Will the new comedies get the laughs?

By Erin Clarke

The old favourites are back: Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and they will bring in the big numbers again this season – but how will the freshman crop of new comedies fair against these.  There are a lot of new sitcoms this fall and there are a few definite hits – some bawdy, some heartfelt, and just like my last piece dealing with dramas, I have a few hits and misses to predict.  So who do I think will still be around by mid-season and possibly get a pick up for next year?

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I’m picking Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Goldbergs and The Michael J. Fox Show as the sitcom hits of the new 2013 season.  There are a few reasons for each pick, but the later of the list should be obvious.  The Michael J. Fox Show will be a hit if only for the return of one of the most beloved TV actors in history, Michael J. Fox, who really hasn’t been off the radar even though he has been off TV for a while as the star of a sitcom.  He is basically TV gold, but when his Parkinson’s diagnosis was made

public, fans thought that was the end of the lovable and hilarious sitcom go-to….but not so, he’s back and has rolled his real life Parkinson’s into a role that will inevitably bring viewers to the show.  The show is inspired by the former Family Ties actor’s life, Fox stars as a husband and father of three from New York City dealing with family, career and challenges — including Parkinson’s disease — as he goes back to work as a news anchor.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I will definitely be rooting for this show to be a success.

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When Andy Samberg left SNL, I was hoping that he would return to TV in some capacity, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the show that is bringing him back.  Set in one of the 5 boroughs of NYC, this cop comedy is looking pretty good from the previews and I must admit that they had me laughing the most out of the clips that I watched from the new comedies.  Samberg plays a hotshot, smartass detective that gets a new Captain and of course hijinks and silliness ensue.  Co-starring Andre Braugher and SNL alum Fred Armesien, I think that this show may be a “slow-burn” comedy in the ilk of Arrested Development but it will definitely catch on. dads

Sometimes even bad comedies can get a laugh, and even get a couple of seasons but I don’t think that will be the case for Dads and The Millers.  Even though it hurts me to say anything against my beloved Seth Macfarlane, I don’t think that audiences are going to flock to his new show, Dads.  In it, two highly successful 30-something sons have to deal with their nightmare fathers moving back in with them and turning their lives upside down.  Maybe the humour will be a little less intense and more politically correct than Family Guy but I don’t count on it, I don’t think Macfarlane can help it, he is built to push the buttons and with Giovanni Ribisi and Seth Green in the starring roles, it seems like a trifecta for comedic success but I don’t think it will ring true with audiences.  Family Guy fans will tune in but will the general public who may be sitting around the family room? I don’t see it. Finally, The Goldbergs, I have to say that this one is the one I want to watch.  Set in the 80’s (I have a feeling there will be a lot of flashbacks to my own childhood), this sitcom is based on the creator’s childhood, he was given a camcorder as a child and began to document his insane family.  The Goldbergs is the culmination of those recordings with the brilliant Jeff Garlin and Wendy McLendon-Covey.  The best way I think to describe it, is a dysfunctional, insane but loving Wonder Years and I have noticed that these family shows tend to do the best with Modern Family and The Middle proving this, and now ABC has another family to add to the hit list.

The other show that I think will be short lived is The Millers – even with the brilliant Will Arnett.  In this show, a recently divorced man’s life is complicated when his parents decide to move in with him and of course the overbearing mother thing will be front and center, but I think that this may have been overplayed a tad in the last few years and Will Arnett may have a hard time shrugging off being viewed as Gob Bluth from Arrested Development, especially since the new season of that brilliant show came out at the beginning of the summer on Netflix.

So there you have it, your bi-weekly armchair critic and TV lover has made her picks for Fall 2013.  Will I be right? Will I be wrong?  Am I off-base or have I hit a couple of dingers with these predictions?  I’m not sure, but we will definitely see in the next few months.  Tweet me at erinl_clarke and let me know what your favourites are and what you are looking forward to.