Today's mailbag is here. Questions and answers about getting obscure Warner Bros. movies, "The Rifleman," "Amerika," and Craig T. Nelson's most recent TV project.
I have been thinking about sitcoms this morning, and the form is on a pretty good roll in terms of quality. I dropped "Accidentally on Purpose" after one episode and "Cougar Town" after two, and two new episodes of "30 Rock" did not enthrall. But I am getting laughs from "Big Bang Theory," "How I Met Your Mother," "Community," "The Office," "Parks and Recreation," "Modern Family" and "The Middle." Last night's "Modern Family" was another delight; I know I have already praised Ed O'Neill, but look at what he was doing in the group hug scene. He and Ty Burrell are becoming a great tandem. The kids are getting some good business, especially Manny (the delightful Rico Rodriguez). And the Costco scenes were both funny and very real. I was checking out a local discount warehouse over the weekend, and got just as giddy over at least one marked-down item as Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) did on the show.
I wasn't as entertained by the second episode of "The Middle" as I was by the first. The Heaton rant near the end wasn't great, and who didn't see either that they would forget to count the jelly beans or that they would melt? But I still got enough laughs to be back next week.