Friday, December 20, 2019

Fri-Yay: Essential Holiday Sitcom Viewing; HBO Comedy Returns for Season 4 in February

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!

Community - Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas

by Vincent

During this time of year, sitcoms tend to get a little bit more festive, a little sappier, and a little more reflective. Yes, I'm talking about Christmas specials, of course. Some people love them, some people hate them. Personally, I fall into the former category, especially when a show does it as well as the shows I'm about to list do. The following shows were exceptionally good at Christmas specials, and if you're a Bah Humbug about them, I implore you to try them out - you just might be turned to the light side.

Community: Community's Christmas specials weren't just episodes, they truly lived up to the name of "Christmas specials." They really celebrated the season, and demonstrated how the holidays brought the study group together. Of all 3 Christmas episodes (no, we don't count Season 4), all are classics, but my personal favorite is Season 2's "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas." This episode feels like the animated Christmas specials of years past, and it's truly something special.

30 Rock: 30 Rock's Christmas episodes perfectly balanced the sweet and the salty. The show didn't abandon its typically cynical, quirky tone, but it let its beating heart show just a bit in all of its Christmas episodes. Of all of the 30 Rock Christmas episodes, though, the one that demonstrates this the best is probably Season 5's "Christmas Attack Zone." This is an episode that has one of the most bizarre Christmas montages I've ever seen that still somehow manages to be moving. It's truly, genuinely unique.

Bob's Burgers: Bob's typically gets acclaim for its Thanksgiving episodes, but its Christmas episodes are no snuff, either. The show's quirky characters really shine in Christmas episodes, as Bob's desperation often hits a peak at Christmas that bounces off the other characters nicely. My personal favorite is the "Nice-capades," a Season 6 episode focused on Louise trying her best to good things for Christmas. It's another funny yet heartwarming story that demonstrates the show's best very well.

Happy Endings: There's only 2 Happy Endings Christmas episodes, but the second one especially deals with a unique problem I've never really seen done much on TV: the dreaded Christmas birthday. Season 3's "No Ho Ho" follows Jane's reveal that her birthday is actually on Christmas, and does the rare Christmas plot that you truly haven't seen before. As usual with Happy Endings, the show goes to some truly bizarre places, and yet all of them are earned and make total sense.


High Maintenance

The HBO comedy series High Maintenance, created by Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, returns for its nine-episode fourth season Friday, Feb. 7 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT. The critically acclaimed series uses The Guy (Sinclair), a marijuana dealer, to connect a variety of distinctly authentic, empathetic and insightful stories about the New York community, including his own. The series is also available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners' streaming platforms. High Maintenance continues to paint a unique and loving portrait of New York City, exploring the often-messy interpersonal moments of everyday people who are looking for meaning, companionship and a little high to make it through the day. The series is executive produced by Katja Blichfeld (Emmy(R)-winning casting director of 30 Rock), Ben Sinclair (Maniac, Home Again) and Russell Gregory.

This season finds The Guy (Ben Sinclair) back traversing the city on his bicycle, having said goodbye to last season's RV. With a new friend by his side, The Guy drops in on a variety of customers whose disparate lives, jobs, identities and circumstances reveal the human connection that we all seek. Playing out over the course of a year, this season focuses on cycles of renewal, webs of human connections, and putting down roots in the ever-changing ecosystem of New York City. Returning guest stars this season include Crystal Monee Hall, Heléne Yorke, Ken Leung, Julianna Luna Vasquez, Avery Monsen, Rob Morgan, Max Jenkins, Chris Roberti, Becca Blackwell, Chris McKinney and Birgit Huppuch. New guest stars include Ira Glass and his team at This American Life, Nick Kroll, Rebecca Hall, Larry Owens and Calvin Leon Smith.



Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, January 29

The Goldbergs - "Geoff the Pleaser" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Adam questions his career path of filmmaking when “the other Adam” moves back from Los Angeles and warns him making it big in Hollywood isn’t easy. Meanwhile, the JTP house is in shambles, and Geoff becomes the home manager as they know how much he loves to please and can’t say no.

Schooled - "Titanic Love" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The hit film has love on everyone’s brain, and Lainey has a realization about CB. Meanwhile, Principal Glascott uses the season’s bad football team to teach Coach Mellor how to be both a good winner and a good loser.

Modern Family - "Tree's a Crowd" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Dunphy house is bursting at the seams when Dylan’s hippie mom moves in and Claire’s lonely stepdad, Jerry, wants to pay them a visit. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria attempt to help Manny get over his big breakup with Sherry.

Single Parents - "Yarn and Pebbles" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
While Graham joins Derek at Ratso’s for a day of father-and-son bonding, a jealous Angie enlists Douglas to help her make sure they don’t bond too much. The twins and Rory eat all the food in Douglas’ house to save his life, and Poppy and Miggy try to help Will with a dating situation named “Kay,” only to have it backfire.

Last Man Standing - "Yours, Wine and Ours" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Kristin entrusts Mike with her gender reveal party.

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

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 27)

Wednesday, January 29

  • Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta) - Watch Lakeith on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Bless the Harts/Silicon Valley) - Kumail drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Dan Levy (Schitt's Creek) - Dan is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tom Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) - Tom appears on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Aisling Bea (Living with Yourself) - Aisling is a guest on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ilana Glazer (Broad City) - Ilana chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Billy Ray Cyrus (Still the King) - Billy Ray appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Tommy Davidson (Between Brothers) - Tommy talks about his new book Living in Color on NBC's Today in the 9am hour, on Tamron Hall (check your local listings), on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET and on the BUILD Series at 4pm.
  • David Alan Grier (The Cool Kids/The Carmichael Show/Bad Teacher/Life with Bonnie) - David is in the kitchen making brisket and dishing on his new Broadway show A Soldier’s Play on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly is a guest on E!'s Pop of the Morning at 11am and on People Now at 12pm.
  • Tim Robbins (The Brink) - Tim talks about VHYes on a repeat of Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy talks about the Hotel Tonight travel app on a repeat of Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Danielle Fishel (Girl Meets World/Boy Meets World) - Danielle is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


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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01/08 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Fox; 13 Series Renewed for 2020-21 on The CW
01/07 - E! News Gets 3rd Host for Midday Show; Freeform Schedules Valentine's Day Comedy TV Movie
01/06 - 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards Winners; Fox Animated Comedies to Air After NFL Divisional Playoff
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01/04 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Loses Streaming Rights to Friends; Networks Prepare for Midseason
01/03 - Fri-Yay: Top Sitcoms of the Decade, Part 1; Modern Family Heads to Paris for Episode
01/02 - Fox Orders New Animated Comedy; Netflix Leslie Jones Comedy Special Premieres Jan. 14
01/01 - Happy New Year! Binge on Merry Happy Whatever, A New Holiday Sitcom
12/31 - New Year's Eve 2019 and New Year's Day 2020 TV Marathons
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