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-


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, December 7

Live in Front of a Studio Audience - The Facts of Life & Diff'rent Strokes

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes - (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
In this one-night-only event, an all-star lineup of talent will tackle the roles first portrayed in the iconic television sitcom “The Facts of Life,” including Jennifer Aniston playing the role of Blair, Gabrielle Union taking on the role of Tootie, Allison Tolman who will play Natalie and Kathryn Hahn recreating the role of Jo. Previously announced “Diff’rent Strokes” cast member Ann Dowd is also set to appear as Mrs. Garrett in this recreation of “The Facts of Life.” The Sony Pictures Television special can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu.

The live special event will feature reenactments of the hit series “The Facts of Life,” created by Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon, and “Diff’rent Strokes,” created by Bernie Kukoff and Jeff Harris, and will reunite executive producers Norman Lear, Jimmy Kimmel, Brent Miller, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, Justin Theroux and Jim Burrows. Previously announced cast members taking on the famed “Diff’rent Strokes” roles include John Lithgow, who will play Mr. Drummond; Kevin Hart, assuming the role of Arnold; and Damon Wayans and Ann Dowd, who will play Willis and Mrs. Garrett in “Diff’rent Strokes.”

Abbott Elementary - "Pilot" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
In this workplace comedy, a group of dedicated, passionate teachers — and a slightly tone-deaf principal — are brought together in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life. Though these incredible educators may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do — even if they don’t love the school district’s less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children.

The Last O.G. - "Know Thyself" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Amira attends college presentations, and her quick decision surprises Tray, who then works to guide Amira toward a better understanding of her identity; while cleaning out Roberta's storage unit, Shahzad makes a discovery about her past.

Tyler Perry's House of Payne - "Wondering Prince" (BET, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Lisa helps Miranda set up her online dating proļ¬le.

Tyler Perry's Assisted Living - "What the Wellness" (BET, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Mr. Brown vows that he's finished eating meat until he's left alone with a lot of soul food.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 6)

Tuesday, December 7

  • Brandy (Zoe Ever After/The Game/Moesha/Thea) - Catch Brandy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • J. B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Mapleworth Murders/Bent/'Til Death) - J. B. guest hosts Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Kristin Davis (And Just Like That.../Sex and the City) and Cynthia Nixon (And Just Like That.../Sex and the City) - Kristin and Cynthia are guests on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. Kristin also talks about And Just Like That... on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Chris Kattan (The Middle) - Chris will be on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jane Levy (Suburgatory) - Jane appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Sterling K. Brown (Starved) - Sterling is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Harlem/Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi talks about her new holiday collection on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October-December)

Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Mom - The Eighth and Final Season Punky Brewster (1984-88) - The Complete Series (2021 Release) I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

10/19 - Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
11/02 - The Honeymooners Specials - A Christmas Carol
11/02 - Mom - The Eighth and Final Season
11/02 - Punky Brewster - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
11/02 - Sex and the City - The Complete Collection (Blu-ray)
11/09 - Saved by the Bell (2020) - Season One
11/09 - Younger - The Complete Series
11/16 - Kevin Can F*** Himself - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
11/23 - Dead Pixels - Seasons One and Two
11/30 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) (2021 Release) (Blu-ray)
12/07 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/07 - Rick & Morty - Season 5 (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray Limited Edition Steelbook)
12/14 - The Abbott and Costello Show - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
12/14 - Letterkenny - Season 9
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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