Friday, March 20, 2020

Fri-Yay: Best Sitcom Episodes for Coronavirus Isolation; Antenna TV Weekend Binge Marathons for Tough Times

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 - Epidemiology

by Vincent

Well, obviously it's a tough time for all of us right now. Wherever you are, it's likely that you're being affected somehow by COVID-19. For the many who are in isolation or quarantine to "flatten the curve" of Coronavirus, you're probably finding yourself with a whole lot of time to watch sitcoms! I've put together a list of some of my favorite sitcom episodes that have some thematic similarities with COVID-19 that could hit right in these circumstances. I tried not to just focus on bottle or quarantine episodes but instead episodes that tie with the anxieties stemming from this uncertain time.

1. Community - Epidemiology
This episode is maybe the most obvious choice on the list. It's a Halloween episode centered around a mysterious disease that surfaces at Greendale's Halloween party that slowly spreads and spreads despite everyone's effort to quarantine everyone, partly because of questionable decisions made by Dean Pelton, the school's leader. Sound familiar? Granted, it's a lot more fun than it sounds, as it's a loving parody of zombie movies scored by the ABBA soundtrack (and Dean Pelton's voice memos). If you want to laugh about a disease outbreak in a silly way, this is the episode for you.

2. 30 Rock - Larry King
"Larry King" is 30 Rock's take on the 2008 financial collapse, another historical event that is very different than our current predicament but nevertheless does share some similarities. The entire episode has an end-of-the-world vibe as the characters watch the collapse of the Japanese markets that seemingly spell doom for their own financial security, and a lot of the behaviors and quotes reflect on the odd feeling many of us are feeling now, particularly Salma Hayek's "The whole world has gone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!" or when Jack's mentor Don Geiss recommends that you "go home to your loved ones and hold them close" instead of taking action. In the end, the panic turns out to be largely false, started by a fearmongering Tracy Jordan. If only we could be so lucky.

3. Parks and Recreation - The Master Plan
The more obvious Parks and Rec choice would be Flu Season, but personally I felt Leslie's pain in "The Master Plan" more these past few days. "The Master Plan" is the first appearance of Ben and Chris as budget slashers who arrive to slash Pawnee's budget, and the episode (as well as the following one, Freddy Spaghetti) follow Leslie's desperate attempts to save her job from government shutdown before accepting the inevitable, that her job would be shut down until further notice. It all works out okay for Leslie, obviously, so these episodes at the tail end of Parks and Rec's second season serve as a good reminder that it's okay to be stressed about an uncertain future, as well as giving us hope that it'll all work itself out.

4. The Simpsons - Hurricane Neddy
While this episode revolves around a hurricane rather than a pandemic, the hysteria that Springfield residents experience before the hurricane hits is awfully familiar with the pre-Corona hysteria that we all experienced about a week ago. Rationing at the Kwik-E-Mart, storming the shelves, and mistaking Lisa and Ralph Wiggum as pieces of fruit are all examples of some of the crazy measures that Springfield residents go through that suddenly don’t seem so crazy.

5. Scrubs - My Quarantine
Well, this one is obvious. This Season 4 episode of Scrubs deals with the SARS epidemic, when JD initiates a quarantine at the hospital after suspecting a patient has the infectious disease. It's a humorous look at quarantine that might provide some levity to your own social distancing.


Antenna TV's Binge TV for Free

Antenna TV has a new way to bring a smile to your face and help you get through these tough times. Watch feel-good, binge-worthy TV from the comfort of your own home, all for FREE on Antenna TV. Antenna TV will run themed marathons of classic sitcoms including Family Ties, Three's Company, The Facts of Life, Wings, and Welcome Back, Kotter on Saturday and Sundays from 12 noon to midnight ET starting March 28. The news is a little easier to take with marathons of Murphy Brown on Saturday, March 28 and NewsRadio on Sunday, March 29.

The full schedule of Antenna TV's "Binge TV for Free" is as follows:

Saturday 3/28: Murphy Brown, ATV Goes All News with Murphy Brown
Sunday 3/29: NewsRadio, All News Continues with NewsRadio
Saturday 4/4: Alice, Mel's Diner Remains Open
Sunday 4/5: Archie Bunker’s Place, Archie's Bar Remains Open
Saturday 4/11: Head of the Class, School's Still in Session
Sunday 4/12: Welcome Back, Kotter, School's Still in Session
Saturday 4/18: It's A Living, Above the Top Remains Open
Sunday 4/19: Wings, 30th Anniversary Marathon
Saturday 4/25: The Partridge Family, Spend the Day with Family
Sunday 4/26: Three's Company, Spend the Day with Friends
Saturday 5/2: Becker, The Doctor is Here for You
Sunday 5/3: Coach, ATV Still has Sports with Coach
Saturday 5/9: Family Ties, Spend the Day with Family
Sunday 5/10: The Facts of Life, Mother's Day with Mrs. Garrett


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, April 19

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Hero" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Dave earns Calvin’s respect when he thwarts a robbery at the barbershop, until the recognition goes to his head and he starts exaggerating the truth. Also, Marty invites an anxious Gemma to give his new stress-busting hobby a try.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "A Tough Old Bird" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Bob and Abishola try to help a sad and volatile Kemi who, after being dumped by Chukwuemeka, struggles with the possibility that her happiest days might be behind her.

Breeders - "No Choice" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Ally is under huge pressure, but no one seems to want to listen to her; Jim and Jackie are excited about a possible move to the coast and, much to Paul's surprise, so is he.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 19)

Monday, April 19

  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Watch Michael on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Tig appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Ron Funches (Hoops/Final Space/Powerless/Undateable) - Ron is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick will be on A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ted Danson (Mr. Mayor/The Good Place/Help Me Help You/Becker/Cheers) - Ted appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Debi Mazar (Younger/Entourage/Working) - Debi talks about the final season of Younger on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Olivia Holt (I Didn't Do It/Kickin' It) - Olivia will be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michelle Buteau (First Wives Club) - Michelle appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kenan Thompson (Kenan/Kenan & Kel) - Kenan is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • John Stamos (Fuller House/Grandfathered/Jake in Progress/Full House/You Again?) - John will be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Cristin Milioti (Made for Love/A to Z/How I Met Your Mother) - Cristin appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry and his wife Rebecca discuss their memoir detailing secrets of their marriage, Stronger Together, on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) - Danica discusses her new Hallmark Channel movie Matchmaker Mysteries: The Art of the Kill on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 11am ET/PT.
  • Ed Helms (Rutherford Falls/The Office) - Ed talks about Peacock's Rutherford Falls on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.


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

04/19 - Starz Announces Courteney Cox Comedy; Fox Pulls The Moodys
04/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 19, 2021)
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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