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

Monday, December 11

American Dad! - "A Little Extra Scratch" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
A CIA agent does anything to protect his homeland and family.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 11)

Monday, December 11

  • George Clooney (Roseanne/The Facts of Life/ E/R (1984-1985) - Watch George on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Bless the Harts/Silicon Valley) - Kumail appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Olivia Rodrigo (Bizaardvark) - Olivia is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kal Penn (The Santa Clauses/Sunnyside/We Are Men) - Kal guest hosts Comedy Central's The Daily Show at 11pm.
  • Keegan-Michael Key (Schmigadoon!/Friends from College/Playing House/Gary Unmarried) - Drew is on location in London to chat with the cast of Wonka including Keegan-Michael on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sebastian Maniscalco (Bookie) - Sebastian talks about Bookie on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela discusses her comedy tour on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Glen Powell (Scream Queens) and Sydney Sweeney (Everything Sucks!) - Glen and Syndey talk about Anyone But You on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • The Cast of Taxi - The View celebrates the iconic television series Taxi, welcoming stars Danny DeVito, Judd Hirsch, Carol Kane, Tony Danza, Marilu Henner and Christopher Lloyd for an exclusive reunion marking 45 years since the beloved series premiered. The View airs on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (September-December)

Family Matters - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Series ALF - The Complete Series (Deluxe Edition) Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

09/05 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Sixth Season
09/12 - Abbott Elementary - The Complete Second Season
09/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-6 (Blu-ray) (DVD)
09/26 - Family Matters - The Complete Series
09/26 - Step by Step - The Complete Series
10/10 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Thirteen / The Complete Season Fourteen
10/17 - ALF - The Complete Series (Deluxe Edition) (Shout! Factory Special Offers)
10/17 - Night Court (2023) - The Complete First Season
11/07 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Sixth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/14 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

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