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

Thursday, January 21

Young Sheldon - "Freshman Orientation and the Inventor of the Zipper" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
College orientation does not go as Sheldon planned. Also, Mary is invited to a party when she’s mistaken for a university student, and George Sr. helps Pastor Jeff set up a children’s nursery.

B Positive - "Open Heart Surgery" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Gina needs to keep herself together to pass a psych evaluation while dealing with the news of an ex’s engagement.

Mom - "Woo-Woo Lights and an Onside Kick" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie and the ladies indulge Jill when she goes to extremes to get her relationship with Andy (Will Sasso) back on track.

The Unicorn - "The First Supper" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Wade decides to introduce Shannon to his friends, the get-together quickly takes an awkward turn. Also, Noah tries to fit in with the older kids since he’s tired of being one of the babies.

Call Me Kat - "Therapy" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Sheila comes to stay with Kat to avoid being home alone, Sheila's lack of boundaries leads them to try therapy; Phil and Randi make a road trip to buy Phil's mother medicinal marijuana.

Last Man Standing - "Jen Again" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Mike surprises Vanessa with a visit from Jen that might last longer than expected; Ryan asks Chuck for advice to impress his new corporate boss on the golf course.

Mr. Mayor - "The Sac" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A special assignment forces Jayden and Arpi to get to know each other; Neil sets out on a mission to reconnect with Orly after she gets into a little trouble.

Superstore - "Biscuit" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After returning from quarantine, Glenn enlists Cheyenne and Bo's help to get Dina to relinquish control; Jonah and Mateo have second thoughts about helping Sandra with her cat's medical needs; Garrett struggles with customer returns.

grown-ish - "Public Service Announcement" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After dropping out of Cal U and diving into her dream job, Zoey balances the demands of her work life and her personal life.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 18)

Thursday, January 21

  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Catch Allison on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Alison Brie (GLOW/Parks and Recreation) - Alison appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Regina King (The Boondocks/227) - Regina is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/30 Rock) - Jane will be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Francia Raisa (grown-ish) - Francia appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Yara Shahidi (grown-ish/black-ish) - Yara talks about grown-ish on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris talks about The Resident on a repeat of Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Sara Gilbert (The Conners/Roseanne/Living Biblically/Bad Teacher/Twins) - Sara talks about The Conners on a repeat of Access Daily, so check your local listings.


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

Young Sheldon - The Complete Third Season Mom - The Complete Seventh Season The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

09/01 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Season 14
09/01 - What We Do in the Shadows - The Complete Second Season
09/01 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
09/15 - Mom - The Complete Seventh Season
09/15 - South Side - Season 1
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Second Season
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Third Season
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Fourth Season
09/22 - Man with a Plan - Season Three
09/29 - The Bob Newhart Show - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
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

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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