Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Melissa & Joey, Baby Daddy Return Jan. 15, 2014; Episodic Review: Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Thanksgiving" Airing Tonight on Fox
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):
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 (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
Monday, May 22
Angie Tribeca - "License to Drill" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Geils lands in trouble when he helps a woman investigate whether her husband is having an affair.
Young & Hungry - "Young & Amnesia" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Gabi attempts to cure Josh's amnesia by re-creating the first time they met.
Baby Daddy - "Daddy's Girl" (Freeform, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Riley is confined to the couch; Ben struggles to answer Emma's questions about her mother.
Monday, May 22
- Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Watch Chelsea on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. She chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Kyle Chandler (What About Joan?) - Kyle appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also talks about Bloodline on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
- Michaela Watkins (Casual/Trophy Wife) - Michaela is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Seaton Smith (Mulaney) - Seaton stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Nicole Richie (Great News) - Nicole visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Nico appears on Harry, so check your local listings.
- Kym Whitley (Young & Hungry/Animal Practice/The Parkers) - Kym guest co-hosts The Real, so check your local listings.
- Tichina Arnold (Survivor's Remorse/Happily Divorced/Everybody Hates Chris/Martin) - Tichina appears on Harry, so check your local listings.
- Brenda Strong (The Help/Scorch) - Brenda talks about Supergirl on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) - Tituss joins Clinton Kelly to whip up a delicious delight on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Patti performs a jazz song from her new album on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
- Loretta Devine and Lil Rel Howery (The Carmichael Show) - Loretta and Lil are guests on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
- 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.
- Ellie Reed (Girlboss) - Ellie talks about Girlboss on the AOL Build Show at 5pm.