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 / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Tuesday, April 16

Lopez vs Lopez - "Lopez vs Let It Go" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
George joins a meditation group led by Carlos the Curandero, a spiritual healer whose mantra is "let it go"; however, Mayan worries her dad is letting go of too much, including their living room furniture; a burnout threatens to move next door.

Lopez vs Lopez - "Lopez vs Raider Nation" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As part of Alcoholics Anonymous, George makes amends with everyone except Oscar, who seeks an apology at a football game, but a run-in with Marshawn Lynch fumbles the plan; Mayan and Quinten try to spark Rosie's love life but end up getting burned.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 15)

Tuesday, April 16

  • Nick Offerman (The Great North/Parks and Recreation) - Catch Nick on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Austin Butler (Ruby & the Rockits/Zoey 101/Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide) - Austin appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Dulcé Sloan (The Great North) - Dulcé hosts Comedy Central's The Daily Show at 11pm.
  • George Takei (Supah Ninjas) - George is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. NBC's Today catches up with George in the 9am hour.
  • Fred Armisen (Los Espookys/Forever/Final Space) - Fred sits in with The 8G Band on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method) - Michael talks about Apple TV+'s Franklin on NBC's Today some time between 7-9am and in the 9am hour. He chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Amy Ryan (Only Murders in the Building/The Office/The Naked Truth) - NBC's Today catches up with Amy in the 10am hour.
  • George Lopez (Lopez vs Lopez/Lopez/Saint George/George Lopez) and Mayan Lopez (Lopez vs Lopez) - The hilarious George Lopez and his daughter Mayan talk about their hit NBC sitcom, Lopez vs Lopez, on Sherri, so check your local listings. Mayan will also be on Comedy Central's The Daily Show at 11pm.
  • Vanessa Lachey (Truth Be Told/Dads) - Vanessa talks about NCIS on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Carl Anthony Payne II (Tyler Perry's Young Dylan/Rock Me Baby/Martin) - Carl talks about the recent Martin reunion and his NAACP nominated show, MTV's Binged to Death, on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray

Father Knows Best - The Complete Series Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series Check It Out! - The Complete Series

12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One
03/12 - Ghosts (UK) - The Complete Series
03/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 3 (Blu-ray)
03/12 - Rick and Morty - Season 7 (Blu-ray Steelbook) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
04/03 - Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series (VEI)
04/08 - Check It Out! - The Complete Series (VEI)

The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

04/16 - ABC Renews The Rookie for Season 7; CBS Orders New Soap Opera The Gates
04/15 - Paramount+ Announces Final Season of Animated Star Trek Comedy; Lifetime May 2024 Movies
04/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 15, 2024)
04/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: The Talk Coming to an End at CBS; CBS Renews The Neighborhood
04/12 - Netflix Orders Tom Segura Comedy Series; Surprise! S.W.A.T. Gets Uncanceled...Again
04/11 - Max's Velma Returns April 25; Eva Longoria Apple TV+ Series Premieres in June
04/10 - CBS Renews NCIS and The Neighborhood; Max's Pretty Little Liars Returns May 9
04/09 - CBS 2023-24 Season Finale Dates; Hacks Star Gets Max Comedy Special
04/08 - Letterman's My Next Guest Returns April 30; Jack McBrayer HGTV Series Premieres May 3
04/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 8, 2024)
04/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: NBC Cancels Quantum Leap; Airdate Set for Final Pat Sajak Wheel of Fortune Episode
04/05 - Hulu Spring and Summer 2024 Slate; Netflix Orders Tyler Perry Drama; Remembering Joe Flaherty
04/04 - Apple TV+ The Big Door Prize Returns April 24; ABC Renews Will Trent for Season 3
04/03 - Sony Pictures and Game Show Network Upfront; ABC Renews Grey's Anatomy and 9-1-1 for 2024-25
04/02 - Adult Swim's Smiling Friends Returns May 12; Stallone Drama Returning for Season 2
04/01 - Selena Gomez Gets New Food Network Series; Orphan Black Gets New Series
03/31 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 1, 2024)
03/30 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Patricia Richardson on Potential Home Improvement Reboot; Paramount+ Removes Several Nickelodeon Series
03/29 - Hulu Launches on Disney+; Under the Bridge Premieres April 17
03/28 - Netflix's Good Times Animated Comedy Trailer; Too Close for Comfort and Check It Out! Complete Series on DVD
03/27 - The Upshaws Part 5 This April; Max Orders Noah Wyle Medical Drama
03/26 - Apple TV+ Orders Star-Studded Comedy; Elizabeth Banks Joins New Peacock Series
03/25 - Disney Channel Orders Wizards of Waverly Place Revival; Paramount+ Animated Comedy Ark: The Animated Series
03/24 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 25, 2024)
03/23 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Good Times Animated Reboot; NBC Renews Several Popular Series
03/22 - NBC Renews Nearly All Chicago and Law & Order Series; Goosebumps Season 2 Cast Update
03/21 - Hallmark Renews The Way Home; You Final Season Sets Cast
03/20 - Community Arrives on Peacock April 1, Movie Coming Soon; Hulu Premieres New Comedy Dinosaur April 5
03/19 - NBC Summer 2024 Schedule; Starz Drama Rounds Out All-Star Cast
03/18 - Shout! TV Celebrates 25 Years of Farscape; AMC Acquires Snowpiercer
03/17 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 18, 2024)
03/16 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Ty Burrell Sitcom in the Works at ABC; CBS Renews Ghosts