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 (April/May)
04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Tuesday, May 23
Downward Dog - "Boundaries" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Nan installs an automatic dog door so she can take away Jason’s key but still keep him as Martin’s dog walker, Martin is convinced he can suddenly open doors with his mind, and the new-found power goes to his head. Meanwhile at work, Nan’s boss is unable to understand the new ad campaign Nan sold to the corporate bosses, and he spirals into confusion.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Bank Job" / "Crime & Punishment" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Jake and Rosa continue their search for a bank-robbing operation with Lieutenant Hawkins (guest star Gina Gershon), they realize there’s more to her team than meets the eye. After discovering a dangerous secret, they call for back-up from Holt and Pimento (guest star Jason Mantzoukas). Meanwhile, Boyle objects to Gina’s new boyfriend (guest star Ryan Phillipe). Then, Jake and Rosa are framed for a crime they didn’t commit, it’s up to the Nine-Nine to find a way to bust them out.
Great News - "Carol Has a Bully" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Carol (Andrea Martin) has a midterm she must pass in order to keep her internship. Katie (Briga Heelan) needs to choose between helping her mom and focusing on her hacking story, which she can't seem to crack. Meanwhile, Greg's (Adam Campbell) wealthy estranged grandmother (guest star Christina Pickles) pays a visit to the office. Chuck (John Michael Higgins) finds her cold and cruel, but almost immediately falls in love with her.
Great News - "Carol's Eleven" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie (Briga Heelan) makes a huge discovery about the story she's been chasing and, with the help of Carol (Andrea Martin) and the rest of the staff, concocts a scheme to get the story out. Greg (Adam Campbell) struggles with balancing his conflicting loyalties to his family, co-workers and conscience.
Mann & Wife - "Mann, Shut Yo Mouth" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Struggling to solve a tough case, an exhausted Daniel falls asleep and wakes up in a 70's blaxploitation cop show.
Tuesday, May 23
- Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Catch Terry on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Rob Huebel (Trasparent/Burning Love) - Rob appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Al Madrigal (About a Boy/Welcome to The Captain/Gary Unmarried), Andrew Santino (I'm Dying Up Here/Sin City Saints) and Erik Griffin (I'm Dying Up Here) - Al, Andrew and Erik are guests on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Ari Graynor (I'm Dying Up Here/Bad Teacher) - Ari stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Nick visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Ben Falcone (Nobodies/A to Z/Joey) - Ben drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens) - Abigail appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
- Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Mayim talks about her new book Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular and The Big Bang Theory on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Kyle Chandler (What About Joan?) - Kyle teams up with Clinton Kelly to grill up a great entrée on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Nicole Byer ( Loosely Exactly Nicole) - Nicole is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
- The Love Boat Cast - The cast of The Love Boat reunites on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
- Debra Messing (Will & Grace) - Debra chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Zoe Lister-Jones (Life in Pieces/Friends with Better Lives/Whitney) - Zoe talks about her new comedy Band Aid on the AOL Build Show 1pm.
- Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie talks about Beat Shazam on AOL Build Show 4pm.