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

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

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

01/23 - SitcomsOnline Digest: America's Most Wanted to Return; John Krasinski and Regina King Among Upcoming SNL Hosts
01/22 - Fri-Yay: The Network Sitcom Is In Crisis - Can It Be Saved?; TBS Announces Dates for New Series Chad and Return of American Dad!
01/21 - The CW Creates Super Tuesday Event on Feb. 23; More Than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story Arrives Feb. 5
01/20 - Saved by the Bell Renewed for Season 2 on Peacock; The Muppet Show Coming to Disney+ in February
01/19 - TheGrio.TV Launches with 2 Sitcoms; 26th Annual Critics Choice Awards Nominations
01/18 - NBC Schedules Young Rock and Kenan on Tuesdays; Remembering Peter Mark Richman of Three's Company and Dynasty
01/17 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 18, 2021)
01/16 - SitcomsOnline Digest: More Jeopardy! Guest Hosts Announced; NBC Sets Premiere Date for Kenan
01/15 - Fri-Yay: What Does the Future Hold for Sitcoms on Streaming Services?; Disney+ Has Its Teenage Doogie Howser
01/14 - HBO's Insecure Gets 5th and Final Season; Disney's Big City Greens Returns for 3rd Season
01/13 - NBC Orders 3 New Series for 2021-22 Season; Lifetime Slates Winter 2021 Original Movie Slate, Including 400th Original Movie
01/12 - Netflix Gives Us More Bonding Time; Lifetime Movie Club Gets First Original Movie
01/11 - And Just Like That...We Get a Sex and the City Revival Series on HBO Max; Are You Afraid of the Dark? Season 2 Date Revealed
01/10 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 11, 2021)
01/09 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Roku to Acquire Much of Quibi Library; ABC Sees Success in Thursday Night Game Shows
01/08 - Fri-Yay: Why One Day at a Time Cancelation Is a Mistake; COZI TV Remembers Tanya Roberts with Charlie's Angels Special
01/07 - New Punky Brewster Series Drops Feb. 25 on Peacock; Solar Opposites Returns for 2nd Season on Hulu March 26
01/06 - NBC Midseason Pilot Review: Mr. Mayor - Premieres Thursday (Jan. 7); One Tree Hill Duo Return for Comedy Series on Hulu
01/05 - MeTV Network Pays Tribute to Dawn Wells; The Waltons Cast Reunite This Thursday
01/04 - Lifetime January 2021 Schedule with Rizzoli & Isles; Remembering Tanya Roberts of Charlie's Angels and That '70s Show

01/03 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 4, 2021)
01/02 - SitcomsOnline Digest: COVID-19 Shuts Down Production of Several Series; Busy Week of New Premieres
01/01 - Happy New Year!; Murphy Brown Star Heads to The Conners
12/31 - In Memoriam: Remembering Dawn Wells and the Other Sitcom Stars We Lost in 2020
12/30 - New Year's Eve 2020 and New Year's Day 2021 TV Marathons
12/29 - getTV January 2021 Schedule Adds 4 New Series; The Netflix Afterparty Premieres Jan. 2
12/28 - HBO Max Adds More Library Titles in January; The Great North Gets Special Preview This Sunday on Fox
12/27 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of December 28, 2020)
12/26 - SitcomsOnline Digest: ABC Most-Watched Network of 2020; B Positive Gets Full Season Pickup
12/25 - Merry Christmas from SitcomsOnline; Cobra Kai Season 3 Premiere Moved Up!
12/24 - 2020 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day TV Marathons & Movies
12/23 - COZI TV January 2021 Schedule; FX Orders Reservation Dogs