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

Saturday, May 28

none scheduled

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 23)

Friday, May 27

  • Josh Charles (Sports Night) - Watch Josh on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) - Miley appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenna Fischer (The Office/Splitting Up Together) and Angela Kinsey (The Office/The Hotwives of Orlando) - Jenna and Angela talk about their new book, The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There, on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • David Arquette (In Case of Emergency/Double Rush/Parenthood) - David appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Courteney Cox (Shining Vale/Cougar Town/Friends/Family Ties) - Courteney is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Mr. Iglesias/Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect/Suddenly Susan) - Sherri guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Mayim Bialik (Call Me Kat/The Big Bang Theory/Blossom/Molloy) - Mayim appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Neighborhood/The Last O.G./The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) - Cedric is a guest on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jennifer Grey (Red Oaks/It's Like, You Know...) - Jennifer talks about her new memoir, Out of the Corner: A Memoir, on a repeat of Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Glen Powell (Scream Queens) - Glen talks about Top Gun: Maverick on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


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

ALT= Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (2022 Release) Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Fourth Season Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)

02/08 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Ninth Season
02/22 - Everybody Hates Chris - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
02/22 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
03/08 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Eight
03/08 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) (DVD)
03/15 - Head of the Class - The Complete Fourth Season
03/15 - The Proud Family - The Complete Original Series - Anniversary Collection
03/22 - The Honeymooners Specials - The Complete Collection
03/29 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Blu-ray) (DVD)
03/29 - Young Rock - Season One
04/05 - Up All Night - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/26 - The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy) - The Complete Fourth Season
04/26 - Jackie Gleason TV Treasures - 70th Anniversary Collection (including Honeymooners Rarities)
05/03 - No Activity - Season Three
05/31 - Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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