Friday, April 24, 2020

Fri-Yay: Thoughts on #blackAF from Kenya Barris; NBC Schedules Parks and Recreation Reunion Special

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!

by Vincent

#blackAF

Last week, Netflix debuted #blackAF, a semi-autobiographical comedy series from black-ish creator Kenya Barris. The series is in the style of Curb Your Enthusiasm, a "fiction, but based in reality" story of Kenya. In the sitcom, he is still the producer of black-ish, but his wife and children are fictionalized. The humor is also somewhat comparable to Curb, with a lot of "cringe" comedy and awkward moments, but much like black-ish, with an added focus on being a black creator and how it can be difficult to navigate that world. Netflix has been promoting the series rather heavily. It makes sense, given that most of their comedy shows have ended recently and they are in dire need of a comedy breakout hit. However, I'm not sure #blackAF has what it takes to be that for them.

The show isn't particularly funny - like a lot of Netflix "autobiographical" series, it aims more to tell a story and be somewhat humorous rather than provide jokes. I'm okay with that format (although frankly a little tired of it as it seems like every network and streaming service in the late '10s tried that type of series out for a spin), the problem is that #blackAF's story is too similar to many other similar shows' stories, essentially amounting to "isn't it hard to be a wealthy creator?" #blackAF, unfortunately, doesn't add enough new to the conversation, and unlike Barris' TV sitcoms (particularly the mothership, black-ish), it doesn't do much with its diverse point of view, instead relying on beats that Curb Your Enthusiasm or shows like Master of None have already hit. Also, frankly, it recycles a lot of the beats that Barris' own show black-ish already did a better job of hitting. Barris' character feels an awful lot like Dre from black-ish at times. It does have its moments, and it's not a terrible watch, but ultimately, it feels too much like a repeat of other shows' formulas to be something to get excited over.


Parks and Recreation

Five years after audiences said goodbye to one of the most beloved comedies in TV history, the fine citizens of Pawnee, Ind., are reuniting for NBC and Universal Television's all-original A Parks and Recreation Special set to air Thursday, April 30 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. All of the original characters from the series will return in the 30-minute special, played by original cast members Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O'Heir, and Retta. (In addition, several guest stars from the Pawnee universe may pop in.) The story comes from the events of the day – Pawnee's most dedicated civil servant, Leslie Knope, is determined to stay connected to her friends in a time of social distancing. The telecast was created to raise funds for Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund, which will enable food banks to secure the resources they need to serve the most vulnerable members of the community during this difficult time. In the spirit of Leslie Knope and do-gooders everywhere, please go to www.feedingamerica.org/parksnadrec .

State Farm and Subaru of America will each make matching donations of $150,000 and, combined with NBCUniversal and the writers/producers/cast of Parks and Recreation, a total of $500,000 in matching donations will be made through May 21. With its April 30 air date, the special marks not only a reunion of a comedy that was adored by millions but the first scripted show to air on broadcast that addresses our current situation. An original Parks and Recreation Clip Show (working title) will air before the special at 8:00pm ET/PT. As a result of these two specials, NBC will now air a repeat of the series premiere of Council of Dads at 9:00pm (instead of 8pm) followed by a new episode now at 10:00pm ET/PT. The season premiere of Blindspot will now air the following week on Thursday, May 7 at 9pm, with the series finale now pushed to Thursday, July 23 at 9:00pm ET/PT.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Tuesday, July 23

The Conners - "Road Trip and Guilt Trip" (The CW, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dan and Jackie take a road trip to a hardware wholesaler in Oklahoma; Darlene heads out of town and leaves behind a plethora of to-do notes for Becky and Ben.

The Conners - "Text Thread and The Marital Bed" (The CW, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Louise gets into a feud with Becky after accidentally sending a rude message in the family text thread; Darlene tries to spice up her sex life with Ben.

The Conners - "What's So Funny About Peas, Love and Understanding?" (The CW, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Darlene figures out a new plan to afford Mark's college tuition; Jackie and Louise try to help Becky meet a new guy.

The Conners - "Dating, Drinking and Grifter Logic" (The CW, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Neville confronts Jackie about loaning Dan money; Darlene attempts to play matchmaker for Mark.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 22)

Tuesday, July 23

  • Lamorne Morris (Woke/New Girl) - Lamorne guest hosts Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Zachary Levi (Telenovela/Less Than Perfect) - Catch Zachary on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Hugh Jackman (Human Resources) - Hugh is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Ralph Macchio (Eight is Enough) - Ralph appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. He will also be on Live with Kelly and Mark, so check your listings.
  • John Owen Lowe (Unstable/The Grinder) - John is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Rashida Jones (Sunny/BlackAF/Duncanville/Angie Tribeca/Unhitched/The Office) - Rashida appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Anna Faris (Mom) and
  • Andy Richter (Andy Barker, P.I./Quintuplets/Andy Richter Controls the Universe) - Anna and Andy are guests on After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Zosia Mamet (Girls) - Zosia talks about The Decameron on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Gina Rodriguez (Not Dead Yet) - Gina is a guest on a repeat of Sherri, so check your local listings.
  • Cole Escola (Human Resources/Search Party/Mozart in the Jungle/Difficult People) - Cole chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Drea De Matteo (Joey) - Drea discusses her Ultrafree streetwear line on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso) - Hannah appears on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jay Pharoah (White Famous/Champaign ILL) - Jay is a guest on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series Check It Out! - The Complete Series The Jeffersons - The Complete Series (2024 Release) Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Series (2024 Release)

02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One
03/12 - Ghosts (UK) - The Complete Series
03/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 3 (Blu-ray)
03/12 - Rick and Morty - Season 7 (Blu-ray Steelbook) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
04/03 - Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series (VEI)
04/08 - Check It Out! - The Complete Series (VEI)
05/21 - Frasier (2023) - Season One
06/11 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series (2024 Release)
06/11 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Series (2024 Release)
07/05 - Letterkenny - Season 12 (Final Season)
07/30 - Ted Lasso - The Richmond Way (The Complete Series) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
09/17 - Bewitched - The Complete Series - 60th Anniversary Special Edition (Blu-ray)
09/24 - Friends - The Complete Series (4K Ultra HD)
09/24 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Series
10/08 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Twelfth Season / The Complete Series

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


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

07/22 - FETV Acquires Dragnet; CBS Special for Bob Newhart
07/21 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 22, 2024)
07/20 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Apple TV+ Renews Loot for Third Season; CBS Developing Area 51 Comedy
07/19 - Remembering TV Legend Bob Newhart, TV Bad Girl Shannen Doherty of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed, and Doogie Howser TV Dad James B. Sikking
07/18 - 76th Primetime Emmy Nominations; Frasier Returns September 19
07/17 - Fox Fall 2024 Premiere Dates; Apple TV+ Renews Loot for Season 3
07/16 - Survival of the Thickest Season 2 Adds to Cast; Phil Rosenthal Series Renewed by Netflix
07/15 - CBS Fall 2024 Premiere Dates; Disney Entertainment Television at San Diego Comic-Con 2024
07/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 15, 2024)
07/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Martin Prequel in the Works; Wendie Malick to Star in Season 3 of Night Court
07/12 - FX Premiere Dates; CBS Studios San Diego Comic-Con Plans
07/11 - ABC Fall 2024 Premiere Dates; Remembering Doug Sheehan of Day by Day and Clueless and Benji Gregory of ALF
07/10 - NBC Fall 2024 Premiere Dates; New Paramount+ Series with Billy Bob Thornton
07/09 - Futurama Trailer Released for Season 12; Will You Help Solve a Mystery? Unsolved Mysteries Volume 4 Drops July 31
07/08 - Hulu's How to Die Alone Premieres This September; Prime Video's Cross Launches This Fall
07/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 8, 2024)
07/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Skydance Media Reportedly Taking Over Paramount; Internet Archive Restores MTV News Archives
07/05 - Sitcom Stars Pair Up on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire; TV One Premieres Raising Fame
07/04 - Happy 4th of July; Antenna TV's McHale's Navy Red, White and Navy Independence Day Marathon
07/03 - Netflix Has Baby Fever Again; More Stars Join Sirens
07/02 - Cobra Kai's Final Season Begins July 18; Hell Yeah! Kite Man: Hell Yeah! Premieres July 18 on Max
07/01 - Remembering Martin Mull of Roseanne, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and More; Will Forte Joins Netflix's Upcoming Comedy The Four Seasons
06/30 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 1, 2024)
06/29 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Nancy O'Dell to Host New Daytime True Crime Series; NBC to Use AI Clips of Al Michaels' Voice for Olympics
06/28 - Hulu's Hit-Monkey Trailer Drops; Remembering Character Actor Bill Cobbs
06/27 - New Jersey's North to Shore Festival Brings Out the Stars; ABC's GMA Summer Concert Series 2024
06/26 - Fox Nation Taps Kelsey Grammer for Docudrama; Hallmark Channel's Kansas City Chiefs Christmas Movie
06/25 - Watch New Season of The Bear Earlier; NBC's 4th of July Fireworks Special Details
06/24 - Prime Video Orders Riz Ahmed Comedy; New Trio Join Only Murders for Season 4
06/23 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 24, 2024)
06/22 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Casting for Everybody Still Hates Chris; Homicide: Life on the Street Headed to Streaming