Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Mary Tyler Moore Show Reunion on Hot in Cleveland, Also Renewed for Season 5; Episodic Reviews: New Girl - "Chicago" Airing Tonight on Fox and The New Normal - "About A Boy Scout" Airing Tonight on NBC
By: Todd 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 (March 26). We have special guest appearances by Emmy Award winner Margo Martindale and Nick Kroll. In the episode airing tonight, "Chicago," Jess (Zooey Deschanel), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lamorne Morris) accompany Nick (Jake Johnson) back to his hometown when his father suddenly dies. Once there, Jess realizes just how responsible Nick can be when she meets Nick's boisterous family members, including his mom, Bonnie (Martindale); his younger brother, Jamie (Kroll); and his cousin from Boston, Bobby (guest star Bill Burr). Meanwhile, Winston helps Schmidt get over his fear of death and Jess pulls out all the (musical) stops when she helps throw a wake fit for a king. Jess brings in some balloons from a guy she bought in a van. Nick gets a call from his mom that his dad has died of a heart attack in Chicago. After inhaling helium, they try to console him with their changed voices. The gang travels to Nick's hometown of Chicago for the funeral. Nick's mom asks him to make the funeral plans. Nick's father wanted a funeral like Elvis had, complete with an Elvis impersonator. Nick is asked to write the eulogy for his father, but he is busy making other arrangements and asks Jess to write it. Meanwhile, Schmidt tells Winston that he can't go to the funeral because he is scared of death. Winston later pretends to be dead in a casket to help get over his fear. Jess talks to Jamie and Bobby to gather more information on Walt for the eulogy. Nick continues to make phone calls. He later brings back a drunk guy to appear as the Elvis impersonator. Bobby learns that a chain that Walt is wearing may be his father's and tries to reclaim it. After the Elvis impersonator passes out, it's up to Jess to step in and help out. Nick remembers his father with a heartfelt speech. Everybody later joins together and sings. That's how Walt would have wanted it. As the episode closes, we learn that Nick's brother has plans that may lead to another family gathering in the future.
Tonight's episode has a more serious tone than usual. It's a somber and emotional storyline, but they added just the right amount of comedy to lighten the mood. Dennis Farina had appeared as Nick's charming con artist father, Walt, in an earlier episode in January. We meet more of Nick's wild and crazy family in this episode. His mother, brother and cousin are expertly played by guest stars Margo Martindale (Emmy winner from Justified), Nick Kroll and Bill Burr. Nick's mother isn't the biggest fan of Jess at the start and is skeptical of Nick's relationship with her, but she eventually warms up and accepts her. The awkward exchanges between them are very funny. Kroll and Burr are hilarious as his younger brother and cousin. They have some good scenes with Jess and Schmidt. It's hard to imagine that Nick is the responsible and mature person of the family. Also appearing in the episode is 94-year-old Ellen Albertini Dow as Old Auntie Ruth. She has a couple of fun one-liners. Hopefully we see Nick's family again under better circumstances down the road. The main cast is given a chance to show more of their dramatic side in the episode. Other highlights include Schmidt trying to get over his fear of death, Jess' support of Nick and her singing, and Nick's heartfelt speech about his father. New Girl is wrapping up its sophomore season with a strong batch of episodes. B
On the next...The New Normal:
By: Todd NBC's Tuesday freshman comedy produced by Ryan Murphy airs Tuesday nights at 9:30pm and we have just watched the next episode that airs tonight (March 26). John Stamos returns for another episode. In the episode airing tonight, "About A Boy Scout," despite Bryan's (Andrew Rannells) concerns, David (Justin Bartha), a former Eagle Scout, jumps at the chance to chaperone a Boy Scout overnight with his friend’s son. His skills earn him the respect of the other fathers and scouts, but when one father disagrees with his lifestyle, David's Boy Scout membership is revoked. Elsewhere, Rocky (NeNe Leakes) is helping Goldie (Georgia King) sort out her secret crush on Brice (guest star John Stamos). David brings his friend's son, Danny, home after a hike in the canyon. He is an Eagle Scout for life and wants his son to one day be one, despite their stance excluding gays. David is offered the opportunity to chaperone a camping trip. Bryan later suggests that they have a scout meeting at their home. David introduces Bryan to the troop. Bryan later reads a letter that David's membership is revoked. David talks to the leaders to see who reported him, but nobody will tell him who contacted the organization. One of the fathers eventually admits to David that he was the one who called the office and tells him why he doesn't want David to be his role model because of his lifestyle. David thanks for him for his honesty. He later tells the troop he can't be their leader, but that he will continue to fight for change. In the secondary story, Rocky attends a Loveaholics meeting and talks to Brice. She also helps Goldie deal with her secret crush on Brice.
The New Normal hasn't been afraid to tackle many social issues in its rookie season. Tonight's storyline about the Boy Scouts and their ban on gay members and leaders has been in the news quite a bit lately. The show isn't preachy the way they present the topic. They provide both sides of the debate. When the father tells David why he reported him to the organization, David thanks him for his honesty and vows to continue to fight for change. It's an interesting and well presented episode, but there just aren't many laughs. There is more of a serious tone in this comedy. The secondary story of Rocky talking to Brice about Goldie is less interesting and just seems like filler. Ellen Barkin is noticeably absent from the episode. I'm not sure what happened to her this week. There are internet rumors that she was fired from the show. After a strong start that led to a full season renewal, the show has struggled in the ratings in recent weeks. They continue to set series lows. The show was already on the bubble, so the downward spiral can't be helping their chances. It's possible that next week's two episodes will be the end of the series. C
New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)
10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Tuesday, December 6
The Middle - "Trip and Fall" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Trashy neighbor Rita Glossner (Brooke Shields) talks an apprehensive Frankie into taking a road trip to an unknown destination; Mike takes an embarrassing fall at the quarry and has to deal with even more embarrassment when OSHA is called in to investigate; and Sue attempts to convince Axl to end his estrangement with the family after learning their true feelings about April.
American Housewife - "Westport Cotillion" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Oliver is secretly taking dancing and manners classes in hopes of getting the girl he likes to go to the Westport Cotillion with him. He asks for his dad’s help in keeping this all secret from Katie, afraid that she’ll interfere, but that’s easier said than done.
Fresh Off the Boat - "The Taming of the Dads" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
To celebrate their one-year anniversary, Eddie reluctantly agrees to take Alison to the see a modern remake of Romeo and Juliet. But when Louis and Alison’s dad bond over their love of Shakespeare and crash their date, Alison wonders if she and Eddie’s relationship has lost its spark. Meanwhile, Jessica gets called for jury duty and campaigns to be the “Jury Boss,” and Emery and Evan struggle with the responsibilities of raising a Tamagotchi digital pet.
The Real O'Neals - "The Real Match" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Jimmy recruits a reluctant Kenny to join his wrestling team for a one-time match, a surprise victory gives him the confidence to join the team full time to become the first, openly gay athlete at St. Barklays. Kenny’s newfound stardom makes Jimmy feel a bit replaced, but when an opponent refuses to wrestle his brother, Jimmy puts his feelings aside and rallies the team around Kenny. Meanwhile, Pat injures his back trying to help Eileen prepare for a weekend getaway, but things only get worse when she tries to be the perfect caregiver to impress VP Murray but fails miserably.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Overmining" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Captain “CJ” (guest star Ken Marino) is having major problems with a big case, and Jake and Holt find the motivation to help him out. Inside the precinct, war ensues when Terry enforces a green initiative and tells Gina to get rid of her precious space heater, while Rosa and Boyle take a break from the night shift to visit a foot massage parlor.
New Girl - "Es Good" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Schmidt enlists Nick to help him earn the respect of his difficult house contractor (guest star Billy Gardell). Meanwhile, as Jess and Robby (guest star Nelson Franklin) test the limits of their ability to be in a casual relationship, Winston and Cece debate the pros and cons of not being single.
Tuesday, December 6
- Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Catch Chris on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) - Billy visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Molly Shannon (Divorce/Kath & Kim) - Molly appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Ilana Glazer (Broad City) - Ilana guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) - Kathy is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
- Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Olivia will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
- Josh McDermitt (Retired at 35) - Josh appears on the AOL Build Show at 1:30pm and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Peyton List (Bunk'd/Jessie) - Peyton is a guest on the AOL Build Show at 12pm.
- Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage) - Emmanuelle appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/One Day at a Time) - Valerie appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
- Leah Remini (The King of Queens/Family Tools/The Exes) - Leah is a guest on The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.