Friday, June 15, 2018

Fri-Yay: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Finally Finds Its Best Self; All About the Washingtons with Rev Run Coming to Netflix

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!

Ellie Kemper - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

by Vincent

Despite being one of the funniest shows on television, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has spent a lot of its four-season run defending itself. Although its joke writing and characters are top-notch comedy gems much like on Fey and Carlock's previous show 30 Rock, Kimmy Schmidt has never quite reached the level of widespread acclaim that 30 Rock did due to the show's questionable handling of sensitive topics and especially its tendency to appear tone-deaf when dealing with hot button issues. The show's portrayal of Jacqueline (portrayed by the very white Jane Krakowski) as a Native American was the first aspect of the show to really make headlines, but it was followed in the second season by an episode that seemed to brush off the legitimate criticism of the plotline, followed by several episodes in the third season that had some fairly trite takes on political correctness and "call out culture." The things that Kimmy Schmidt is good at - creating a unique world of characters, amazing jokes, and messages of female empowerment - were often overshadowed by the uproar over the show's tendency to drop the ball when covering these touchy topics. Additionally, like many streaming sitcoms, Kimmy Schmidt sometimes has the tendency to go long (many episodes run 30 minutes or more) without the restraints of the traditional sitcom model, which can result in episodes that feel overstuffed.

However, in the first half of its fourth season (which dropped last week - the second half will premiere in January), Kimmy Schmidt has seemingly eliminated almost everything that didn't work in the first three seasons and applied a laser focus to the show's strengths. The jokes comes faster and harder than ever, and are funnier than ever (every episode left me with at least a few big belly laughs), and the show's social commentary sticks to the show's strengths, tearing down targets like "Mens Rights Activities" and the militarization of young men via the internet, which is firmly in the show's wheelhouse of female empowerment and tackling the concept of the patriarchy. Perhaps this is because we've only seen six episodes of the season, but these six episodes do an excellent job of capturing everything that works about Kimmy Schmidt and leaving out much of what doesn't. There is an increased focus on the stories of Kimmy and Titus, treating funny supporting characters as the funny supporting characters they are rather than attempting to juggle too much by giving everyone A plots. That keeps the episodes tight and focused rather than stuffed and overlong, and allows characters like Lillian and Jacqueline to function as amazing joke machines rather than saddling them with storylines that never quite click. After the uneven third season, I was somewhat relieved to hear that Kimmy Schmidt would be ending after its fourth season. Now, I'm sad we only have six episodes left, and I hope that the rumored series-ending movie winds up panning out, as I'm not ready to say goodbye to this show as it's functioning at the top of its game.


All About the Washingtons

Netflix announced that it's newest scripted multi-camera comedy series starring Rev Run and his wife Justine Simmons, All About the Washingtons will debut August 10, 2018 at 12:01 AM PT with 10 episodes. The series was originally developed for ABC in 2017 but ABC passed on the project. All About the Washingtons is an autobiographical scripted family sitcom that follows Joey Washington (Rev Run aka Joseph Simmons) and his wife Justine Washington (Justine Simmons), playing fictionalized versions of themselves raising a family of family kids. After Joey decides to retire from a long career as legendary hip-hop royalty, his wife Justine, takes advantage of the opportunity to pursue a career of her own now that Joey is available to focus on raising the kids and keeping the house in order. Their kids are portrayed by rising stars Kiana Ledé, Nathan Anderson, Leah Rose Randall and Maceo Smedley.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, January 23

Young Sheldon - "An Entrepreneurialist and a Swat on the Bottom" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon takes matters into his own hands when Meemaw refuses to drive him to a lecture with Dr. Linkletter (Ed Begley, Jr.). Also, Georgie tries to impress Veronica with his new business venture.

The Unicorn - "No Small Parts" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Grace gets the lead in the school musical, Wade realizes that the teachers are giving her special treatment after he hears her sing. Also, Michelle and Ben persuade Delia and Forrest to volunteer for the chaotic snack bar duty at a school function. Tim Baltz guest stars as Mr. Kersey, Grace’s drama teacher.

Young Sheldon - "A Pineapple and the Bosom of Male Friendship" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After being released from the mental hospital, Dr. Sturgis unexpectedly breaks up with Meemaw.

Mom - "Audrey Hepburn and a Jalepeño Pepper" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
While Bonnie struggles to enjoy her perfect honeymoon with Adam, Christy makes some questionable changes at the bar while they’re away.

Last Man Standing - "Bedtime Story" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mike tries to avoid hurting Vanessa's feelings due to her snoring.

Outmatched - "Pilot" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Kay and Mike cope with raising three high-IQ children.

Superstore - "Favoritism" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Amy tries to make Mateo her new assistant, leading to accusations of favoritism and a group competition in the store. Meanwhile, Sandra gets caught in a power struggle between Glenn and Dina, and Jonah attempts to show Garrett that he's still "one of the guys."

The Good Place - "Patty" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The group makes some new friends.

Will & Grace - "Lies & Whispers" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Larry (guest star Tim Bagley) warns Will and Grace about the difficult entry process into the elite school they both want their kids to go to, they set out to prove that their child would be the better candidate. While helping Jenny (guest star Demi Lovato) with her ASMR livestream, Jack unwittingly creates problems between Karen and her “booty buddy,” Luke (guest star Chris Thornton).

Perfect Harmony - "Regionals" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Season 1 Finale. At the regional choir competition in Lexington, Arthur relishes the opportunity to finally stick it to his old rival, Magnus, when the unexpected happens. Presented with a surprise job offer, Ginny starts to doubt her worth before her big interview. Adams puts her past to bed with her still very alive dead husband, allowing her to move on.

grown-ish - "Damn" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The crew tries their best to cope with a shocking surprise, but another unexpected bomb sends Zoey into a spiral.

Everything's Gonna Be Okay - "Giant Asian Mantises" (Freeform, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Matilda wants to get white-girl-wasted; Genevieve's low-key birthday party leaves Nicholas, Alex, and Matilda banished to the guest house; in the main house, Tellulah turns things up a notch; Nicholas is stuck being the responsible adult.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 20)

Thursday, January 23

  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Catch Kumail on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • David Alan Grier (The Cool Kids/The Carmichael Show/Bad Teacher/Life with Bonnie) - David stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Eric visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Fortune Feimster (Bless the Harts/Life in Pieces/Champions) - Fortune appears on A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC. She will also be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Andrew Santino (Mixology) - Andrew is a panelist on Lights Out with David Spade at 11:30pm on Comedy Central.
  • The Cast of Schitt's Creek - The cast of Schitt's Creek are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 10:30pm on Bravo.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry talks about America's Got Talent and Brooklyn Nine-Nine on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. He chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Nancy Travis (Last Man Standing/The Kominsky Method/The Bill Engvall Show/Becker/Almost Perfect) - Nancy appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jason George (Eve/Off Centre) - Jason is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Boris Kodjoe (The Last Man on Earth/Second Time Around) - Boris drops by The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Norman Lear (Producer of All in the Family/Sanford and Son/One Day at a Time/The Jeffersons/Good Times/Maude) - Norman is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Melora Hardin (The Office) - Melora talks about The Bold Type on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Retta (Parks and Recreation) and Reno Wilson (Mike & Molly) - Retta and Reno talk about Good Girls on the BUILD Series at 2pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December/January)

Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One

11/05 - The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang - The Complete Animated Series
11/05 - Laverne & Shirley in the Army (Animated Series) - The DVD Edition
11/05 - Letterkenny - Seasons 1 & 2
11/05 - Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season (Blu-ray)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Series (Blu-ray Limited Edition)
11/18 - The Guest Book - Season Two
11/19 - The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) (Blu-ray)
11/19 - The Kominsky Method - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
12/03 - The Simpsons - The Nineteenth Season
12/03 - The Simpsons - Seasons 1-20: Limited Collector's Set
12/06 - 9JKL - The Complete Series
12/10 - Family Guy - Season Seventeen
12/17 - Atlanta - Season 2 - Robbin' Season
12/17 - Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season
12/17 - Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (2019 Release)
12/17 - The Other Two - Season 1
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume Two
01/14 - Veep - The Final (Seventh) Season ((Blu-ray)
01/14 - Veep - The Complete Series (DVD)
01/21 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Third Season (WBShop.com)
01/21 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Fifth and Final Season
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Series
01/28 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (DVD)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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01/07 - E! News Gets 3rd Host for Midday Show; Freeform Schedules Valentine's Day Comedy TV Movie
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01/01 - Happy New Year! Binge on Merry Happy Whatever, A New Holiday Sitcom
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12/30 - In Memoriam: Remembering the Sitcom Stars We Lost in 2019
12/29 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of December 30, 2019)
12/28 - SitcomsOnline Digest: The On-Going Feud Between Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy; Writer of Friends Theme Song Dies
12/27 - Freeform January 2020 Schedule with The Simpsons, Superstore, Family Guy; WarnerMedia and Xandr Upfront Now Combined in 2020
12/26 - SNL with Eddie Murphy Scores in Ratings; REELZ and Alex Trebek Explore Game Shows
12/25 - Merry Christmas from Sitcoms Online
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