Looking back on the past year’s sitcoms


Anumita Jain, Managing Web Editor

Rating system: Out of 5 stars


From the creators of “The Office” came NBC’s “Superstore”, a sitcom detailing the day-to-day life of the employees of supermarket chain Cloud 9. The season begins with the arrival of new employee Jonah, who gains the disapproval of assistant manager Amy after exhibiting his elitist attitude, and goes on to tackle the arguably nonexistent chemistry between the two characters, as well as the stories of the other characters in the show. The show seems to lack the satirical tone prevalent in “The Office”, instead making the show a little bit too unrelatable for it to be categorized as satire. However, the show does boast of one of the most diverse casts on TV and uses that diversity to its advantage in the episode “Shots and Salsa”, when the show explains the harms of racially stereotyping. Overall, “Superstore” is a decent and interesting show, but has nothing particularly groundbreaking.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Should you watch it?: Yes, but only if you have a hopeless addiction to TV.

Time left to binge-watch: None—Season 2 aired on Sept. 22.


Life in Pieces:

Reminiscent of “Modern Family”, CBS’ “Life in Pieces” tells the story of the Short family, a four-piece clan, each piece with its own goals. The eldest daughter, Heather, deals with the realization that her household will empty soon, with one child dangerously close to going to college. The second eldest, Matt, has found a potential new love interest and is ready to finally settle down. The youngest, Greg, has just had his first child and is dealing with the pains and joys of new parenthood. The storyline of the parents isn’t exactly clear. Each episode divides itself into four parts, one for each piece of the family, and tells the audience mundane tales about their daily lives. Unlike “Modern Family”, “Life in Pieces” fails to capture the comedy in these mundane tales enough to keep the viewer watching. Overall, the show is a good way to pass time, but not one for those looking for a serious commitment.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Should you watch it?: If you have time to kill.

Time left to binge-watch: About a month—Season 2 starts on Oct. 28.

The Detour:

TBS’ “The Detour” goes into gross detail of the worst case scenario for a family road trip. The season starts with Nate Parker’s termination from his job and his decision to take a road trip to Fort Lauderdale with his family instead of flying like they had previously planned in order to save money. Their first day on the road is met with an unexpected visit to a strip club and a physical confrontation with truck drivers due to a kidnapping misunderstanding. To a ridiculously squeamish person like me, this show would seem to be hell on Earth, but the writers manage to use comedic relief to their advantage and make this show not only bearable but also enjoyable. Unlike most sitcoms, the storyline keeps the viewer on the edge of his or her seat and makes sure he or she comes back for the next episode.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Should you watch it?: Sure, the cliffhangers keep you hooked.

Time left to binge-watch: Unknown; Season 2 release date isn’t out yet.

Master of None:

Netflix’s “Master of None” tells the story of Dev Shah, an aspiring actor who is a first generation Indian-American. Each episode of the 10 episode first season seems to tackle a different social issue. The second episode, “Parents”, talks about the significant generational gap between parents who grew up in different backgrounds, while the fourth episode, “Indians on TV”, deals with the still-prevalent issue of racial typecasting. “Master of None” manages to strike a perfect balance between comedy and actual social commentary and is one of the few shows that is enjoyable to watch even with a slightly anti-heroic protagonist.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Should you watch it?: Yes!

Time left to binge-watch: 6 months or so; Season 2 has yet to be announced.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt:

Tina Fey’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” tells the extraordinary story of Leslie Knope-esque Kimmy Schmidt, a tooth-achingly sweet and cheerful young woman with the social skills of a thirteen-year-old in the late nineties trying to navigate her life in New York City. Schmidt was trapped in an underground bunker by Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne for 15 years before being rescued by a SWAT team. After traveling to the city for an interview with her bunker-mates, Schmidt decides to stay and pursue her dreams, having been held back from them for so long. While maintaining the classic sitcom humor, “Unbreakable” also manages to tackle the sensitive topic of gender inequality. The show’s unofficial tag-line is, after all, “Females are strong as hell.”

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Should you watch it?: Yes

Time left to binge-watch: Who knows?