Thursday, October 08, 2009

A good day to be a comedy fan

I kept meaning all day to do a quick post on last night's "The Middle," which was again solid, albeit even more blatantly "Malcolm in the Middle"-y than the pilot, despite a reduced role for the little kid who looks like Dewey.

But now I have an excuse to mention it, because ABC apparently gave back nine orders to "The Middle," "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town." Please note the distinct absence of "Hank" on that list.

So far, it's been a very good fall for new shows. "Glee," "NCIS: LA" and "The Good Wife" already got full season pick-ups, and "The Cleveland Show" had one before it even debuted, due to the weird production schedule of animated shows. Unless it absolutely tanks tonight in the lead-off spot, "Community" will probably get a pick-up soon, too.


marenamoo said...

Good for the comedies but sadly one of my favorites from last year, Southland, was canceled before it even premiered. I thought it had a great mix of outstanding actors. I am sorry if I am off topic.

Unknown said...

I came here on the Southland thing too, but I'm glad to see good news about some other scripted series. A little pick me up.

Anonymous said...

I hate myself for saying this, but The Middle is actually entertaining. It's taken a lot of its gimmicks from Malcolm in the Middle, but it feels more like a single-camera remake/updating of Roseanne to me. The kids are great and The Janitor makes for a great Dan Connor 2009.

Tyroc said...

I do wonder how this will make ABC feel about multi-camera sitcoms, as Hank is the one that bombed. Not due to it being multi-cam of course but might make ABC gun shy.

Now I just hope they just put "Better Off Ted" on Wednesday night as part of the comedy block?

Maybe go...
8:00 The Middle
8:30 Modern Family
9:00 Cougar Town
9:30 Better Off Ted

Phil Freeman said...

I'd rather see:

8:00 Better Off Ted
8:30 Modern Family
9:00 Cougar Town
9:30 The Middle

I just don't find this show funny. I suspect it's mostly my loathing of Patricia Heaton, but the girl playing the daughter doesn't really make me laugh, either.

Paul F said...

In more good Modern Family news, the show starts in the UK next week. Surprisingly, it's on Sky1, who aren't known for showing live-action comedies, especially not midweek.(I think they're putting it between two Simpsons repeats, with new Bones and Lie To Me in the following hours.)

Definitely going to be telling people to watch it. I hope we get Community (the new episode of which was great) soon too, but given the scheduling of The US Office and 30 Rock, I won't hold my breath.

Paul F said...

Re:My last post

Actually, it seems the 7:30 Simpsons they're using as a lead-in is a new episode. They usually show new episodes on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Alan, it seems odd that in your podcast with Bill Simmons, when Bill goes on about the failures of first-name comedies failing miserably (in reference to Hank) neither of you thought of Frasier as the obvious exception. Ironic in retrospect.

ArthurF said...

The Middle is a calmer reversioning of Malcolm in the Middle. But I think you need the beauty of MIM manic (hyperactive) sense to the jump cuts and script to keep the pressure up, the sense the whole thing was going to explode each time. I don't feel like starting with another family just yet. The actors playing the parents were so great, I've made my way with them. And the one kid really reminds me of Dewey a bit too much.

The Cleveland has casualty written all over it. I hope it is not because when given an African-American character the writers get stuck and end up with what seems like frat/fart humor only dressed up African-American by 70s sitcom cliches after cliche. It's clear Peter Griffin is retarded, that's all there is - but the supporting characters are the point. Stan Smith is CIA conservative with good supporting characters, and is learning some tolerance through them (his family) but mostly sends up Conservative America. American Dad managed by its second episode to set the pace and establish the secondary character of Roger and the other kids roles.
Cleveland? No interesting supporting characters, the fat son of Cleveland is so UN interesting that I can't be bothered to wait for the supposed jokes. The "Stewie"-like Step-son is a forgettable clone, the Bear doesn't get any real words in still, and can't because there are too many characters each time as there is no real solid character. And again the women are so stupid in the end, mostly furniture for the men's feelings.
I am no real Family Guy fan but I was curious about the idea of spinning off Cleveland. It seems that no one can write leads for certain characters? And it is more difficult working with race or "other" orientations as lead characters than even Aliens or animals! They only function so far in the second-ring of side-characters for Stan or Peter.