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

Wednesday, March 3

The Goldbergs - "Mr. Ships Ahoy" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As William Penn’s new Quaker Warden, Beverly is thrilled to have co-workers for the first time and sets out to make them all love her. To her dismay, it’s more difficult to win them over than she anticipated, as her reputation of being a difficult school parent precedes her. Meanwhile, Geoff competes in the “Mr. Ships Ahoy” beauty pageant to prove to Erica that he can be seen as desirable by other women.

American Housewife - "The Guardian" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie and Greg secretly put Kathryn (Wendie Malick) through a series of tests to see if she would make a good guardian for Anna-Kat in the unlikely event something should happen to them. Meanwhile, after tracking down J.D.’s (Jake Choi) potential egg donors, Tami (Holly Robinson Peete) and Katie scheme to learn more about them.

The Conners - "A Stomach Ache, a Heartbreak and a Grave Mistake" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Mark is stressed out and feeling sick, convinced he has COVID-19. Meanwhile, Becky and Harris team up to confront Josh who has been “ghosting” Harris; and when Jackie visits Roseanne’s grave, she finds an appalling headstone right next to it and sets out to make it right.

Call Your Mother - "Feelings" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jean and Danny’s relationship grows complicated emotionally and physically as they try to resist their feelings for one another until his divorce is final. As Celia is moving into Freddie’s apartment, Freddie is disappointed to learn that Celia plans to keep her place as a backup plan, causing some hard conversations between the two.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 1)

Wednesday, March 3

  • Ben Schwartz (Space Force/Parks and Recreation) - Watch Ben on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. He will also be on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Annaleigh Ashford (B Positive) - Annaleigh appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 3:30am on Bravo.
  • Kyra Sedgwick (Call Your Mother) - Kyra is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Arsenio Hall (Arsenio) - Arsenio talks about Coming 2 America on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) and Dax Shepard (Bless This Mess) - Kristen and Dax are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jermaine Fowler (Superior Donuts) - Jermaine will be on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Awkwafina (Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens) - Awkwafina appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Hillary Duff (Younger/Lizzie McGuire) - Hillary talks about My Brave Little Girl on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.


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

The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Schitt's Creek - The Complete Collection Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series

10/13 - The Jetsons - The Complete Series (Diamond Collection)
10/13 - Our Cartoon President - Season Two
10/23 - Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - The Complete Collection
10/27 - The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
10/27 - Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
11/10 - Letterkenny - Seasons 5 & 6
11/10 - The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
11/10 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Collection
11/17 - Carol's Second Act - The Complete Series
11/17 - Robbie - Season 1
11/24 - Corporate - Season 1
11/26 - Man with a Plan - Season Four
12/01 - The Neighborhood - Season Two
12/15 - Avenue 5 - The Complete First Season
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)

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