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

Tuesday, October 26

The Last O.G. - "The First Hump Is the Hardest" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
With Wavy's help, Tray tracks down the person who shot him to set things straight; Jasmine has second thoughts about her relationship with Tray.

Tyler Perry's House of Payne - "Bearer of Bad News" (BET, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Calvin wants his son in his wedding, but Miranda might not be on board.

Tyler Perry's Assisted Living - "Mr. Big Stuffed" (BET, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Mr. Brown lets business success go to his head, but he gets taken down a peg when the residents threaten to move out.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 25)

Tuesday, October 26

  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Catch Drew on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Victoria Jackson (Strip Mall/Romeo!) - Victoria is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tori Spelling (Mystery Girls/So Notorious) - Tori appears on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alan Cumming (Schmigadoon!) - Alan is a guest on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Tisha Campbell (Dr. Ken/Rita Rocks/My Wife and Kids/The Jamie Foxx Show/Martin)- Tisha talks about Netflix's Inside Job on Access Daily, so check your local listings.


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

Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)

06/08 - The Critic - The Complete Series
06/08 - Fuller House - The Fifth and Final Season
06/08 - Fuller House - The Complete Series
06/08 - Our Cartoon President - Season 3
06/15 - The Office - Season 1 (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
06/15 - Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/07 - No Activity - Season 2
07/13 - The Unicorn - Season 2
07/20 - Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season
07/27 - Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - The Neighborhood - Season Three
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Deluxe Edition (100 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Standard Edition (50 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/24 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season 2
09/07 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
10/19 - Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

10/25 - Remembering Peter Scolari of Bosom Buddies and Newhart; Mythic Quest Gets 2 Season Renewal
10/24 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 25, 2021)
10/23 - SitcomsOnline Digest: NBC Orders Lopez vs. Lopez Pilot; Tyler Perry's Sistas Renewed for Season Four
10/22 - Fri-Yay: Are Ghosts and The Wonder Years the Saving Graces of Network Comedy?; Ghosts Receives Full Season Order
10/21 - Butch Patrick Hosts Halloween Monster Bash on Classic Reruns TV; Harlem Starring Meagan Good Premieres Dec. 3
10/20 - Fox Announces Special Post NFL January Premieres; TBS Comedy Wipeout Returns in January for Season 2
10/19 - One Final Family Reunion on Netflix; Apple TV+ Announces Premiere Date for Harriet the Spy
10/18 - GAC Family Acquires Classic Sony Sitcoms; Remembering Betty Lynn from The Andy Griffith Show
10/17 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 18, 2021)
10/16 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Could a Looming Strike Shut Down TV Production?; GAC Family Acquires Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Silver Spoons, and More
10/15 - Dickinson Final Season Date Announced; Superstar: Robin Williams to Air Next Week (Oct. 20)
10/14 - Antenna TV's Bewitched 24-Hour Halloween Marathon; Rewind TV's Sabrina Witch-O-Ween Marathon
10/13 - Head of the Class Reboot Premieres Nov. 4, Guest Stars Robin Givens; The Bear Coming to FX
10/12 - CBS Picks Up First 2 New Series for Full Seasons; On My Block Spinoff Series Cast Set
10/11 - Netflix Orders That '90s Show Featuring Red and Kitty; Nash Bridges Movie Premieres Nov. 27 on USA Network
10/10 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 11, 2021)
10/09 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Orders That '70s Show Spinoff Featuring Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith; Nash Bridges Revival Movie Premiere Date Set
10/08 - Fri-Yay: CBS’s Ghosts Is the Most Interesting New Comedy of the Year; Insecure to Hold Festival for Final Season
10/07 - Mini Desperate Housewives Reunion on Hallmark Christmas Movie; The Kids Tonight Show Premieres Oct. 14
10/06 - And Just Like That... We Get a Premiere Date; The CW Holiday Specials Schedule
10/05 - New Peanuts Holiday Special on Apple TV+, PBS to Air Classic Holiday Specials; COZI TV Acquires Heartland
10/04 - Disney Channel Orders Season 5 of Raven's Home; Freeform Picks Up Phoebe Robinson Comedy
10/03 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 4, 2021)
10/02 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 11 Premiere Date Set; Lori Loughlin Returns to TV Role
10/01 - Fri-Yay: The Fall 2021 Sitcom Line-up Is Pretty Bare; Bounce Renews Johnson for Season 2
09/30 - It's a Wonderful Lifetime Expands with 35 New Movies; Hulu & Lifetime Acquire Castle
09/29 - Curb Your Enthusiasm Returns Yet Again; Archer Returning for Lucky Season 13 on FXX
09/28 - Nick at Nite Acquires Mike & Molly; NBC Orders Night Court to Series
09/27 - MeTV Network Halloween Schedule; HBO Max Renews The Other Two for Third Season
09/26 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 27, 2021)
09/25 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Night Court Reboot Gets Series Order; Season Premiere Date Set for The Orville