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.
SITCOMS AIRING TONIGHT (May 23)
The Big Bang Theory - "The Santa Simulation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon revisits some Christmas memories during a game of Dungeons and Dragons, while Penny, Bernadette and Amy try to find a girl for Koothrappali when he joins the girls for ladies' night.
Two and a Half Men - "I Scream When I Pee" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Alan’s smokin’ hot, famous ex-wife, Kandi, wants him back. Meanwhile, Berta isn’t interested in celebrating her birthday, so Walden helps make it special. April Bowlby (“Drop Dead Diva”) returns as Alan’s second ex-wife, Kandi.
Save Me - "The Book of Beth" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Series Premiere)
“Save Me” premieres with Emmy nominee Anne Heche (“Hung”) starring as Beth Harper, an absentee wife and mother who suffers a dramatic near-death experience and is revived only to discover that she now receives messages from God. As she warms up to her powers and begins dispensing advice that is astonishingly accurate, her husband Tom (Michael Landes, “Final Destination 2”) is skeptical and their teenage daughter Emily (Madison Davenport, “Shameless”) is horrified. Complicating matters even more, Tom’s mistress Carly (Alexandra Breckenridge, “American Horror Story”) shows up to confront Beth about the affair and quickly gets a shocking surprise. Read our review.
Save Me - "Take it Back" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Beth (Anne Heche) begins a new life on the straight and narrow and wants to make amends with old friends she has offended. Her efforts to return a long-ago stolen espresso machine to next door neighbor Maggie (Joy Osmanski) are rebuffed. Meanwhile, Tom (Michael Landes) learns to adjust to his wife’s newfound ability to communicate with God and they both try to re-establish some sense of normality with their old friends and their daughter Emily (Madison Davenport).
The Office - "Couples Discount" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Office pairs off into pretend couples to take advantage of a Valentine’s Day discount at a local mini-mall. Erin (Ellie Kemper) assures Pete (Jake Lacy) she will break up with Andy (Ed Helms) when he returns, but he has good reason to doubt her. Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) share a meal with Brian, the documentary's sound man.
Parks and Recreation - "Ms. Knope Goes to Washington" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Andy (Chris Pratt) visit Ben (Adam Scott) and April (Aubrey Plaza) at their new jobs in Washington D.C., and Leslie feels overwhelmed by the city -- especially after meeting two of her idols (Senators Barbara Boxer and Olympia Snowe). Meanwhile, Ron (Nick Offerman) throws a “thank you” barbeque for the entire Parks and Recreation staff.
Men at Work - "The Gibbs-Orcism" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Tyler's new girlfriend is all too familiar to Milo and Gibbs, so they do their best to hide the truth from him. Neal and Amy do their best to avoid the "anniversary curse," but they can't seem to escape their fate.
Anger Management - "Charlie, Kate and Jen Get Romantic" (FX, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Martin tries to undermine Charlie and Kate's relationship by telling Kate that Charlie and Jennifer are getting back together.
Big Time Rush - "Big Time Bonus" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Gustavo gives the guys a bonus for their hard work, but they quickly begin to make bad decisions with their money. Carlos hires a personal assistant, James buys a snake he can't live without, Kendall accidentally buys a truck full of oranges and Logan can't resist the power of tipping and getting favors done in return.
Wendell & Vinnie - "The Dutch & Us" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Wendell befriends a lonely student from Holland, Jann. But when Jann abandons Wendell for a cooler crowd, Vinnie decides to help Wendell win him back by putting them in a situation where they're forced to spend time together.