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 (December/January)

American Dad! - Volume 11 Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One

12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, January 18

Fresh Off the Boat - "Clean Slate" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
On the eve of Chinese New Year, Jessica pushes the entire family to settle all debts, disputes and grudges to ensure good fortune for the coming year. Unsure if she can contain her temper for the remainder of the day, Jessica enlists Emery to makes sure she keeps her cool. Meanwhile, Louis and Evan go on a wild goose chase to hunt down some hate mail, and Eddie is forced to entertain his super lame cousin.

Speechless - " S-I-- SICK D-A-- DAY" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Maya gets sick, Jimmy is forced to be the mom of the house, and Dylan becomes Kenneth’s replacement for JJ when Kenneth also gets sick. Jimmy ends up doing well with Maya’s normal duties, but he tries to keep it from her to avoid her feeling bad. Meanwhile, JJ protects Dylan from a boy she’s interested in. And despite its illness, the family bands together and pulls an all-nighter to finish Ray’s school project.

Modern Family - "Halloween 4: The Revenge of Rod Skyhook" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Luke’s Halloween party isn’t the monster bash he dreamed of and is at risk of having the worst party of the year. Sensing trouble, the rest of the Dunphy’s realize all his party needs is a visit from Rod Skyhook, a little promotion and some adult supervision to get it started. Meanwhile at the Tucker-Pritchett home, Cam faces off with his Halloween nemesis while Lily and Mitchell try to save the day and work to keep him from going to the darkside. Finally, when Jay finds out that Manny is going to a party at the home of an old enemy, he enlists him to deliver a trick he will never forget.

black-ish - "Good Dre Hunting" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Bow convinces a begrudging Dre to try therapy, and he learns how to cope with his anger issues. Meanwhile, Johan becomes a life coach to the kids.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - "Old Lady House: A Situation Comedy" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Charlie thinks Mac's mom is holding his mom hostage so the gang installs spy cameras in their house to monitor what's going on. What they end up discovering is the moms are quite entertaining once Dennis makes some quick edits and adds a laugh track to the surveillance footage. Dee wants in on the new hit show and Frank becomes obsessed with banging Charlie's mom now that he's seen her on TV.

Man Seeking Woman - "Horse" (FXX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Lucy attempts to forge a relationship with Josh's best friend Mike.

Schitt's Creek - "The Throuple" (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
David and Stevie try to come to terms with their new relationship; Alexis and Moira plan a mother/daughter lunch.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 16)

Wednesday, January 18

  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Watch Wendi on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He also talks about The Founder on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Louie Anderson (Baskets/Life with Louie/The Louie Show) - Louie appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Woody Harrelson (Cheers) - Woody stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Eric appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ted Danson (The Good Place/Becker/Cheers) - Ted visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Judah Friedlander (30 Rock) - Judah is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) and B.J. Novak (The Office) - Neil and B.J. are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. Neil can also be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 10:20am.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry and his wife Rebecca Romijn chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Friends) - Matt appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Patrick Warburton (Crowded/Rules of Engagement/Less Than Perfect) - Patrick is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Kirstie Alley (Cheers/Veronica's Closet/Kirstie) - Kirstie dishes about the new season of Scream Queens and her weight loss with Jenny Craig on The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.