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 (September)
09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Friday, October 21
Last Man Standing - "Trick or Treat" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Halloween and the Baxter family is excited for their annual party, except for Mike who’s reluctantly tasked with choosing the theme. In hopes of turning everyone against the holiday, Mike decides that maybe if the whole family has to dress up like each other they’ll end up making fun of one another. Eve dresses up like Mandy and Mandy dresses down like Eve, Kristin and Ryan swap roles, and Mike shows up to the party as… Donald Trump!? The impersonating turns into bickering but in the end, the Baxters come together to support Vanessa as she learns that she’s being laid off.
Dr. Ken - "D.K.'s Korean Ghost Story" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
On Halloween, Allison is disappointed the holiday doesn’t seem to scare Dave anymore, meaning her little boy is growing up, perhaps too fast. But that might change after D.K. tells a scary Korean gwishin (ghost) story. The Park family, as well as the gang at Welltopia, bring the story to life playing the various gwishins.
Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Jack" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Marcus deals with the loss of one of his former teammates.
Friday, October 21
- Matthew Perry (The Odd Couple/Go On/Mr. Sunshine) - Watch Matthew on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Joey/Friends) - Matt is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah talks about Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1:15pm.
- Lindsay Sloane (The Odd Couple/The Stones/Mr. Rhodes) - Lindsay visits Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) and Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Tom and Ron will be on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
- Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian talks about King Cobra on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
- Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna talks about Netflix's Good Girls Revolt on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Jennifer Grey (Red Oaks/It's Like, You Know...) - Jennifer joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Thomas Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) and Jason Biggs (Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Thomas and Jason are guests on Chelsea on Netflix.
- Marisa Tomei (A Different World) - Marisa appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- Paul Reiser (Red Oaks/Mad About You/The Paul Reiser Show) - Paul is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.