Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Melissa & Joey, Baby Daddy Return Jan. 15, 2014; Episodic Review: Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Thanksgiving" Airing Tonight on Fox

Melissa & Joey

ABC Family continues its rollout of all new episodes of original series with the return of the hit comedies Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy on January 15 from 8:00PM-9:00 PM ET/PT. Both comedy series will return in January 2014 with all-new episodes, along with the previously announced all-new episodes of the second half of Pretty Little Liars and Ravenswood on Tuesday, January 7 and Switched at Birth and The Fosters on Monday, January 13. With the comedies returning, this means ABC Family will have three nights of original programming per week this winter. To mark the returns of Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy, ABC Family will air marathons prior to the premiere on Jan. 15 Baby Daddy will have a marathon on Tuesday, Jan. 14 from 1pm-7pm, while Melissa & Joey will have a marathon the day of premiere from 12-8pm. The other series returning in January will also have marathons with Ravenswood on Jan. 1 from 1-6pm, Pretty Little Liars on Jan. 7 from 12-8pm, Switched at Birth on Jan. 13 from 12-8pm and The Fosters on Jan. 20 from 12-8pm. Also, Twisted will return with all-new episodes on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, after Ravenswood finishes its season.

Before the comedies return on Jan. 15, ABC Family rings in the holidays with back-to-back Christmas episodes of the hit comedies Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy, premiering Wednesday, December 11 from 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT. Cast members from both shows will also be live tweeting that night during the East Coast feeds, answering fan questions and sharing behind the scenes tidbits about the episodes. Jaime Pressly guest stars on Melissa & Joey, while Leslie Jordan guests on Baby Daddy's Christmas episode. Back to the winter premieres on Jan. 15, on Melissa & Joey: In picking up where the summer cliff-hanger left off, Joe rushes home to tell Mel that he has feelings for her after their romantic night together in New Jersey. When he arrives, he's shocked to find Austin (guest star Trevor Donovan) has shown up and wants to give his relationship with Mel another try. Deciding he can't stay and watch them fall in love all over again, Joe quits. Meanwhile, Lennox plots to get Joe and Mel together and Ryder gets sick from his own cooking. On Baby Daddy on Jan. 15: In "The Naked Truth," Ben and Riley try to transition from friendship to being a couple, which results in a hugely embarrassing moment for Riley. Ben is still angry with Bonnie for bringing Emma's mom Angela (guest star Mimi Gianopulos) back into their lives. Angela tries to show Bonnie she's a capable mother while hoping for a fresh start with Ben. Meanwhile, Tucker tries to help Danny get over Riley and Amy with his five-step "T.U.C.K.




On the next...Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 8:30pm):
By: Vincent

Fox's new Tuesday police comedy starring an ensemble cast airs Tuesdays at 8:30pm and we have just watched the next episode that airs tonight (Nov. 26). In the episode airing tonight, "Thanksgiving," Amy (Melissa Fumero) is intent on hosting the perfect holiday dinner for the precinct. But her plans spiral out of control when Holt (Andre Braugher) and Jake (Andy Samberg) must leave to go catch a perp. Although the celebration appears to be a lost cause, Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) steps in to save the day – in what can only be described as a true Thanksgiving miracle.

Almost every sitcom in the history of the medium is, at its core, about family. Whether it's about a literal family or a makeshift one, most sitcoms (particularly ensemble sitcoms) are about a group of people coming together and forming some sort of makeshift group with each other, one that functions as a source of love and frustration and all-around tomfoolery just like any family does. So of course, around the holidays, just about every sitcom puts together a plot that demonstrates how much its central cast of characters care about one another, because they pretty much have to. On some shows, this feels like an obligation. There's little to no evidence that these people care about each other during the rest of the year, and they only make it seem like they do at the holidays because it's what we've come to expect from stories about the holidays. But some shows take this idea and create something incredibly meaningful out of it. It's hard to pull this off – "the holidays made us realize how much we love each other!" is such a tired plot by this point that it's hard to not make it seem cloying, but if it's done right, it can pack a powerful punch.



So it's very encouraging to see Brooklyn Nine-Nine succeed at pulling together a strong, fresh and funny holiday episode with "Thanksgiving." There are a few moments in the episode where it looks like the show is going to fall straight into saccharine convention, but it manages to mostly resist this by sticking to the root of its characters and by utilizing the gift at subtle character development it's demonstrated at several points over the course of the season so far. "Thanksgiving" doesn't come on too hard with the idea that its characters are using the holiday to relate to each other, instead choosing to convey it through smaller character moments that also don’t mute the shows' crazy-strong sense of humor. It's a holiday episode that's very clearly Brooklyn Nine-Nine from start to finish, delivering the character-based gags and hilarious asides while quietly mixing in a dash of sweetness to make the whole thing just a bit more poignant. It's a promising step forward for a comedy that continues to impress, week after week. A-


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, October 23

The Conners - "Tangled Up in Blue'" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Darlene is in for one surprise after another when David introduces his girlfriend, Blue (Juliette Lewis), at a parent-teacher conference and mentions that Mark and Harris will be spending the weekend with them. Dan hires Becky to help out at work, but they both come to learn that she might need more help than she can offer.

The Kids Are Alright - "Timmy's Poem" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
To Peggy’s dismay, Timmy decides to enter a poetry contest to win the money he needs to repair his ventriloquist dummy. Stumped, he decides to plagiarize a poem and soon realizes he’s not the only one who passed it off as his own. Meanwhile, Mike and Lawrence continue to butt heads when Lawrence complains that there are no fresh vegetables in the family’s diet.

black-ish - "Don't You Be My Neighbor" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The neighbors decide to rent their house out for homestays and it’s causing problems for the Johnsons. Dre develops a newfound joy of calling the cops over petty neighborhood issues but begins to question the example he is setting for Jack. Meanwhile, Diane develops her first crush and Bow wants to help but lets Zoey take the lead.

Splitting Up Together - "Asking for a Friend" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Afraid that the answer could ruin his chances with Lena, Martin finds every way he can to avoid asking Lisa Apple if she is pregnant, while the potential pregnancy makes Lena more and more distant. At the same time, Lena worries Mason is changing himself to please his new girlfriend and finds parallels to her own relationship with Martin. Elsewhere, Maya tells Frank a pretend story about her “friend” who is dating someone new and pregnant to gauge what his honest reaction will be.

The Guest Book - "Finding Reality" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Vivian and Eddie leave Mt. Trace to make a fresh start in a small beachside town, where they meet Nikki and Tommy, the engaged couple running Emmy Lou's Grill and vacation home Barefeet Retreat, and Bodhi, the local handyman.

The Guest Book - "Under Cover" (TBS, 10:27PM ET/PT)
Rob and Shelley rent Barefeet Retreat to lure in their next mark, a woman named Angel who is abusing every substance that can be abused; Vivian develops a crush on Bodhi; Nikki goes into labor.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 22)

Tuesday, October 23

  • Oliver Hudson (Splitting Up Together/Rules of Engagement/My Guide to Becoming a Rock Star) - Catch Oliver on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • David Cross (Arrested Development/Running Wilde) - David stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Tyler Alvarez (Every Witch Way) - Tyler appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Scott Bakula (Murphy Brown/Eisenhower and Lutz/Gung Ho) - Scott will be on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Juliette Lewis (Camping/A Family for Joe/I Married Dora) - Juliette is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. She also talks about Camping on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Brenda Song (Dads/The Suite Life on Deck/The Suite Life of Zack & Cody/100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd) - Brenda guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Marla Gibbs (The Jeffersons/Checking In/227) - Marla appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Mike Epps (Uncle Buck/Survivor's Remorse) - Mike is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric will be on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso appears on Chatter on PeopleTV at 8pm.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric talks about Speechless on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Nik Dodani (Murphy Brown/Atypical) - Nik talks about Murphy Brown on the BUILD Series at 4pm.
  • Brandon Micheal Hall (The Mayor/Search Party) - Brandon talks about God Friended Me on the BUILD Series at 5pm.
  • Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show/Here and Now/Malcolm and Eddie/Listen Up!/Reed Between the Lines) - Malcolm-Jamal talks about The Resident on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Mary McCormack (The Kids Are Alright/Welcome to the Family) - Mary talks about The Kids Are Alright on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (September/October)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season Step by Step - The Complete Second Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season

09/04 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season 12
09/04 - Mom - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Superstore - Season Three
09/04 - Young Sheldon - The Complete First Season
09/11 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season (Blu-ray)
09/11 - The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - People of Earth - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - Community - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
09/18 - Step by Step - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fourth Season
09/25 - Blondie - The Complete 1957 Television Series
09/25 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season
10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
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