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

Saturday, April 13

none scheduled

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 8)

Friday, April 12

  • Dax Shepherd (Bless This Mess) - Watch Dax on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Broad City/Baby Boom) - Susie appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) - William is a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher at 10pm on HBO.
  • Wilmer Valderrama (That '70s Show) - Wilmer is telling Drew about the show hitting a milestone 1,000th episode on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Dennis Quaid (Merry Happy Whatever), Cheech Marin (Rob/The Golden Palace) and Jay Hernandez (Hang Time) - Dennis, Cheech and Jay talk about The Long Game on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Mr. Iglesias/Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect/Suddenly Susan) - Sherri is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jaime Camil (Schmigadoon!/Broke) - Jaime talks about NBC's Lopez vs Lopez on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray

Father Knows Best - The Complete Series Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series Check It Out! - The Complete Series

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
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)

The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) 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

04/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: The Talk Coming to an End at CBS; CBS Renews The Neighborhood
04/12 - Netflix Orders Tom Segura Comedy Series; Surprise! S.W.A.T. Gets Uncanceled...Again
04/11 - Max's Velma Returns April 25; Eva Longoria Apple TV+ Series Premieres in June
04/10 - CBS Renews NCIS and The Neighborhood; Max's Pretty Little Liars Returns May 9
04/09 - CBS 2023-24 Season Finale Dates; Hacks Star Gets Max Comedy Special
04/08 - Letterman's My Next Guest Returns April 30; Jack McBrayer HGTV Series Premieres May 3
04/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 8, 2024)
04/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: NBC Cancels Quantum Leap; Airdate Set for Final Pat Sajak Wheel of Fortune Episode
04/05 - Hulu Spring and Summer 2024 Slate; Netflix Orders Tyler Perry Drama; Remembering Joe Flaherty
04/04 - Apple TV+ The Big Door Prize Returns April 24; ABC Renews Will Trent for Season 3
04/03 - Sony Pictures and Game Show Network Upfront; ABC Renews Grey's Anatomy and 9-1-1 for 2024-25
04/02 - Adult Swim's Smiling Friends Returns May 12; Stallone Drama Returning for Season 2
04/01 - Selena Gomez Gets New Food Network Series; Orphan Black Gets New Series
03/31 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 1, 2024)
03/30 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Patricia Richardson on Potential Home Improvement Reboot; Paramount+ Removes Several Nickelodeon Series
03/29 - Hulu Launches on Disney+; Under the Bridge Premieres April 17
03/28 - Netflix's Good Times Animated Comedy Trailer; Too Close for Comfort and Check It Out! Complete Series on DVD
03/27 - The Upshaws Part 5 This April; Max Orders Noah Wyle Medical Drama
03/26 - Apple TV+ Orders Star-Studded Comedy; Elizabeth Banks Joins New Peacock Series
03/25 - Disney Channel Orders Wizards of Waverly Place Revival; Paramount+ Animated Comedy Ark: The Animated Series
03/24 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 25, 2024)
03/23 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Good Times Animated Reboot; NBC Renews Several Popular Series
03/22 - NBC Renews Nearly All Chicago and Law & Order Series; Goosebumps Season 2 Cast Update
03/21 - Hallmark Renews The Way Home; You Final Season Sets Cast
03/20 - Community Arrives on Peacock April 1, Movie Coming Soon; Hulu Premieres New Comedy Dinosaur April 5
03/19 - NBC Summer 2024 Schedule; Starz Drama Rounds Out All-Star Cast
03/18 - Shout! TV Celebrates 25 Years of Farscape; AMC Acquires Snowpiercer
03/17 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 18, 2024)
03/16 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Ty Burrell Sitcom in the Works at ABC; CBS Renews Ghosts
03/15 - Netflix Heads to the Arctic for Comedy Series; Neal Brennan's 3rd Comedy Special
03/14 - SNL Announces Second to Last 3 Episode Set of Season; Bill Maher Renewed for 2 More Seasons
03/13 - CBS Renews Ghosts and Fire Country; Apple TV+ Orders Owen Wilson Comedy