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

Sunday, February 28

Bless the Harts - "Big Pimpin'" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
Jenny lets Louise use Wayne as a faux boyfriend after her husband tragically dies on a cruise ship; Betty makes murder accusations while guest-starring on Violet's podcast.

The Simpsons - "Wad Goals" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Bart becomes a successful caddy, but Marge worries it is ruining his character.

The Great North - "Romantic Meat-Based Adventure" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Worried that she's inherited Beef's fear of romance, Judy forces her dad to get back out there by attending a meat auction and singles mixer in hopes of bringing home a new love.

Bob's Burgers - "Die Card, or Card Trying" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Linda drags Bob and the kids out into nature, determined to take the best holiday family portrait ever.

Family Guy - "And Then There's Fraud" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After attending a baseball game, Peter and Chris are inspired to start a memorabilia business; Stewie tries to combat aging by getting plastic surgery but ends up taking it too far.

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


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