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 (March/April)
03/03 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now... In Living Color! (Blu-ray)
03/07 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - Mama's Family - Mama's Favorites
03/07 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series - Flashback Edition (Blu-ray)
03/07 - What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - You Me Her - Season One
03/14 - Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season
03/14 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Season Two
03/21 - Master of None - Season One
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
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Sunday, April 23
The Simpsons - "The Cad and the Hat" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Bart betrays Lisa, he has to deal with his guilt – literally. Meanwhile, Springfield is in awe when Homer is revealed to be a chess savant.
Bob's Burgers - "Zero Lap Thirty" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
When Linda wins a contest to spend a dream weekend at the home where her favorite television show is filmed, things don’t go quite as planned. Back at home, Teddy’s back problems leave him stuck on the floor.
Bob's Burgers - "The Laser-inth" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Gene accompanies Bob on the last-ever rock-and-roll laser show at the planetarium, but the night takes an unexpected turn. Meanwhile, Linda takes the girls out for dinner and Louise has a surprise revelation.
Making History - "The Godfriender" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Dan, Deb and Chris find themselves stuck in 1920s Chicago, with Al Capone (guest star Tim Robinson) holding their time travel bag hostage. Chris opts for a play-it-safe plan, using history to take out Capone, while Dan and Deb befriend him instead. As they teach him how to be a better mobster – and husband – they quickly realize that proving their loyalty may not be as easy as they thought.
Family Guy - "Hot Shots" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
In order to “save” Stewie from autism, Peter and Lois decide not to vaccinate him and then proceed to convince the rest of Quahog to follow suit. Stewie runs away to save himself from diseases until Sean Penn (guest-voicing as himself) swoops in to save the day and brings vaccines to the whole town.
The Last Man on Earth - "Name 20 Picnics...Now!" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
The gang throws a huge celebration canvassing every major holiday, but Tandy and Todd’s bro-mance hits a rough patch that threatens to end the fun.
Monday, April 24
- Kathryn Hahn (Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Watch Kathryn on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. She also talks about the new series I Love Dick on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
- Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Andrea Martin (Great News/Difficult People/Working the Engels) - Andrea stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Briga Heelan (Great News/Ground Floor) - Briga is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Matt Walsh (Veep), Mary Holland (Blunt Talk) and Timothy Simons (Veep) - Matt, Mary and Timothy are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- John Leguizamo (The Brothers Garcia) - John guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie talks about making her Broadway debut in Present Laughter on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Katie Gill (Baby Daddy) - Katie is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Lisa Kudrow (Friends/The Comeback) - Lisa joins Clinton Kelly in the kitchen to make a delicious dessert with an ingredient she’s never had before—Rhubarb on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
- Kate Walsh (Bad Judge/The Drew Carey Show) - Kate talks about 13 Reasons Why on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
- Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.