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, March 22

Fresh Off the Boat - "Vice Mommy" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jessica starts her college classes, leaving Evan in charge at home as “vice mommy.” But the transition doesn’t go smoothly, either for her starting school again or with Evan taking over the reins of the Huang household. Eddie and Louis run into conflict when Eddie just wants his dad to treat him as an employee, and not a son, at Cattleman’s Ranch.

Speechless - "P-R-O-M-P--PROMPOSAL" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Outraged that JJ’s girlfriend, Izzy, declines his invitation to prom, Dylan and Ray swing for the fences with a bold plan to make her jealous. Jimmy, Kenneth and Melanie coach Maya through accepting criticism for the good of her company, and one of the DiMeos takes a big step into a new life.

Last Man Standing - "The Passion of Paul" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Rev. Paul calls on Mike to teach Sunday school, Mike calls on Kyle to take his place.

The Cool Kids - "Margaret Ups Her Game" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Margaret tries to date the hottest guy in Shady Meadows but can't seem to rid herself of Leonard.

Sydney to the Max - "You've Got Female" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Sydney organizes a school protest for clubs to be more inclusive of women; young Max befriends a skater girl, but is conflicted because the Dog Boys don't allow girls in their crew.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 18)

Friday, March 22

  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Joey/Friends/Vinnie & Bobby) - Watch Matt on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Illana Glazer (Broad City) - Illana is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Pamela Adlon (Better Things/King of the Hill/The Facts of Life) - Pamela appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • J. K. Simmons (Growing Up Fisher/Family Tools) - J. K. is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Cobie Smulders (Friends from College/How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies) - Stephen is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Keegan-Michael Key (Friends from College/Playing Houe/Gary Unmarried) - Keegan-Michael visits LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Piper Perabo (Turn Up Charlie) - Piper is tentatively scheduled to appear on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Casey Wilson (Black Monday/Marry Me/Happy Endings) - Casey talks about Black Monday on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Natalie Morales (Abby's/The Grinder/Trophy Wife/Parks and Recreation) - Natalie appears on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Mark Hamill (The Texas Wheelers) - Mark talks about Knightfall on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • Tony Danza (Taxi/Who's the Boss?/Hudston Street/The Tony Danza Show) - Tony performs on ABC's Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • Maddie Corman (Mr. President/All-American Girl) - Maddie talks about the play Accidentally Brave on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Patti will be on Steve, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February/March)

Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season Alice - The Complete Ninth Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season

01/08 - Family Guy - 20 Greatest Hits
01/22 - Fuller House - The Complete Third Season
01/22 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season (WBShop.com)
01/29 - Ballers - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
01/29 - Crashing - The Complete Second Season
01/29 - The Game - The Complete Series
01/29 - Kidding - Season One
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
03/05 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
03/12 - Alice - The Complete Ninth Season (WBShop.com)
03/26 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
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