Wednesday, September 25, 2019

NBC Fall Pilot Review: Sunnyside - Premieres Thursday (Sept. 26); CBS Fall Pilot Review: Carol's Second Act - Premieres Thursday (Sept. 26)

Sunnyside


Sunnyside - Thursdays at 9:30PM ET/PT on NBC
Premieres Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 9:30PM ET/PT


by Vincent

Sunnyside is a sitcom about a city councilman who lost his way amidst the power and glamour of politics. When his downward spiral got him busted for public intoxication (and downright stupidity), it was all caught on tape and ended his career. Now, Garrett's crashing with his sister, Mallory, and wondering where it all went wrong. That is, until he's hired by a diverse group of hopefuls who dream of becoming American citizens and believe he can help - giving him a new sense of purpose and a chance for redemption, as long as he remembers where he came from.

Cast Details:

Kal Penn as Garrett Modi
Diana Maria Riva as Griselda
Joel Kim Booster as Jim Hao
Kiran Deol as Mallory
Poppy Liu as Mei Lin
Moses Storm as Brady
Samba Schutte as Hakim

Kal Penn (Garrett) is known for playing Lawrence Kutner on the television program House, as well as the character Kumar Patel in the Harold & Kumar film series. He is also recognized for his performance in the film The Namesake and the ABC/Netflix drama Designated Survivor.

Diana Maria Riva (Griselda) is an actress known for her guest appearances on Murder One, Party of Five, The X Files, NYPD Blue, The Drew Carey Show, Everybody Loves Raymond, CSI, Less Than Perfect and Castle.

Joel Kim Booster (Jim) is a stand-up comedian known for his Comedy Central Presents special.

Moses Storm (Brady) is an actor known for his guest roles on This Is Us and Arrested Development.

Sambra Schutte, Kiran Duol, and Poppy Lui are new actors. Sunnyside will be their first major roles.

Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" (Airs Thursday, Sep. 26 at 9:30PM ET)

A former New York City Councilman finds his calling when he meets a group of immigrants in search of the American dream.

Analysis:

Sunnyside is another one of those shows where I'm more interested in the show's future than with the show's present. What I mean by that is that there is a lot here that I could see myself eventually loving, especially with Mike Schur at the helm and a cast led by Kal Penn and some very promising comic actors. The premise is also one that feels very appropriate for America in 2019, and could provide some moments of genuine meaning, and yet is also fun and light-hearted enough to be, well, a sitcom, and one that makes you laugh a lot. The cast and characters are a lot of fun, and I couldn't wait to see, by the end of the pilot, where this was going, and how it will develop.

The problem, then, is that the pilot is just...okay. Which isn't bad - the amount of comedy pilots that are truly great are far and few between, and most just offer a glimmer of hope, which Sunnyside does. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't hoping to laugh just a bit more at the pilot. The jokes are a little flimsy and feel half-baked - which, again, isn’t uncommon for a comedy pilot. Still, I won't say I wasn't expecting the pilot to be just a bit better than it was. Despite that, the seeds are absolutely there for this to be a great series - I just hope viewers give it a chance to arrive at where it's going, rather than being turned off by a decent-but-not-great pilot.

Conclusion:

I'm very confident that Sunnyside is going to eventually turn into a great, must-watch sitcom. It has very similar DNA and sensibility to shows like The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Parks and Recreation, and in about five or six episodes, I'm sure it will be must-watch TV. All of the characters are fun, the premise is great, and the writing shows promise. The pilot isn't necessarily a must-see, and it leaves a lot to be desired in the laughs department, but the foundation is there for a great show. Let's hope it lives up to that potential.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funniness: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 9:30PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • NBC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Sunnyside Photo Gallery

    Preview:





  • Carol's Second Act


    Carol's Second Act - Thursdays at 9:30PM ET/PT on CBS
    Premieres Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 9:30PM ET/PT


    by Todd

    Emmy Award winner Patricia Heaton stars in new a comedy about a woman who embarks on a unique second act after raising her children, getting divorced and retiring from teaching: pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor. At age 50, Carol is a medical intern and must sink or swim with peers who are half her age. It’s her enthusiasm, perspective and yes, even her age, that may be exactly what will make her second act a great success.

    Cast Details:

    Patricia Heaton as Carol Kenney
    Ito Aghayere as Dr. Maya Jacobs
    Jean-Luc Bilodeau as Daniel Kutcher
    Sabrina Jalees as Lexie
    Kyle MacLachlan as Dr. Stephen Frost
    Ashley Tisdale as Jenny Kenney

    Patricia Heaton (Carol Kenney) is a three-time Emmy winner who has played not one, but two beloved TV moms. She starred as Debra Barone in the CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond from 1996-2005 and as Frances "Frankie" Heck in the ABC sitcom The Middle from 2009-2018. She twice won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Everybody Loves Raymond. Her other sitcom starring roles include the Fox sitcom Back to You and the ABC sitcom Room for Two.

    Ito Aghayere's (Dr. Maya Jacobs) television guest appearances include Orange Is the New Black, The Knick, The Unforgettable, Forever, BrainDead, Elementary, The Blacklist, Master of None and Instinct.

    Jean-Luc Bilodeau (Daniel Kutcher) starred as Ben Wheeler in the ABC Family/Freeform sitcom Baby Daddy. He made his starring debut as Josh Trager in the science fiction drama Kyle XY.

    Sabrina Jalees (Lexie) has made guest appearances on Search Party, Transparent, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, Last Comic Standing, Adam Devine’s House Party and Best Week Ever.

    Kyle MacLachlan (Dr. Stephen Frost) is best known for his role as Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks. Some of his other television credits include Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives, How I Met Your Mother, Portlandia, The Good Wife, Believe and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..

    Ashley Tisdale (Jenny Kenney) starred as Maddie Fitzpatrick in the Disney Channel sitcom The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Her other starring credits include Hellcats and Clipped. She will appear in the upcoming Netflix comedy Merry Happy Whatever.

    Pilot Plot:

    "Pilot" (Airs Thursday, Sep. 26 at 9:30PM ET)

    Carol Kenney enthusiastically begins her first day as an internal medicine intern, but has a rocky start when she disregards direct orders from her boss in order to help a patient. Also, Carol meets Dr. Frost, a senior attending physician who may be the ally Carol needs in her second act.

    Carol's Second Act is a multi-camera sitcom from Halpern/Haskins Productions, FourBoys Entertainment, Kapital Entertainment and CBS Television Studios. Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins; Patricia Heaton, Adam Griffin, David Hunt and Rebecca Stay (Four Boys Entertainment); Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor (Kapital Entertainment); and Pamela Fryman (pilot only) are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

    Analysis:

    This is one of the better pilot episodes that I've watched in recent seasons. There has been a lack of quality new multi-camera sitcoms the last few years. Carol's Second Act is an old school sitcom shot in front of a studio audience. The premise of the series is pretty basic. It's basically a sitcom version of Grey's Anatomy with a 50-year-old intern working with some younger interns. There are plenty of jokes and one-liners, with most of them about Carol's age or her short stature. They seem to have an endless supply of jokes about Carol being older, but I think they will eventually want to mix things up a little bit more in the future episodes. There is one good dramatic scene in the premiere episodes. All of the scenes in the first two episodes are at the hospital. It would be nice to see them elsewhere as a change of pace.

    They have assembled a talented cast with a mix of TV veterans and some promising newcomers. This is set up to be very much a vehicle for Patricia Heaton. She's in nearly every scene. They do a nice job of giving the other cast members a good amount of lines and a chance to shine. Newcomer Ito Aghayere plays Dr. Maya Jacobs, the Chief Resident in charge of Carol and the other three interns. The scenes between Maya and Carol are very tense and funny. They are some of the highlights of the episode. Aghayere could be one of the breakout stars of the season.

    The other interns with Carol include Jean-Luc Bilodeau as Daniel Kutcher, Sabrina Jalees as Lexie Gilani and Lucas Neff as Caleb Summers. They all do a solid job and have some good chemistry together. Kyle MacLachlan plays Dr. Steven Frost, the accomplished senior attending physician who finds Carol charming. He's mostly known for his work in dramas, but he shows he has some good comedy skills as well. Ashley Tisdale plays Carol's daughter, Jenny Kenney. She has just one brief scene at the end of the "Pilot" episode. She is a pharmaceutical rep who has an arrangement to have an office at the hospital, so we see more of her in the second episode. Bonnie Dennison was originally cast in the role, but maybe they decided to make it an expanded role. Cedric Yarbrough from Speechless appears in a few scenes of the "Pilot" before being introduced as the nurse Dennis in the second episode.

    Conclusion:

    Patricia Heaton makes a welcome return to CBS. It's a great TV moment when she first appears on screen. The audience gives her a big round of applause. She became a household name and won two Emmy Awards for her role as Debra Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond from 1996 to 2005. She had another good run for eight seasons as Frankie in The Middle. It's interesting that she plays a 50-year-old when she's really a very youthful looking 61 in real life. She has a lot of enthusiasm and energy. Whatever her secret is, she should try to bottle it. It would be pretty easy for her to slow down or retire, but she clearly loves to act and work. It's way too early to say that this sitcom will have a run of nine seasons like her other two major hits, but it's easy to envision her winning another Emmy or two for her hilarious role as Carol Kenney.

    Carol's Second Act is one of the most promising new sitcoms of the season. It wouldn't be surprising if it's the highest rated new sitcom this fall. It has a strong and likable cast, funny writing and a great timeslot on CBS' rebuilt Thursday night lineup. The end of The Big Bang Theory leaves a big hole in their schedule, but they have a solid crop of new comedies. This may not be an immediate blockbuster hit, but it wouldn't be shocking if it's anchoring their comedy lineup in a season or two. They say laughter is the best medicine. This series delivers plenty of good, clean laughs. The doctor is in Thursday nights on CBS!

    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

    Watchability: 4/5
    Funniness: 4/5
    Overall: 4/5

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 9:30PM ET/PT on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • CBS.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Carol's Second Act Photo Gallery

    Preview:


  • Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Wednesday, September 28

    The Conners - "Scenes From Two Marriages: The Parrot Doth Protest Too Much" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Jackie moves in with Neville and discovers that being newlyweds produces new problems when Neville shows up to their home with an excess of animals from his vet office. Meanwhile, Darlene and Ben have an argument as Ben points out Darlene is turning into her father.

    The Golbergs - "That's a Schwartz Man" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    With both sides of the family eager for answers on Geoff and Erica’s pregnancy, they decide to keep their baby’s sex a surprise. However, a sonagram finding from Lou Schwartz might provide an unexpected discovery. Meanwhile, Adam recruits Glascott to help his mother cope with his departure for NYU; but when he later has a change of heart about heading off to college, he sources a job as the personal assistant to a special celebrity to help lessen the blow when news of his deferred enrollment is delivered to Beverly.

    Abbott Elementary - "Wrong Delivery" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    After Janine gets a look at the new charter school down the street, she becomes determined to fix up Abbott and make it just as good. As Gregory goes out of his way to avoid Barbara due to an awkward situation with his personal life, and Ava takes to the school library to host a “Shark Tank”-style pitch to decide what to do with the rest of the funds from the grant.

    Home Economics - "Melatonin 10 Mg Tablets, $14.99" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
    Tom begins publicity for his new book as Marina takes on the redesign of Gretchen’s room, which causes a lot of stress at home and in the bedroom. Meanwhile, Sarah, Denise and the kids have to crash at Connor’s house when their apartment floods, much to Lupe’s chagrin.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 26)

    Wednesday, September 28

    • Mila Kunis (Family Guy/That '70s Show) - Watch Mila on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. She talks about Luckiest Girl Alive on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
    • Ramy Youssef (Ramy/See Dad Run) - Ramy appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Timothy Olyphant (Santa Clarita Diet) - Timothy is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Max Greenfield (The Neighborhood/New Girl/Modern Men) - Max will be on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Mayim Bialik (Call Me Kat/The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Mayim is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Rosie O'Donnell (SMILF/Stand By Your Man/Gimme a Break!) - Rosie appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Tyler James Williams (Abbott Elementary/Go On/Everybody Hates Chris) - Tyler is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Kim Coles (Living Single/The Geena Davis Show) - Kim talks about her new series Finding Happy on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
    • George Clooney (Roseanne/The Facts of Life/ E/R (1984-1985) - George and Amal Clooney are guests on CBS Mornings sometime between 7-9am.
    • Sherri Shepherd (Mr. Iglesias/Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect) - Sherri appears on CBS Mornings sometime between 7-9am.
    • Vanessa Lachey (Truth Be Told/Dads) - Vanessa is a guest on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
    • Jaime Camil (Schmigadoon!/Broke) - Jaime talks about Netflix's El Rey: Vicente Fernandez on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
    • Lio Tipton (Manhattan Love Story) - Lio appears on PIX 11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 9:40am.


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

    Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release) The Neighborhood - Season Four Young Sheldon - The Complete Fifth Season The Adventues of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Five The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Six

    05/03 - No Activity - Season Three
    05/13 - The Donna Reed Show - The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Time Life)
    05/31 - Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
    06/14 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Eleventh Season
    06/14 - Hacks - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
    06/14 - Rutherford Falls - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
    06/21 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season One / The Complete Season Two
    07/19 - The Neighborhood - Season Four
    07/19 - Reno 911! - The Hunt for QAnon (Blu-ray) (DVD)
    07/26 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Three / The Complete Season Four
    08/16 - And Just Like That... - The Complete First Season (Warner Bros. - Canada)
    08/16 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Fourth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
    09/06 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
    09/20 - Kim's Convenience - The Complete Series
    09/27 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Five / The Complete Season Six
    More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

    09/28 - Mike Epps Gets HGTV Series; black-ish's Marsai Martin Headlines Paramount+ Comedy Film
    09/27 - COZI TV Fall 2022 Schedule; FX Announces New Drama Premiere Date for Hulu
    09/26 - Tudum: A Netflix Global Fan Event Recap; The White Lotus Season 2 Premieres Oct. 30
    09/25 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 26, 2022)
    09/24 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Addams Family Based Series Wednesday; Peacock Cancels Queer as Folk
    09/23 - FX Renews Reservation Dogs for Season 3; Stars of Young Sheldon Head to The Price Is Right at Night
    09/22 - Bounce Dramedy Finding Happy Premieres Saturday (Sept. 24); Roku's Kevin Hart Comedy Adds More Stars for Season 2
    09/21 - ABC Extends Jimmy Kimmel Live Through Season 23; Peacock Orders Animated Comedy
    09/20 - CBS Announces New Holiday Special; The CW Halloween Specials
    09/19 - Rewind TV's Sabrina, The Teenage Witch-O-Ween Halloween Marathon; Iliza Shlesinger Returns to Netflix
    09/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 19, 2022)
    09/17 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Saturday Night Live Adds New Cast Members for New Season; Streaming Media Mergers in the Works?
    09/16 - The CW's A Waltons Thanksgiving Airs Nov. 20; Rewind TV's A Week of Very Special Episodes Includes Diff'rent Strokes, Facts of Life and More; Remembering Mark Miller of Please Don't Eat the Daisies
    09/15 - Antenna TV Celebrates The Bewitched Witch-O-Ween Marathon; Avenue 5 Returns October 10 on HBO
    09/14 - Rick and Morty Season 6 Premiere Is a Hit; FX Brings Comedy Specials to Hulu
    09/13 - 74th Primetime Emmy Awards Winners; HBO Max Renews Rap Sh!t for Season 2
    09/12 - MeTV Celebrates M*A*S*H 50th Anniversary with The Best by Farr; The Simpsons Season 33 Coming to Disney+
    09/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 12, 2022)
    09/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Laverne Cox Comedy from Norman Lear Lands Freevee Series Order; Fox Looking Into Adult Animated Drama
    09/09 - Dancing with the Stars Season 31 Cast; Great Scott! Back to the Future Reunion at New York Comic Con This Fall
    09/08 - COZI TV Acquires Monk, Bones and Las Vegas; HBO Max Renews Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin
    09/07 - Rewind TV Fall 2022 Schedule; Back to School Abbott Elementary Marathon
    09/06 - Antenna TV Fall 2022 Schedule; BUZZR Celebrates 50 Years of The Price Is Right
    09/05 - TV Marathons on Labor Day 2022
    09/04 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 5, 2022)
    09/03 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Jeff Garlin's Character to Exit The Goldbergs; Peacock Cancels Rutherford Falls
    09/02 - Freeform's 31 Nights of Halloween 2022 Schedule; Sherman's Showcase Returns for Season 2 on IFC and AMC+
    09/01 - Netflix Sitcom with Michelle Buteau Rounds Out Cast; HBO Max Renews Harley Quinn for Season 4
    08/31 - Antenna TV's Welcome Back to School Marathon; Apple TV+ Is Trying for More Comedy
    08/30 - Netflix's Blockbuster Gets Premiere Date; Teri Hatcher Returns to Hallmark
    08/29 - ABC Fall Preview Special Airs Sept. 14; Acapulco Returns in October on Apple TV+
    08/28 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 29, 2022)