Today we kick off our March Madness tournament! The Scholars are thrilled to be back at it again, and today’s “game” is A bloodthirsty, no holds barred, deathmatch, pitting Black-ish against Bob’s Burgers, One Day at a Time vs. Baskets, Here and Now vs. This Is Us, and Jane the Virgin vs. Life in Pieces.
Wow. We chose these shows, but if you need us, we’ll be crying in a corner.
Blackish and Bob’s Burgers are both family-friendly comedies about close-knit families filled with love led by talky patriarchs; the Belchers are animated and live somewhere on the East Coast (Jason diplomatically argues for the Shore, but Katherine will die on her hill for Coney Island).
One Day At A Time and Baskets similarly reflect families (both in California) with a lot of love, though these familiar units have different ways of expressing it. As for formatting, Day follows the classic studio-audience sitcom, while Baskets is a surreal, dramatic single-camera comedy.
Here and Now, Alan Ball’s HBO drama, follows a Portland family of two Portland hippies, their three grown, adopted children, and biological daughter, who come together when one of them begins to “see things.” It is structurally and spiritually close to This Is Us, ABC’s enormous hit about three grown siblings and their childhood.
Finally, Life In Pieces is a comedic This Is Us-lite on CBS. (It has elements of Parenthood and Modern Family, too.) The show features plenty of love and an all-star cast. It’s competitor, Jane the Virgin, is a Scholars favorite; three of us have adored the show since the beginning.
Voting begins now, so head this way to Brackets Ninja to cast your ballot!