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

Monday, May 17

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Surprise" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Calvin receives an unconventional birthday gift involving his father, Dave suggests they spend the day celebrating in a way that honors the late Butler patriarch. Also, an unexpected development changes the Johnsons’ lives forever.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "God Accepts Venmo" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
While comparing their busy schedules, Bob and Abishola realize the perfect date for their wedding is in just three weeks and enlist their family and friends to help plan their big day.

Breeders - "No Power Part II" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
On the day of Leah and Alex's wedding, Paul and Ally find they have only a few hours to deal with a family crisis, leading Paul to make the hardest decision of his life.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 17)

Monday, May 17

  • Patton Oswalt (A.P. Bio/The Goldbergs/The King of Queens) - Watch Patton on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Timothy Olyphant (Santa Clarita Diet) - Timothy appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) - Billy is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Denise Richards (Blue Mountain State) - Denise will be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/A.U.S.A./Scrubs) - Scott appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas) - Nick is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Drew guest hosts the 8am hour of CBS This Morning.
  • Rob Corddry (The Unicorn/Ballers/The Winner) - Rob talks about Top Gear America on Reality Check at 4:30pm.
  • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) and Dylan McDermott (No Activity/L.A. to Vegas) - Christopher and Dylan talk about Law & Order: Organized Crime on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Regina Hall (Black Monday/Grandfathered/Second Generation Wayans) - Regina talks about season three of Black Monday on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.


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

Corporate - Season 2 Fam - The Complete Series Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series Happy Together - The Complete Series Til Death - The Complete Series

01/22 - Corporate - Season 2
01/22 - Corporate - Season 3
02/02 - Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - The Complete Series (2021 Retail Release)
02/16 - Fam - The Complete Series
02/23 - Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series
03/02 - Blue Mountain State - The Complete Series
03/02 - Happy Together - The Complete Series
03/02 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-4 (DVD) (Blu-ray)
04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series
05/11 - Dead to Me - Season Two

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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