Friday, February 14, 2020

Fri-Yay: Thoughts on Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens; HBO's Avenue 5 Gets 2nd Season

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!

Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens

by Vincent

A few weeks ago, Comedy Central premiered its first 2020 original series, Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens. It's the first new series the network has premiered this season, and it comes at a time when the network is in a state of transition. Through-out the mid-to-late 2010s, Comedy Central was home to some of the most daring and acclaimed comedy series, such as Broad City, Nathan for You and Review - not to mention the back-to-back hitters of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. However, in recent years, groundbreaking comedy has been gravitating more towards streaming services. Combined with the fact that Comedy Central slashed some of its own series in their prime (such as Detroiters and Another Period), the network feels as if its a bit lost, with last year's The Other Two being the only show of real promise as of late.

Enter Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens, a series very much in that same Workaholics/Broad City vein, following a woman named Nora living with her grandmother in Queens. The series certainly has potential to rise up and be a memorable Comedy Central series along with The Other Two to ring in a new decade. Awkwafina is a funny and likable presence who brings a lot of energy to the screen, but the show is currently recycling a few too many of the same beats as Broad City. I'd like to see the show develop its own voice that matches Awkwafina's true potential. Comedy Central was a great source of excellent comedy in the 2000s, and it'd be great if it could be again.


Avenue 5

Following the debut of the first season on January 19, comedy series Avenue 5 has been renewed for a second season. Created and executive produced by Armando Iannucci of Veep, the HBO comedy Avenue 5 is set forty years in the future when traveling the solar system is no longer the stuff of sci-fi fantasy, but a booming, multibillion-dollar business. The series kicked off its nine-episode season January 19.

The series stars Hugh Laurie (Emmy(R) nominee for Veep, Golden Globe winner for House M.D.) as Avenue 5 Captain Ryan Clark; Josh Gad (Murder on the Orient Express) as billionaire Herman Judd, the mercurial face and name behind Avenue 5; Zach Woods (HBO's Silicon Valley) as head of customer relations Matt Spencer; Rebecca Front (Poldark, BAFTA winner for The Thick of It) as strong willed passenger Karen Kelly; Suzy Nakamura (Dr. Ken) as Iris Kimura, Judd's right hand woman; Lenora Crichlow (Being Human") as engineer Billie McEvoy; Nikki Amuka-Bird (CINEMAX's Quarry) as Rav Mulcair, head of Judd Mission Control; and Ethan Phillips (Inside Llewyn Davis) as Spike Martin, a space enthusiast and former astronaut.

Season one guests include Andy Buckley as Karen's husband Frank; Jessica St. Clair (American Housewife) and Kyle Bornheimer (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) as feuding couple Mia and Doug; Neil Casey (HBO's Silicon Valley) as Cyrus, an Avenue 5 engineer; Matthew Beard (The Imitation Game) as Rav's deputy Alan Lewis; Himesh Patel (Yesterday) as stand-up comedian Jordan Hatwal; Paterson Joseph (Timeless) as Judd's business rival Harrison; and Daisy May Cooper (This Country) as Sarah, a member of the bridge crew.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, March 2

black-ish - "Things Done Changed" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
In trying to prove to Diane that hip-hop isn’t dead, Dre realizes he may be more of out of touch with current trends and his clients than he thought. Meanwhile, Jack thinks that he has somehow become Bow’s best friend now that Junior is too busy with his new girlfriend.

mixed-ish - "Just the Two of Us" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Alicia and Denise realize they’ve been boxed into Black women stereotypes at the law firm, and Harrison’s attempts to help ends up causing more harm. Meanwhile, Paul worries his new job is taking time away from spending time with the kids, so he makes an overzealous effort to connect with each one individually.

Young Rock - "Forward, Together" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Hawaii, 1982: When wrestlers start dropping out of Lia's Battle Royale, she suspects a rival promoter may be to blame; as Rocky's wrestling career skyrockets, Ata takes a leap of faith to pursue a musical dream.

Kenan - "The Fourth Hour" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Kenan struggles with his increased work schedule when "Wake Up With Kenan!" adds a fourth hour; Rick encourages Kenan to get tough and say "no" more often; Gary suspects that Tami has her eye on Kenan's job and takes matters into his own hands.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 1)

Tuesday, March 2

  • Nick Jonas (Jonas) - Catch Nick on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Regina King (227/Leap of Faith) - Regina appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kathryn Hahn (Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Kathyn is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Fortune Feimster (Kenan/Bless the Harts/Champions) - Fortune will be on A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) - Jeremy is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Eddie Murphy (The PJs) - Eddie will be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Mark-Paul Gosselaar (mixed-ish/Saved by the Bell/Truth Be Told) - Mark-Paul appears on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy talks about Coming 2 America on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October-February)

The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Schitt's Creek - The Complete Collection Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series

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
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)

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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