Friday, March 27, 2020

Fri-Yay: Review of One Day at a Time Season 4 Premiere; NBC Sets Will & Grace Finale Night and Special I Love Lucy Episode

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!

One Day at a Time - Checking Boxes

by Vincent

In the midst of a global pandemic, we can at least still turn to sitcoms for comfort. The fourth season of One Day at a Time premiered this week on Pop TV (and simulcast on TV Land and Logo), which was notable not just because it's a great show but because it was the first episode following the sitcom's transition from streaming service to weekly television series. The fourth season premiere, "Checking Boxes," was the first time the show had to adjust to regular TV rules such as time limits and commercial breaks. It was also the opportunity for the show to draw in a new audience, which is probably why "Checking Boxes" felt very much like the show resetting itself mildly for any new viewers who may not have caught the show on Netflix. The episode's opening scene has special guest Ray Romano taking census information for the Alvarezes, which serves as a quick way to get all of the information needed about the family for anyone who is just now checking the series out. The scene is also a little sillier and broader than the show typically is, incorporating two meta jokes (one being the opening line that takes a shot at Netflix - Alex bemoans "there's nothing good on Netflix anymore" - and another is a play on Everybody Loves Raymond). Both are funny jokes, especially the Netflix crack, but it's a little odd for One Day at a Time, a very classic-style sitcom that has never really tipped its toes in meta, self-referential humor before. Still, it's likely a way to draw some attention for the show, which I'm totally fine with.

The rest of "Checking Boxes" is very much in line with typical One Day at a Time, as Penelope has the census worker causing a spiral and fret about ending up alone. It will take some time to get used to the placement of commercial breaks, as well as the much, much shorter theme song. But for the most part, everything else from One Day at a Time transfers perfectly from streaming to over-the-air TV. The characters are still the same, the writing is sharp with a dose of heart, and the acting is top-notch, with chemistry flowing endlessly through the cast. "Checking Boxes" isn't necessarily top-tier One Day at a Time, but it's a warm, friendly introduction for anyone just jumping on board now, and it's a great welcome back for a show that at one time seemed to be good as gone. It made me incredibly excited that this show is back, and interested to see where it goes from here.


Will & Grace

Will & Grace, one of NBC's most beloved comedy series of all time, is set to air its series finale on Thursday, April 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Leading into the series finale episode, NBC will air a Will & Grace retrospective special, hosted by Eric McCormack at 8:30 p.m. (following the season finale of Brooklyn Nine-Nine at a special time of 8:00 p.m.) In the special, McCormack will show clips of past and present episodes that highlight the series' most iconic and memorable moments. The retrospective will also feature emotionally-charged reactions from Will & Grace superfans and celebrities who will share stories about what the show has meant to them. The special will cover the litany of guest stars who have appeared as well as the groundbreaking and TV history-making moments the show has created over the years, including the first male-to-male kiss on network television. Elton John and Norman Lear will also make special appearances.

In the season finale episode, "It's Time," with the apartment packed up, Will (Eric McCormack) is determined to not reminisce about his life in the city or his ex, McCoy (guest star Matt Bomer). Grace (Debra Messing), on the verge of giving birth, keeps having false alarms of going into labor. At the behest of Stan, Karen (Megan Mullally) goes to the top of the Statue of Liberty to get closure with her ex-husband. Jack's (Sean Hayes) dream of taking a bow on a Broadway stage becomes a very real possibility. Minnie Driver and Brian Jordan Alvarez guest star. The special I Love Lucy-inspired episode, titled "We Love Lucy," will air Thursday, April 9 at 9 p.m. The episode features stylized recreations of the classic "Vitameatavegamin," "Chocolate Factory" and "Grape-Stomping" scenes featured in I Love Lucy, with Grace, Karen and Jack each imagine themselves as, with Will as the Ricky to all of them. Lucie Arnaz and Leslie Jordan guest star.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, August 3

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Dealbreaker" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Gemma sets a reluctant Malcolm up on a blind date with a teacher at her school, she discovers new details about the origins of her relationship with Dave. Also, Marty helps Calvin and Tina plan for their future.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "A Big, White Thumb" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Abishola takes her relationship with Bob to the next level when she invites him into an intimate part of her life: church. Also, Kemi fights with Ogechi (Kimberly Scott) to be Chukwuemeka’s favorite.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 3)

Monday, August 3

  • Jane Curtin (United We Fall/Crumbs/3rd Rock from the Sun/Kate & Allie) - Watch Jane on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Beth Behrs (The Neighborhood/2 Broke Girls) and Tichina Arnold (The Neighborhood/Survivor's Remorse/Happily Divorced/Everybody Hates Chris/Martin) - Beth and Tichina are guests on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short/I'm a Big Girl Now) - Martin appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April/May/June/July)

Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season The Good Place - The Final (Fourth) Season Head of the Class - The Complete First Season Modern Family - The Eleventh and Final Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Seven

04/07 - Cheers - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
04/14 - Police Squad! - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/14 - The Righteous Gemstones - The Complete First Season
04/21 - Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season (WBShop.com)
05/05 - Kidding - Season 2
05/19 - The Good Place - The Final (Fourth) Season
05/19 - The Good Place - The Complete Series - Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
05/26 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
05/26 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Series
06/02 - Work in Progress - Season 1
06/09 - Head of the Class - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
06/09 - How to Be a Gentleman - The Complete Series
06/09 - Letterkenny - Seasons 3 & 4
06/09 - Modern Family - The Eleventh and Final Season
06/09 - No Activity - Season 1
06/09 - Superior Donuts - Season Two
06/23 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 10th Season
06/23 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
06/23 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Seventh Season
06/23 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Third Season (Blu-ray)
06/30 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Seven
07/07 - Will & Grace - The Revival - Season Three - The Farewell Season
07/21 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Tenth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

08/02 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 3, 2020)
08/01 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Damon Wayans Jr. Set to Star in Comedy for Peacock; Production to Restart for S.W.A.T.
07/31 - Fri-Yay: Emmy Nominations Thoughts; Leah Remini to Host Game Show Network Game Show
07/30 - Netflix Acquires Black Sitcoms from 1990s and 2000s; A 4 Sitcom Crossover Event Coming Soon to Netflix
07/29 - The 72nd Emmy Awards Nominations; Live with Kelly and Ryan Pays Tribute to Regis
07/28 - Freeform's Love in the Time of Corona Gets Premiere Date; ABC Remembers Regis with Primetime Special Tonight (July 28)
07/27 - Archer Gets Season 11 Premiere Date on FXX; The Fugitive Reboot on Quibi Trailer
07/26 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 27, 2020)
07/25 - SitcomsOnline Digest: The Chase Considered for ABC Primetime Lineup; Plex Adds 80 Free Linear Channels
07/24 - Fri-Yay: Two More COVID-19 Remote Reunions: 30 Rock and Happy Endings; Netflix Renews Top 10 Series Sweet Magnolias for Season 2
07/23 - Fox Announces Fall 2020 Premiere Date for Animated Comedies; Syfy Acquires John Cena & Kat Dennings Animated Comedy
07/22 - HBO Orders Bridget Everett Comedy Series; Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Cast to Reunite on YouTube
07/21 - Happy Endings Cast Reunite, See Episode Here; Jake Johnson Shooting Hoops on Netflix
07/20 - Netflix Is About to Get Even with Comedy; ABC's United We Fall Gets Encore
07/19 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 20, 2020)
07/18 - SitcomsOnline Digest: NBC Affiliates Refuse to Air 30 Rock: A One Time Special; Golden Girls House For Sale
07/17 - Fri-Yay: Peacock Launches, Thoughts So Far; Stay Calm with New Series with A-Listers
07/16 - Hallmark Channel Announces Renewals and Slate for 2021; Michael Che Coming to HBO Max for Improv Series
07/15 - ABC Names Tyra Banks as New Dancing with the Stars Host; CBS Fall 2020 Schedule Change for Wednesdays
07/14 - Emily in Paris Moves to Netflix; Ravi Patel's HBO Max Comedy Docuseries Premieres Aug. 27
07/13 - Get Woke on Hulu with New Comedy; Trailer for Tig n' Seek Released by HBO Max
07/12 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 13, 2020)
07/11 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Fox Renews The Moodys for Second Season; NBC Preparing to Put Peacock Into Flight
07/10 - Fri-Yay: Never Have I Ever, Netflix's Best Sitcom; Ramy Gets Season 3 on Hulu
07/09 - NBC Reviving Weakest Link; truTV's I'm Sorry Gets Charitable
07/08 - HBO Max Orders Series Based on Hair Love; Comedy Central Inks Deal with John Mulaney
07/07 - Dead to Me Picked Up for Final Season on Netflix; CBS All Access Orders Star Trek Animated Comedy
07/06 - ABC to Rebroadcast Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times Episodes on Tuesday (July 7); Anthony Anderson and Billy Eichner to Guest Host ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! This Week
07/05 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 6, 2020)
07/04 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Amazon Gets Streaming Rights to Mad Men; Too Close for Comfort on Pluto TV
07/03 - Fri-Yay: Streaming Services Remove Episodes of Sitcoms Due to Racial Jokes; The Kominsky Method Final Season Announced
07/02 - Netflix Renews Never Have I Ever for Season 2; Comedy Central Reviving Beavis and Butt-Head