Friday, April 20, 2018

Fri-Yay: Superstore is Doing the Will They/Won't They Story Arc Right; Laff Pays Tribute to Harry Anderson

It's time for another edition of Fri-Yay! That means we will take a look back on some sitcom happenings in recent days or weeks or other fun sitcomy stuff. It's a sitcom lover's paradise! Happy Fri-Yay!

Superstore - Amy and Jonah

by Vincent

Will They/Won't They story arcs are one of the cornerstone of sitcoms. They've been done since essentially the dawn of the genre, but perhaps became especially prevalent with Sam and Diane on Cheers and then Ross and Rachel on Friends. Since then, it seems like having two characters who seem like they're going to get together but have various hurdles in their way is a requirement for all sitcoms.

However, in recent years, the trend has veered towards putting characters together sooner than later, which isn't always the case. On Superstore, the central will they/won't they couple - Jonah and Amy - show no real signs of actually making a commitment as the show moves towards the end of its third season, which separates it from recent arcs like Jess and Nick on New Girl (perhaps the most iconic example of the form in the current era), although there have certainly been hints. What makes Superstore's approach especially interesting, though, is that it's just as interested in the dark sides of the will they/won't they as the warm and fuzzy romantic moments.

For example, the most recent Superstore showed Jonah's girlfriend Kelly being left alone as the lights turn off as Cloud 9 waiting for Jonah to show up for their date - instead, he's off with Amy at a country club. We see Jonah and Amy talking and laughing at the country club - then immediately cut to the consequences of that warm moment. Even darker, the show actually had Amy get divorced after the second season, for reasons not related to Jonah, but given that Amy and Jonah kissed for the first time around the time Amy ended her marriage, it's easy to draw the lines and wonder if it had some sort of impact. Adding fuel to the fire, Superstore has spent much of its third season detailing just how tough of a time Amy is navigating her life after her divorce. While her marriage was unhealthy and the divorce was a positive, it doesn't sugarcoat how difficult it can be to reshape your life when it's been shaped a certain way for so long.


All Rise for Harry

Laff, the country's first-ever, over-the-air broadcast television network devoted to comedy around-the-clock, will pay tribute to Harry Anderson with a 12-episode "All Rise for Harry" Night Court Marathon this Saturday, April 21 starting at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Anderson, who passed away Monday at the age of 65, was a three-time EMMY® nominee as the star of Night Court, playing Judge Harold "Harry" T. Stone who presided over the nocturnal judiciary proceedings and its wacky cast of characters - both on trial and on staff. Anderson first gained national attention after he guest starred as grifter Harry "The Hat" Gittes on the first season of Cheers. That role, which he would reprise several times, led to his landing the lead role on the bench of Night Court.

Night Court was a staple of NBC's primetime line-up from 1984 to 1992. The popular series also featured John Larroquette's multiple EMMY®-winning performance as Dan Fiedling, the court's narcissistic prosecutor. The show also co-starred Markie Post, Richard Moll as the iconic court officer Bull, Selma Diamond and Marsha Warfield among others. Night Court can be seen on Laff weekdays at 3:00 p.m. (ET) with four episodes back-to-back. Laff features a hall-of-fame line-up of hit sitcoms which, in addition to Night Court, includes Roseanne, That '70s Show, 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Drew Carey Show, Spin City, Grace Under Fire, Ellen and more. Home Improvement, starring Tim Allen, comes to Laff this fall.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, May 25

Champions - "Opening Night" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Priya arrives unannounced as Matthew struggles with the new responsibilities Vince has given him.

Champions - "Deal or No Deal" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Michael prepares for his first date as Vince and Matthew prepare to expand the gym. But an unexpected offer threatens to change all their lives forever.

The Thundermans - "The Thunder Games" (Nickelodeon, 7:30PM ET/PT)
Max and Phoebe advance to the final tryout for a spot on an elite superhero squad, but a new supervillain with a surprise connection to the Thunderman family may force them to sacrifice their crime fighting dream.

Knight Squad - "Do the Knight Thing" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Warwick worries his fears will hinder the squad as Knight School quests begin; Warwick uses Fearless Fairies to make him immune to fear, but his decision puts the squad's quest in jeopardy.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 21)

Friday, May 25

  • Jamie Lee (Crashing) - Watch Jamie on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) - Alec chats about hosting the series Match Game on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Sutton Foster (Younger) - Sutton is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Vivica A. Fox (Mr. Box Office/Getting Personal/Out All Night) - Vivica appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace stops by Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Peyton Elizabeth Lee (Andi Mack) - Peyton is a guest on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Craig Robinson (Ghosted/Mr. Robinson/The Office) - Craig makes a divine dessert with Carla Hall on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April/May)

Atlanta - The Complete First Season Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season One Day at a Time - Season Two Perfect Strangers  - The Complete Third Season Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Final (Eighth) Season

03/06 - Atlanta - The Complete First Season
03/06 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season
03/13 - The New Adventures of Old Christine - The Complete First Season
03/27 - One Day at a Time - Season Two
04/03 - Ballers - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/03 - 90's Sitcom (Just Shoot Me!/The Larry Sanders Show/Wings) Starter Set - Season 1 & 2 Bundle
04/10 - Vice Principals - The Compelte Series
04/17 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Third Season
05/08 - Dear White People - Season 1
05/08 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Final (Eighth) Season
05/29 - I'm Dying Up Here - Season 1
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest