There are a number of new sit-coms that debuted midseason that I’m really enjoying. Some of these shows stretch the definition of sit-com, but they’re all 30 minute comedy-ish shows so that’s how I’m classifying them for the purposes of writing about these shows.
Grand Crew is my favorite of the new sit-coms. It’s a great hang out comedy about a group of friends. It reminds me of some of the things I loved about Friends. Instead of hanging out a coffee shop they hang out at a wine bar called Grand Cru. Nicole Byer is probably the biggest name in the cast along with Echo Kellum who plays her brother in the show, but it’s a real ensemble comedy. It’s funny. I like the characters, and I just really enjoy hanging out with them every week.
Abbott Elementary is the show that has gotten the most press out of all the new sit-coms. It’s about an underfunded school in Philadelphia. It’s a workplace ensemble comedy. Janine is sort of the main focus of the show, played by Quinta Brunson, who created it. She’s a new teacher who is still full of energy and wanting to do the best for her students despite a system designed to beat you down. There are also another new teacher, a long-term sub, and the older teachers who are still trying to get things done but are also more resigned to the system they’re stuck in plus the laughably ineffective principal. It’s both funny but all too real. It’s in a mockumentary format, which is not my favorite, but there have been some really hilarious looks towards the supposed cameraman that have almost made it worth it.
I would have said Pivoting was my least favorite of the new network sitcoms, but I feel like a handful of episodes in it’s starting to find its footing a little bit more. The last couple of episodes have had at least one thing that made me really laugh out loud. The premise is a group of three friends who are reevaluating their own lives after the death of the other woman who was a close part of their friend group. Eliza Coupe is a reluctant mother who loves her kids but doesn’t know what to do with them and decides to scale back on work to spend half days with them. Maggie Q plays a successful doctor who decides to quit her job to work in a grocery store. Jennifer Goodwin plays a dissatisfied wife and mother who decides to try and have an affair with her personal trainer. There’s some good comedy here and think once the show gets to develop the characters a little more beyond the summary note they used to sell the show it will get even better.
American Auto is another workplace comedy. It stars Ana Gasteyer as the new CEO of a car company who has no experience with cars and came from work at a pharmaceutical company. It’s created by the same people who did Superstore and is sort of the opposite of that show in that instead of focusing on the people out on floor it’s focused on the people in executive suite. It has its moments, but at this point it’s probably my least favorite of the shows. It’s still a solid comedy though and I think again it has the potential to get even better as the writers figure out what makes each of the characters really tick, which an take a little bit for sit-coms.
I’m really happy that the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast alerted to me this as they were correct that I never would have found it otherwise. It’s a Canadian show available on HBOMax. It’s not something HBOMax is ever going to recommend to you. It’s my least favorite thing about every streaming service is that they basically only allow you to see like whatever 10 shows they are promoting and their algorithm decides you would like. There is really no way to easily browse their full library of content and find the more obscure stuff unless you already know about it and do a search for the title. Sort-Of is centered around trans woman, Sabi, who is a Pakistani-Canadian trying to come out to her mother. She is also the nanny to two kids. She makes the decision to move to Berlin with her best friend, but stays back to help out after the mother of the kids she nannies for gets in an accident and winds up in a coma. It’s a really great show with lots of interesting relationships. I’m not sure if it will get more than these short 8 episodes, but I do hope so.
Somebody Somewhere is an actual HBO show that is currently airing is about halfway through its first season. It’s about a woman who has returned home to her small town in Kansas to help take care of her dying sister, and who is now staying there after her sister’s death dealing with the rest of her family and figuring out her life there. She reconnects with an old friend from high school who runs sort of an underground gay choir in his church and he convinces her to join. It too has some really good characters and relationships, and I’m happy HBO has already announced there will be another season.
The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window
This Netflix show is a sort of parody of the movies like Gone Girl and the Woman in the Window starring Kristen Bell. I gather from some friends that perhaps it gets better or at least people were happy enough with where it went by the end, but I really just did not like the first episode at all. I saw some headline to the effect of that it’s a mysterious comedy that is neither mysterious nor comedic and that felt true to what I saw. I don’t think I am going to spend my time watching any more of it, but you can at least know that some people I know liked it better than I did.