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 / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Thursday, February 29

Young Sheldon - "A Strudel and a Hot American Boy Toy" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon explores Germany behind Mary’s back, Missy attempts to pull a fast one on George Sr. and Meemaw and Dale adjust to living together.

Ghosts - "He Sees Dead People" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Jay’s sister, Bela (Puna Patel), and her boyfriend, Eric (Andrew Leeds), visit Woodstone Mansion, Eric reveals a major change that took place after his near-death experience there over Christmas.

The Conners - "Throwing a Christian to a Bear" (The CW, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Conners struggle to accept Becky's new boyfriend, a Green Bay Packers fan; Dan tries to impress upon Mark the importance of the family's die-hard loyalty to the Bears; Ben and Darlene try to get a loan for their new magazine.

The Conners - "Mud Turtles, A Good Steak and One Man in a Tub" (The CW, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Becky thinks that Jackie's new friend, a restaurant supplier, is taking advantage of them; Darlene is thrilled when Harris gets into Central Illinois State, but Harris might have found a better offer; Dan finds himself in an embarrassing situation.

Son of a Critch - "Thanksgiving" (The CW, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Mark takes directing the school play too seriously and finds himself without a cast and crew; Mark stubbornly tries to perform the play alone but realizes he's not a one-man-show.

Children Ruin Everything - "Hangover" (The CW, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Astrid and James think they've planned the perfect hangover day, but the kids, the neighbors and a bad internet connection have other plans.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 26)

Thursday, February 29

  • Eugene Levy (Schitt's Creek/Greg the Bunny/Hiller and Diller) - Catch Eugene on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Fred Armisen (Los Espookys/Forever/Final Space) - Fred sits in with The 8G Band on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Annaleigh Ashford (B Positive) - Annaleigh is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show/Here and Now/Malcolm & Eddie/Listen Up!/Reed Between the Lines) - Malcolm-Jamal and his mother Pamela Warner talk about her book A Parent's Guide to Managing Showbiz Kids on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Laurence Fishburne (black-ish) - Laurence chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.


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

Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Father Knows Best - The Complete Series The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

11/07 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Sixth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/14 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One

That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

02/29 - Season 3 of Hacks Adds Star Power; Remembering Richard Lewis
02/28 - BUZZR Celebrates Women's History Month in March; 10th Anniversary of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
02/27 - Little House on the Prairie Big 5-0 Stunt on COZI TV; Netflix Orders Tires Starring Shane Gillis
02/26 - Hulu Orders Chad Powers Starring Glen Powell; Netflix's Mindy Kaling Produced Comedy Rounds Out Cast
02/25 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 26, 2024)
02/24 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Frasier Reboot Gets Second Season; Jimmy Kimmel Hints at End of Talk Show
02/23 - Paramount+ Renews Frasier for Season 2; Netflix Orders Series from Maid Showrunner
02/22 - 30th SAG Awards Presenters Announced; Jay Pharoah Heads to Fox
02/21 - SNL Loads Up for Next 3 Weeks; Tig Notaro Prime Video Special
02/20 - Brittany Snow to Star Opposite Malin Akerman in Starz Series; Dennis Quaid Joining Paramount+
02/19 - Rewind TV's 227 on 2/27 Marathon; Dolly Parton's Pet Gala with Special Guests
02/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 19, 2024)
02/17 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Bewitched Reboot in the Works; Paramount+ and Peacock in Merger Talks
02/16 - TCA Winter 2024 Press Tour: The CW; Girls5eva Season 3 Premieres March 14
02/15 - TCA Winter 2024 Press Tour: Peacock, Syfy and NBC
02/14 - Survival of the Thickest Gets 2nd Season; Roma Downey and Ted McGinley Set to Star on Prime Video
02/13 - Netflix Announces Adam Sandler Special; Tyler Perry Gets Another Series
02/12 - TCA Winter 2024 Press Tour: ABC, Disney, Hulu, FX
02/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 12, 2024)
02/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: FX Sticking with Binge Drop for The Bear; Peak TV Declared to Be "Over"
02/09 - More Stars for Netflix's No Good Deed; ID Premiering Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV; Remembering Carl Weathers
02/08 - Apple TV+ Comedy Series Palm Royale Has Star Power; Katt Williams Gets New Netflix Comedy Special
02/07 - Hallmark Movies & Mysteries to Rebrand as Hallmark Mystery; Fox Renews Animal Control for Season 3 Ahead of Season 2 Launch
02/06 - COZI TV's The Many Loves of Frasier Crane Marathon; Netflix Announces Cast for Ted Danson Comedy
02/05 - Lopez vs Lopez Airing in April on NBC; Apple TV+ New Peanuts Special on February 16
02/04 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 5, 2024)
02/03 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Curb Your Enthusiasm Really Ending After 12 Seasons; Season Two Premiere Date Set for Lopez vs Lopez
02/02 - Extraordinary Season 2 This March on Hulu; Great American Family Sets Hosts for Gala
02/01 - Colin from Accounts Returning to Paramount+; Weakest Link Days of Our Lives Special
01/31 - Hulu Black History Month Includes Timeless Classics; BUZZR Celebrates Black History Month, Too
01/30 - Good Times 50th Anniversary Marathons on get.; Password Returns for Season 2 on NBC
01/29 - Antenna TV's I Wish for an I Dream of Jeannie Valentine's Day Marathon; Malin Akerman Headlining Starz Drama