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

Saturday, April 17

Side Hustle - "Make-a-Butt" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After being hired at Make-A-Mutt and discovering that the store is in trouble, the kids work together to save the business and keep the magic alive.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 12)

Friday, April 16

  • Eddie Murphy (The PJs) - Watch Eddie on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Yvette Nicole Brown (The Mayor/The Odd Couple/Community) - Yvette chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Lorraine Toussaint (Where I Love) - Lorraine appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris talks about The Resident on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Lil Rel Howery (Rel/The Carmichael Show) - Lil Rel will be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G./The Carmichael Show) - Tiffany guest hosts The Real, so check your loca listings.
  • Maya Rudolph (Forever/Up All Night) - Maya talks about Netflix's The Mitchells vs. The Machines and hosting Saturday Night Live on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.


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

Corporate - Season 2 Fam - The Complete Series Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series Happy Together - The Complete Series Til Death - The Complete Series

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)
04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

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04/16 - Fri-Yay: Home Economics Is a Solid Addition to ABC’s Comedy Block; Mr Inbetween Season 3 Premiere Date Set
04/15 - Aidy Bryant Comedy Shrill's Final Season; ABC's Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days
04/14 - Superstore Star Lauren Ash Signs Development Deal with NBCUniversal; Jenna Dewan Joins New CBS Dance Series
04/13 - NBC Schedules Peyton Manning Game Show; Apple TV+ Comedy Mythic Quest Returns in May
04/12 - The Price Is Right at Night Welcomes Two Funny Celebs; Peacock Comedy Girls5eva Premieres May 6
04/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 12, 2021)
04/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Nash Bridges Reprisal in the Works?; Season Finale Dates Set for Last Man Standing and MacGyver
04/09 - Fri-Yay: Fox Cancels Bless the Harts, Leaving Questions About Animated Block; Variety and Lifetime Presents Power of Women Comedians
04/08 - ABC Summer 2021 Schedule; Fox Summer 2021 Schedule
04/07 - MeTV Spring 2021 with The Addams Family and The Pink Panther; Fox Orders More Duncanville, While ABC Goes Into the Wild with Comedy
04/06 - HBO Max Announces Minx, Set in the 1970s; Remembering Gloria Henry of Dennis the Menace
04/05 - Head of the Class Reboot Cast and Info; Tia Mowry Expands with New Cookbook
04/04 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 5, 2021)
04/03 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Head of the Class Reboot Ordered at HBO Max; Friends Reunion Special Finally Happening
04/02 - Fri-Yay: Remembering Jessica Walter's Excellent Career; Fox's Let's Be Real Special Turns Into Series
04/01 - CSI Revived by CBS for Sequel Series in 2021-22 Season; NBC Orders Ordinary Joe for Next Season
03/31 - CBS Renews Young Sheldon for 3 More Seasons; DWTS Returns for Season 30 This Fall
03/30 - Amazon Starts Production on Being the Ricardos, An I Love Lucy Movie; NBC Schedules Lil Rel Game Show
03/29 - Antenna TV Spring 2021 Schedule; Eric Stonestreet to Host Fox Series
03/28 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 29, 2021)
03/27 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Don Cheadle to Narrate Wonder Years Reboot; Sharon Osbourne Out at The Talk
03/26 - Fri-Yay: Superstore Series Finale; Remembering Jessica Walter of Arrested Development and Richard Gilliland of Designing Women
03/25 - New Weekly Celebrity Sleepover Talk Show After SNL; Raven-Symoné Heads to HGTV Series
03/24 - Remembering George Segal, Pops from The Goldbergs; HBO Max Comedy Series Made for Love Drops April 1
03/23 - Mr. Mayor Returning for Season 2; CBS 2020-21 Season Finale Dates
03/22 - NBC Puts Meghan Trainor Comedy in Development; Apple TV+ Straight to Series Comedy with Maya Rudolph
03/21 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 22, 2021)
03/20 - SitcomsOnline Digest: James Burrows to Direct Pilot for ABC Comedy Starring Alec Baldwin and Kelsey Grammer; Carl Reiner's Archives Find a Home
03/19 - Fri-Yay: Evaluating the 2020-2021 Freshman Sitcom Class; Damon Wayans Jr. to Star in TBS Pilot Kill the Orange-Faced Bear
03/18 - Younger Final Season Premiere Date Announced; Mindy Kaling, Henry Winkler Join Monsters, Inc. Disney+ Series
03/17 - Peacock Comedy Rutherford Falls Premieres April 22; Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law Spin-off Series Slated for April