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

Sunday, January 24

The Simpsons - "Podcast News" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Grampa is accused of a crime; Kent Brockman questions his career.

Bob's Burgers - "Bob Belcher and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Kids" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The family must figure out how to keep the restaurant open after Bob's flattop breaks on the morning of the Ocean Avenue Business Association's Ocean Fest on Ocean Avenue.

The Simpsons - "Three Dreams Denied" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bart becomes a voice-over actor; Comic Book Guy is humiliated at Comic-Con; Lisa is set up for a fall.

Bob's Burgers - "Diarrhea of a Poopy Kid" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Gene can't eat Thanksgiving dinner because of a stomach flu, the family tries to cheer him up.

Bob's Burgers - "The Terminalator II: Terminals of Endearment" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Linda's parents have a layover at an airport nearby, Bob and Linda attempt to turn it into their annual visit.

Family Guy - "Boys & Squirrels" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Peter injures himself and a family of squirrels in a chainsaw accident; Chris and Stewie try to nurse one of the injured rodents back to health; a chiropractor fixes Peter's injury by realigning his spine -- and restoring him to his "true height."

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 18)

Friday, January 22

  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Watch Bryan on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Daveed Diggs (Central Park/black-ish) - Daveed is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Bill Hader (Barry) - Bill appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • George Lopez (Lopez/Saint George/George Lopez) - George chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris talks about The Resident on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother) - Jason talks about Our Friend on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Isaiah Crews (Side Hustle) - Isaiah talks about Side Hustle on Access Daily, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (September-January)

Young Sheldon - The Complete Third Season Mom - The Complete Seventh Season The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

09/01 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Season 14
09/01 - What We Do in the Shadows - The Complete Second Season
09/01 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
09/15 - Mom - The Complete Seventh Season
09/15 - South Side - Season 1
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Second Season
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Third Season
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Fourth Season
09/22 - Man with a Plan - Season Three
09/29 - The Bob Newhart Show - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
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

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