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

Thursday, September 20

The Big Bang Theory - "The Bow Tie Asymmetry" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Amy’s parents and Sheldon’s family arrive for the wedding, everybody is focused on making sure all goes according to plan – everyone except the bride and groom.

Young Sheldon - "Vanilla Ice Cream, Gentleman Callers, and a Dinette Set" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Meemaw is pursued by two gentlemen callers (guest stars Richard Kind and Wallace Shawn), Sheldon interferes, forcing her to set some ground rules.

The Good Place - "The Burrito" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto) consider just how much they have (or have not) improved. Michael (Ted Danson) is left to deal with the consequences of his recent actions.

The Good Place - "Somewhere Else" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Michael (Ted Danson) tries to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 17)

Thursday, September 20

  • Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G./The Carmichael Show) - Catch Tiffany on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She also talks about Night School on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Iain Armitage (Young Sheldon) - Iain appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory/Roseanne) - Johnny drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Reid Scott (Veep/My Boys/It's All Relative) - Reid is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Jeff stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Issa Rae (Insecure) - Issa appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Nancy Travis (Last Man Standing/The Bill Engvall Show/Becker/Work with Me/Almost Perfect) - Nancy is a guest on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Tony Danza (Taxi/Who's the Boss?/Hudson Street/The Tony Danza Show) - Tony talks about his new Netflix show The Good Cop on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Sarayu Rao (I Feel Bad/Sons of Tucson) - Sarayu talks about NBC's I Feel Bad on the BUILD Series at 1pm and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Peyton List (Bunk'd/Jessie) - Peyton talks about Happy Together on Chatter at 8pm.
  • Jane Lynch (Angel from Hell) - Jane talks about Two Lost Souls on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie) - Jane talks about Jane Fonda in Five Acts on GMA Day on ABC at 1pm.
  • Danny DeVito (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia/Taxi) - Danny is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (August/September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season Step by Step - The Complete Second Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season

08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
08/15 - A.P. Bio - Season One
08/28 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
08/28 - Man Seeking Woman - The Complete Third Season
09/04 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season 12
09/04 - Mom - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Superstore - Season Three
09/04 - Young Sheldon - The Complete First Season
09/11 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season (Blu-ray)
09/11 - The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - People of Earth - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - Community - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
09/18 - Step by Step - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fourth Season
09/25 - Blondie - The Complete 1957 Television Series
09/25 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season
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