eyes of Netflix, it's a member of their "comedy" slate. That speaks to the trouble Netflix has had in establishing itself in the live action comedy brand...but we'll get to that in a second. Living with Yourself is in some ways a very good series. The acting is phenomenal, the concept is very cool, and the series actually does a good job of maintaining the comedy-drama balance. Cloning yourself and having your clone ruin your life is kind of a funny concept (there was a very funny American Dad! episode about it I couldn't stop thinking about during this series), so it's a smart move to combine comedy and science fiction with such a concept, and what better guy to do that than Paul Rudd, who is one of Hollywood's most likable actors?

And yet, like so much of Netflix's programming recently, the show falls just a little bit short. So much of that is because (again, much like a lot of Netflix's slate) the show feels designed to "bingeable" more than "good." The series rushes through a lot of the fun elements of the concept in favor of unexpected twists and turns, resulting in a finish that is less than the sum of its parts. That's why I think Netflix has had such a hard time establishing a truly great live action comedy series that lasts for more than a few seasons. Sitcoms are at their best when they're living in the moment, exploding every inch of their world and characters. The Netflix comedies that understood this are all from the early slate of their original series such as Kimmy Schmidt or Grace and Frankie, or they're cut down before their prime like One Day at a Time. In this new era of Netflix's instant gratification, a truly good comedy just doesn't fit.


American Housewife

ABC comedies American Housewife and Bless This Mess have been given full-season orders. The network has ordered six additional episodes of each show. This means Housewife is now 21 episodes (original order for the season was 15) and Bless this Mess will run for 19 episodes (up from the original 13 ordered). Currently in its 4th season on the network, American Housewife stars Katy Mixon as Katie Otto, Diedrich Bader as Greg Otto, Meg Donnelly as Taylor Otto, Daniel DiMaggio as Oliver Otto, Julia Butters as Anna-Kat Otto, Carly Hughes as Angela and Ali Wong as Doris. Sophomore series Bless This Mess stars Lake Bell as Rio, Dax Shepard as Mike, Ed Begley Jr. as Rudy, Pam Grier as Constance, JT Neal as Jacob, David Koechner as Beau, Lennon Parham as Kay and Langston Kerman as Brandon.

On the next episode of American Housewife, entitled "Flavor of Westport," Katie teams up with Oliver in hopes of growing her lasagna-making endeavor from hobby to serious business venture. Meanwhile, a bout of writer's block forces Greg to look at new career opportunities. When a young YouTube sensation enlists Greg's help to ghostwrite his memoir, Greg is pushed out of his comfort zone on an all-new American Housewife, Friday, Nov. 15 at 8:00 p.m. EST, on ABC.

Bless This Mess

On the next episode of Bless This Mess, entitled "The Visit," Donna springs a last-minute trip to Nebraska on Mike and Rio, which she claims is to relax, but Mike and Rio soon find out she has other plans in mind when she steps into competitive mode to get them to participate in the harvest. Meanwhile, Constance's son Brandon is driving her crazy working at the store, so she pawns him off on Rudy on an all-new episode of Bless This Mess, Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 8:30 p.m. EST, on ABC.



Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, May 12

The Goldbergs - "Alligator Schwartz" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Erica fears that Geoff has moved on from their breakup and started dating someone else. Meanwhile, Adam decides to find Dave Kim a date to prom, once he remembers his pact with Dave that they won’t go to prom if they both don’t have dates.

Home Economics - "The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire: An Oral History (Used), $11" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Connor invites the siblings to a party he’s throwing for his ex-wife, Emily. While he feels the need to prove that he is cool with their divorce, he is not the only one in the competitive spirit. Tom and Marina try to prove to each other that they still have game, while Sarah finds the perfect solution to the fact that she’s a bad gift-giver.

The Conners - "Jeopardé, Sobrieté, and Infidelité" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Darlene makes a decision about her trip to Hawaii, leading to a heated encounter with Barb. Meanwhile, Becky gives a presentation on addiction to Mark’s class.

Call Your Mother - "The Raines Games" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jean fears her family is drifting apart so she brings everyone together for a game night that doesn’t go as planned.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 10)

Wednesday, May 12

    Wanda Sykes (The Upshaws/The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Watch Wanda on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Aidy Brant (Shrill) - Aidy appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Lisa Kudrow (The Comeback/Friends/Mad About You) - Lisa is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Hank Azaria (The Simpsons/Brockmire/Free Agents/Herman's Head) - Hank discusses The Jim Brockmire Podcast on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • The Cast of Mom - Allison Janney, Jaime Pressly, Kristen Johnston, Beth Hall and Mimi Kennedy are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Mike Epps (The Upshaws/Uncle Buck/Survivor's Remorse) and Kim Fields (The Upshaws/Living Single/The Facts of Life) - Mike and Kim are guests on The Real, so check your local listings. Kim will also talk about The Upshaws on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.
  • Seth Rogen (Undeclared) - Seth will be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • The Cast of Girls5eva) - Sara Bareilles, Busy Philipps, Paula Pell, Renée Elise Goldsberry are guests on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Leslie Bibb (American Housewife/Nobodies/The Odd Couple/About a Boy) - Leslie talks about Jupiter's Legacy on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Joe Jonas (Jonas) - Joe appears on Access Daily, so check your local listings.


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

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
05/11 - Dead to Me - Season Two

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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