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Current US Mainstream TV Comedy

Started by dissolute ocelot, December 09, 2022, 12:10:35 PM

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dissolute ocelot

I was wondering what were the big comedies in the USA just now and whether any have made it to British TV. In the past the UK has seen a lot of big American shows from the 80s and 90s such as Friends, Cheers, Roseanne, and Frasier. More recently, Big Bang Theory is inescapable on E4 and Modern Family was a hit on Sky and is now on some part of the C4 network. Other shows like The Office, and Everybody Loves Raymond are at least known here, even if they've not had the same Channel 4, 9 pm, Friday Night prominence.

But what are Americans watching now? I found a Variety most-watched broadcast TV comedy list from earlier this year:

1 Young Sheldon (CBS)
2 Ghosts (CBS)
3 The Neighborhood (CBS)
4 Bob Hearts Abishola (CBS)
5 United States of Al (CBS)
6 B Positive (CBS)
7 Young Sheldon - repeats (CBS)
8 The Conners (ABC)
9 Abbott Elementary (ABC)
10 The Neighborhood - repeats (CBS)

Hmmm.

I've a soft spot for Young Sheldon which is on E4 in the UK; it's not hilarious but it's well-made, inventive, sometimes touching, sometimes pleasantly off-beat.

You may know Ghosts (the remake) and The Conners (Roseanne Without The Racist). I've never seen The Neighbourhood, a fish-out-of-water sitcom where Max "New Girl" Greenfield and Beth "2 Broke Girls" Behrs move next door to Cedric the Entertainer; it's apparently on E4 too. Bob Hearts Abishola is a Chuck "every comedy you hate" Lorre show about a businessman who falls in love with a Nigerian immigrant nurse. United States of Al is about an Afghan immigrant. B Positive is another Chuck Lorre show and apparently has something to do with a kidney transplant but the Wikipedia synopsis makes no sense.

I notice a lot of these shows are about race, which is interesting. And Chuck Lorre (still only a youthful 70) is still king.

So. What is the current state of American network TV comedy? Are any of these shows worth watching? What do they tell us about America? Is all American comedy fishes-out-of-water? Is Chuck Lorre a misunderstood genius?

g0m

My mam watched a bunch of Young Sheldon and then she found the big bang theory and she thought it was a sequel show


Dimbleby

We're living through a golden age of comedy and culture, people.

thr0b

It continues to surprise me that The Conners hasn't been picked up here. Roseanne had a decent following in the 90s, The Conners is very mainstream, consistently CBS' highest rating sitcom, and it's not being touched.

JamesTC


Bad Ambassador

According to this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2022%E2%80%9323_United_States_network_television_schedule the other live action sitcoms this season on network television are - Night Court, American Auto, The Goldbergs, Abbott Elementary, Home Economics, Not Dead Yet, Welcome to Flatch, Call Me Kat, Animal Control, Lopez v Lopez and Young Rock.

I do appreciate that at least some of these sound made up.

Icehaven

I've enjoyed Young Sheldon but it's surely going to end soon seeing as the Dad must be about to die. It's been kept more or less consistent with TBBT storyline and Sheldon's dad died when he was 14, which he now is in YS, and it's easily become about his family as much, if not more, than Sheldon himself (particularly the most recent series.) Unless they're going to carry on without him or have him being a ghost or something.

kngen

Abbot Elementary has its moments - the Office/Parks&Rec-style mockumentary feel is long, long past its sell-by date, and you can map out the storylines from about the first 30 seconds, but it can be amusing and, occasionally, has something to say about race, public education and the limited opportunities that the combination of the two offer.

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on December 09, 2022, 12:10:35 PMI notice a lot of these shows are about race, which is interesting.

Not sure if there was much discussion about Netflix's Black AF on here, but that's a good watch. Comes across like a combination of the stuff Kenya Barris couldn't get past the network heads in Black-ish, and a meta-commentary on being a successful black writer in Hollywood expected to have a direct line to the 'hood despite living a very comfortable lifestyle (something that Black-ish also does, of course, but it's far more pointed here.) The episode titles tell their own story:
"because of slavery"; "because of slavery too"; "still...because of slavery"; "yup, you guessed it. again, this is because of slavery" etc.

Interesting to note that Black-ish is still going (as are a couple of spin-offs), but Black AF lasted one series. Not sure if Kenya Barris said all he wanted to say in that, or if it that was all he was going to get to say on the matter, other than what was put forward in the slightly more Cosby-esque platform of Black-ish.


I've been enjoying Abbott Elementary quite a bit. Very influenced by The Office, heartwarming but rarely nauseating. Good cast!

bobloblaw

Quote from: Icehaven on December 09, 2022, 01:39:32 PMI've enjoyed Young Sheldon but it's surely going to end soon seeing as the Dad must be about to die. It's been kept more or less consistent with TBBT storyline and Sheldon's dad died when he was 14, which he now is in YS, and it's easily become about his family as much, if not more, than Sheldon himself (particularly the most recent series.) Unless they're going to carry on without him or have him being a ghost or something.

never saw the appeal of TBBT but Young Sheldon is agreeably 'early Roseanne'-esque, not least for casting Laurie Metcalfe's daughter Zoe Perry as his mum

Cuellar

It's very easy to mock of course but what are the most watched comedies in the UK?

After Life?

Wezzo

Quote from: thr0b on December 09, 2022, 01:16:41 PMIt continues to surprise me that The Conners hasn't been picked up here. Roseanne had a decent following in the 90s, The Conners is very mainstream, consistently CBS' highest rating sitcom, and it's not being touched.

Finally starts on Sky Comedy in January.

chip


bobloblaw

Quote from: Cuellar on December 09, 2022, 04:18:19 PMIt's very easy to mock of course but what are the most watched comedies in the UK?

After Life?

Ghosts gets a decent audience. Derry Girls did too and Friday Night Dinner (in lockdown especially)
not much else new though.

ShadowRaichu

I would have said Mrs Browns Boys, but finding a fan online is comparable to finding a unicorn in real life.

Otherwise, I don't really know. Outside of Ghosts, all I can think of are those ratings for Gavin and Stacy in 2019.

EDIT: You know, I tried watching Young Rock, but it just made me realise that I've drifted off of American comedy.

Snrub

Not Going Out must rate relatively well considering it's on about Series 50.

I think the pandemic (thankfully) stopped any new episodes being made but Still Open All Hours was I think a decent ratings winner for the beeb.

Motherland is moving to BBC One for its Christmas Special this year and wouldn't be surprised for it to have decent ratings

The first series of Kate and Kojo did surprisingly well on ITV, but that's been canned now after a poor showing for series 2

Famous Mortimer

The Neighborhood is extremely weak, but like all those sorts of sitcoms, it's easy to watch.

aunt mildred

Quote from: bobloblaw on December 09, 2022, 03:27:46 PMnever saw the appeal of TBBT but Young Sheldon is agreeably 'early Roseanne'-esque, not least for casting Laurie Metcalfe's daughter Zoe Perry as his mum

Well fuck my hat I didn't know that. It all makes sense now, she does look like her especially around the eyes. Anyway, I think she's great in the role and agree that Young Sheldon is quite decent and far above TBBT. Plus Penderosa is his dad.

Chuck Lorre has done a few good shows amongst the shite, The Kominsky Method springs to mind.

Famous Mortimer

Mom was also remarkably good, for a mainstream sitcom.

Mister Six

Quote from: kngen on December 09, 2022, 01:43:09 PMNot sure if there was much discussion about Netflix's Black AF on here, but that's a good watch.

Mrs Six was pretty hyped for this because she likes Black-ish, and we both like Rashida Jones. But we watched the first episode and thought it was piss poor. Lazy mashup of Curb and Parks & Rec (with the latter factor making Jones's hiring look even lazier. "Who's that black woman who's done loads of mockumentary stuff? No, the really beautiful one. Yeah, get her"). The kiddie characters were all shit, Barris has no charisma and it all felt utterly moribund.

I strongly get the feeling someone from Netflix cornered Barris at a party and said "We'll give you millions if you just pitch us something" and he threw it together as a hackjob side project while being distracted by his main focus. Got the same vibe with Space Force, too.

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: Famous Mortimer on December 10, 2022, 11:55:29 AMMom was also remarkably good, for a mainstream sitcom.

Yeah, I was very fond of that, for the first three series it burned through plotlines at an impressive rate and dealt with issues that you wouldn't expect to see in a mainstream comedy (Bonnie's boyfriend having a heart attack and dying while going down on her was really quite mad, but they dealt with it in a thoughtful manner). I watched the first episode after Anna Farris left and decided not to continue with the show, but it's something I still think of very fondly.

I was also a big Michael Schur fan, and Parks and Recs, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place were shows I liked a good deal, but right now there aren't any network comedies that have grabbed me in the way they did.

Young Sheldon reminds me a lot of Malcolm in the Middle.

mippy

The girl who plays Missy on Young Sheldon is really, really good

chutnut

I've been putting this plex server on shuffle in the background while I'm at work and a couple of these keep coming up recently (United States of Al and The Neighborhood). I assumed they were bottom of the barrel stuff rather than in the top 10. Genuinely terrible

phantom_power

Abbott Elementary is decent and I am quite enjoying Reboot

willbo

My brother loves 90s US comedy - he grew up watching Friends, Frasier and Will and Grace, and he really likes the show Superstore right now (very US Office style show set in a Costco type store starring "ugly Betty"'s America Ferrera)

But yeah, I've really lost track of what the "big" shows" are. I remember about 10 years ago there were loads of new US sitcoms on C4 but I couldn't tell which the "big" ones were (like Friends and Frasier in the 90s), there were just so many. Actually seemed kind of sad, like culture had become too fast for me to keep track of.

George White

Bob Loves Abishoa was created by Gina Yashere.

Also, United States of Al - Al himself, Adhir Kalyan (an Indo-South African) lived briefly in the UK, was in Spooks and Holby City, and then went to Ireland to appear in RTE's Shakin' 'Stenders, Fair City, where Shobu Kapoor, Gita from EastEnders played his  mum.

Ant Farm Keyboard

Quote from: Small Man Big Horse on December 11, 2022, 09:21:35 PMYeah, I was very fond of that, for the first three series it burned through plotlines at an impressive rate and dealt with issues that you wouldn't expect to see in a mainstream comedy (Bonnie's boyfriend having a heart attack and dying while going down on her was really quite mad, but they dealt with it in a thoughtful manner). I watched the first episode after Anna Farris left and decided not to continue with the show, but it's something I still think of very fondly.

For Mom, and now Bob Hearts Abishola, you have to take into consideration that these shows are not entirely part of the Chuck Lorre sausage factory. They involve an associate of his, Eddie Gorodetsky, aka Eddie G. Eddie G is an SCTV, SNL and Letterman alumni who tends to be involved with the better shows produced by Lorre.

Eddie G is also an avid record collector who's friends with Bob Dylan. Dylan actually managed to get one of Eddie G's compilation of obscure Christmas songs released by Sony, and he relied a lot on his input (Gorodetsky was the producer) for the Theme Time Radio Hour show which he had on Sirius.

Last but not least, Eddie G was the real creative mind behind Penn & Teller's cult (but unreleased) video game, Desert Bus.

Mister Six

Quote from: Ant Farm Keyboard on December 16, 2022, 10:11:39 AMFor Mom, and now Bob Hearts Abishola, you have to take into consideration that these shows are not entirely part of the Chuck Lorre sausage factory. They involve an associate of his, Eddie Gorodetsky, aka Eddie G. Eddie G is an SCTV, SNL and Letterman alumni who tends to be involved with the better shows produced by Lorre.

Eddie G is also an avid record collector who's friends with Bob Dylan. Dylan actually managed to get one of Eddie G's compilation of obscure Christmas songs released by Sony, and he relied a lot on his input (Gorodetsky was the producer) for the Theme Time Radio Hour show which he had on Sirius.

Last but not least, Eddie G was the real creative mind behind Penn & Teller's cult (but unreleased) video game, Desert Bus.

Ant Farm Keyboard is Eddie G CONFIRMED.

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