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-

New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

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

Monday, October 24

Kevin Can Wait - "Beat the Parents" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Kevin and Donna are thrilled when their son, Jack, makes friends with a boy from school, Grayden (Graydon Peter Yosowitz), however, when Donna and Kevin don’t hit it off with Grayden’s arrogant father, Vic (Ray Romano), and his pushy wife, Brandi (Lindsay Broad), they set out to sabotage the boys’ new friendship. Matt Romano guest stars as Vic’s second son, Braden.

Man with a Plan - "Pilot" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Golden Globe Award winner Matt LeBlanc stars as Adam, a contractor who starts spending more time with his three kids when his wife, Andi, goes back to work and discovers the truth all parents eventually realize—their little angels are maniacs.

2 Broke Girls - "And the Godmama Drama" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Oleg and Sophie’s plan to have Max and Caroline as Barbara’s godparents is derailed when Oleg’s domineering mother, Olga (Mercedes Ruehl), arrives from the Ukraine for the baby’s baptism and fires Max and Caroline from their godparent duties.

The Odd Couple - "Food Fight" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Oscar learns that his favorite hangout, Langford’s, is in financial trouble, he impulsively asks Felix to help save it, without considering the disastrous consequences. Also, Felix tries to make his mark on the restaurant when the owner, Fred Langford (Fred Willard), puts him in charge for a few days.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Monday, October 24

  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Watch Ricky on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about Inferno on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kate Micucci (Raising Hope/The Big Bang Theory) - Kate is a guest on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) - Zooey appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Chiklis (Daddio) - Michael drops by Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Aya Cash (You're the Worst) - Aya talks about You're the Worst on the AOL Build ShoW at 2pm. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth/Ink) - Mary talks about The Last Man on Earth on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 12:30pm.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna talks about Good Girls Revolt on People Now at 8:30am.
  • James Brolin (Life in Pieces) - James is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Joey/Friends) - Matt appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Nico guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.