Friday, December 07, 2018

Fri-Yay: The Disappearing Art of the Holiday Episode; The Simpsons Turns 30 Years Old with Specials on Fox and FXX

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

by Vincent

As sitcoms move more towards cable and streaming, one "art" that I fear is becoming a bit lost is holiday episodes. Truthfully, one of the more exciting aspects of a sitcom used to be how you could spend the entire year with your favorite characters. They would be with you as you celebrated Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and even through each season. This, of course, is when each sitcom would run for the whole year. Now that sitcoms are becoming more and more like the rest of TV, moving towards shorter, more contained seasons, the holiday episode has gone to the wayside in some respects.

Granted, some sitcoms - especially network sitcoms - still do holiday episodes each year, and do them well. Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Halloween episodes are a staple. Superstore depicts the retail craziness of the holiday season brilliantly. However, there are so many great shows that we'll never really see a holiday episode of, or at least, not on an annual basis like we once did. It's just one of the many ways that sitcoms have changed as television itself has changed as a medium. Granted, many of these changes are for the positive, and in general I think it benefits TV to move towards this direction. However, I'll miss the traditions like holiday specials. Some shows have gotten around this - for example, BoJack Horseman dropped a surprise Christmas episode in the December after its first season. It'd be cool if more shows were able to do that - if not, then I guess it's just another TV tradition that will one day be of the past.


Simpsons Roasing on an Open Fire

FXX and Fox have joined forces to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Simpsons with two special events this month. On Sunday, December 16, FXX will air a 15-hour marathon featuring episodes specifically curated for this special programming event by executive producer Al Jean. The 30-episode marathon begins at 9 a.m. ET/PT and ends at midnight on FXX, cable's exclusive home for The Simpsons. One week later, Fox will air a special encore of The Simpsons first-ever full-length episode, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire," on Sunday, December 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. In this encore of the 1989 Christmas special, Homer (Dan Castellaneta) tries to earn extra money to buy Christmas presents for the family, and everything he does goes wrong. Fortunately, he is rescued by Santa's Little Helper. All-new episodes from the 30th season of The Simpsons air Sundays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.




Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, February 21

The Big Bang Theory - "The D&D Vortex" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the gang finds out Wil Wheaton hosts a celebrity Dungeons and Dragons game involving William Shatner, Joe Manganiello, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kevin Smith, deception and betrayal are the path to make it to the one open seat.

Young Sheldon - "A Loaf of Bread and a Grand Old Flag" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Things spiral out of control when Sheldon boycotts his favorite bread company. Also, Georgie offers Veronica a shoulder to cry on when she’s dumped by her boyfriend.

Mom - "Skippy and the Knowledge Hole" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Christy finds it challenging to quit smoking, while Bonnie helps Tammy prepare to take the GED test.

Fam - "Drunk in Love" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
During their engagement party, Clem and Nick are both shocked to learn that the other has been keeping an embarrassing secret about how they met.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Honeypot" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jake and Holt clash over the merits of a new hire in the 99th precinct. Terry, Amy, Rosa and Charles try to do something about the cluttered bullpen.

Will & Grace - "The Pursuit of Happiness" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Grace (Debra Messing) is enlisted by Malcolm (guest star Alec Baldwin) to help him win back Karen's (Megan Mullally) affections. Will's (Eric McCormack) flirtation with his co-worker, Paul (guest star Barrett Foa), takes a turn when details about Paul's home life put Will in an ethical dilemma. And Jack's (Sean Hayes) run-in with Zusanna (guest star Andrea Martin), the sister of his former acting teacher, reignites Jack's passion for performing.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 18

Thursday, February 21

  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Catch Ken on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • James Spader (The Office) - James stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kal Penn (Deadbeat/We Are Men) - Kal visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Chris O'Dowd (Family Tree) - Chris is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mark Duplass (Togetherness/The Mindy Project/The League) - Mark appears on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Reba McEntire (Reba/Malibu Country) - Reba drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Finesse Mitchell (A.N.T. Farm) - Finesse is a panelist on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Bill Pullman (1600 Penn) - Bill appears on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • D'Arcy Carden (The Good Place) - D'Arcy will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


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

Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth 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
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest