Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Nick at Nite to Launch New Sitcom, More See Dad Run Episodes; Episodic Review: Raising Hope - "Modern Wedding" and New Girl - "Cooler" Airing Tonight on Fox
After five successful seasons on the groundbreaking series iCarly, Jerry Trainor steps into his first starring and producing role on Nick at Nite's brand-new live-action family sitcom, Wendell & Vinnie, premiering Sunday, Feb. 17, at 8pm ET/PT. A multi-camera scripted half-hour, the series follows 30-year-old Vinnie Bassett (Trainor) living the life of a carefree bachelor, when he suddenly becomes the legal guardian of his precocious, wise-beyond-his-years nephew, Wendell (Buddy Handleson, Shake It Up) forming a hysterical odd-couple family dynamic. Nicole Sullivan (The King of Queens, MadTV) also stars as Vinnie's older unlucky-in-love sister, Wilma, with Haley Strode (Gangster Squad) as Vinnie's newly divorced neighbor and love interest, Taryn. The series will air regularly on Sundays at 8pm (ET/PT) followed by the Scott Baio original comedy, See Dad Run at its new time of 8:30pm, which returns with all-new episodes to finish off its 20-episode first season. So far 9 episodes of See Dad Run have aired and also another batch of 20 episodes have been ordered for a second season.
Wendell & Vinnie was also ordered for 20 episodes and follows Vinnie Bassett, proprietor of a pop culture memorabilia store who only takes breaks to read comic books and play video games. His bachelor life comes to a halt when he assumes guardianship of his incredibly intelligent and mature nephew, Wendell. They soon find that 12-year-old Wendell may be just the parent Vinnie needs. This season will find lighthearted Vinnie helping socially awkward Wendell - and vice versa - including Vinnie navigating through PTA politics to help Wendell build a school garden, a sleepover that goes awry when Vinnie becomes the center of attention and Wendell sent to detention after he helps Vinnie get closer to his vice principal. Wendell & Vinnie will also feature special guest appearances by Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons), Robin Givens (Head of the Class, House of Payne) and Willie Garson (Sex and the City). In support of the Feb. 17 premiere, NickatNite.com has launched its Wendell & Vinnie show site, which includes trailers, character information, sneak peek photo galleries and message boards as well as a "Are You A Wendell or a Vinnie?" quiz. Full episodes will also be made available after each premiere. Beginning Feb. 18, Wendell & Vinnie episodes will be available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Xbox Video, Vudu, PlayStation Store and Samsung Media Hub. Viewers can keep up with the show on Twitter by following the Nick@Nite handle at @nickatnitetv and by liking the Wendell & Vinnie Facebook page.
On the next...Raising Hope:
Fox's Tuesday sitcom starring Martha Plimpton airs Tuesday nights at 8:00pm and we have just watched the next episode that airs tonight (Jan. 29). In the episode airing tonight, "Modern Wedding," the wedding day is finally here and Sabrina's mom has hired the camera crew from Modern Family to capture the whole blessed event. But a series of catastrophes threatens to ruin the day, including a battle between Maw Maw and Reverend Bob (guest star Leslie Jordan). So Burt and Virginia scramble to save the ceremony and keep Jimmy and Sabrina in ignorant, matrimonial bliss.
It's the event three years in the making - Jimmy and Sabrina's wedding! Sabrina's mom thinks she will be married three or four times, so she decides to hire the Modern Family camera crew to record it. Things then go horribly wrong. Their wedding invitations are sent to an incorrect address. Virginia and Burt try to get them their marriage license as a gift. The cake is too large to fit in Jimmy and Sabrina's car. Maw Maw and Reverend Bob argue their past history. The wedding gets delayed when Reverend Bob refuses to perform the ceremony. A surprise guest from past episodes also makes a visit to the wedding.
Tonight's episode is one of the highlights of the season. It's filmed in the same style of a Modern Family episode. They have a similar opening sequence and font used in the credits. The characters talk to the cameras in a mock-documentary style. There's even a voiceover that sounds like Ed O'Neill. It's just a hilarious episode that pays homage to Modern Family. Like most episodes of the series, it has a great mix of outrageous comedy and heartwarming scenes. B+
A second episode will follow at 8:30pm. In "Yo Zappa Do, Part 1," as a wedding gift, Barney offers to fly Jimmy and Sabrina to Los Angeles for a taping of "Yo Zappa Do," Hope's favorite show. But due to Jimmy's fear of flying, the entire family embarks on a road trip instead. Meanwhile, Burt and Virginia agree to take in Ricardo (guest star Wilmer Valderrama) as a house guest, but he soon wears out his welcome.
Raising Hope is the most underrated and funniest sitcom that more people should be watching. They have quietly put together three solid seasons. I was a big fan of creator Greg Garcia's earlier series My Name Is Earl. Raising Hope has many of the same qualities. They have an excellent cast, quirky comedy, hilarious storylines, flashback scenes and guest stars galore. Virginia and Burt are a hilarious TV couple. The show performed respectably in the ratings the first two seasons, but it has struggled this season. Only around 4 million viewers have tuned in weekly. They would benefit by airing after Glee or another popular Fox show. Despite the low ratings, they were picked up for two additional episodes for season three, upping their total to 24. It wouldn't be shocking to see Fox bring the show back for a fourth season. A big syndication deal is likely coming soon.
On the next...New Girl:
Fox's Tuesday adorkable sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel airs Tuesday nights at 9:00pm and we have just watched the next episode that airs tonight (Jan. 29). And Schmidt happens! In the episode airing tonight, "Cooler," the loft dynamics change forever! Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lamorne Morris) go out on a "bro's night" and leave Jess (Zooey Deschanel) by herself in the loft. When her imagination gets the better of her, the guys are forced to return home, but not without some additional company – Holly (guest star Brooklyn Decker), a beautiful woman over whom Nick and Schmidt get highly competitive; and tough-as-nails Daisy (new recurring guest star Brenda Song), who helps Winston get back his mojo. An impromptu game of "Sexy True American" gets out of control, leading to a surprising development in Jess' relationship with one of her roommates.
Tonight's episode main storyline deals with Nick and Schmidt fighting over a stunning woman named Holly (Brooklyn Decker) that they meet at a bar. Winston strikes out with Holly, but he does meet Daisy (Brenda Song from The Suite Life on Deck). Song will be appearing in multiple episodes as Winston's love interest. She is quite different from his last girlfriend, Shelby. The third storyline involves Jess being left alone in the loft and trying to entertain herself by doing things like finishing a marathon. The drinking game "True American," which was featured in the first season, returns with a sexy new twist. Overall, this isn't one of the most consistently funny or strongest episodes of the season. It does feature a couple of beautiful guest stars in Brookyln Decker (as a brunette) and Brenda Song. The major development happens at the end of the episode between two of the characters. Tune in to see the big event that should set the tone for the rest of the season. B-
New Girl is having a decent sophomore season. The ratings have taken quite a dip from the first season. They are missing Glee as a lead-in and haven't been helped by the low-rated sitcoms airing around them. It would be hard to top their first season when they received five Emmy nominations and were on many people's list of top new TV shows of 2012, but they are still producing some quality and entertaining episodes. The show has been kept fresh and funny. Many guest stars have been brought in for single appearances or recurring roles, such as Carla Gugino and Olivia Munn. The adorkable Zooey Deschanel and company are certainly worth watching on Fox's Tuesday night of comedies.
New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November/December)
10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Friday, October 31
Last Man Standing - "Mike Advises Mandy" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mike offers Mandy advice on how to set aside money to pay the taxes on her struggling online clothing business. But she decides to do it her way – by opening up a pop up store at Bud’s Buds.
Cristela - "Hall-Oates-Ween" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
It's Halloween and Cristela is eager to show Trent her “party-whispering” skills to make this year's party a success. After failing to convince Josh, Cristela gets Maddie to join her in dressing up as Hall & Oates. Meanwhile at home, Natalia’s dislike for Halloween has her celebrating the Day of the Dead instead and, ironically, her stories of deceased relatives makes her the most popular Halloween attraction in the neighborhood.
Friday, October 31
- Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Watch Andy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Olivia visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Ted Danson (Cheers/Becker) - Catch Ted on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
- J.K. Simmons (Growing Up Fisher) - J.K. appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Ana Gasteyer (Suburgatory) - Ana is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
- Leah Remini (The Exes/The Family Tools/The King of Queens) - Leah appears on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 2am on BET.
- Niecy Nash (The Soul Man/Getting On/Reno 911!) - Niecy tells how to look younger on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
- Jim Gaffigan (My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Tune in to see if Jim and Rach can survive New York's scariest house on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- Ken Marino (Marry Me/Party Down) - Ken will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.