Friday, July 24, 2020

Fri-Yay: Two More COVID-19 Remote Reunions: 30 Rock and Happy Endings; Netflix Renews Top 10 Series Sweet Magnolias for Season 2

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

This week, two more sitcoms joined the growing trend of remote reunion episodes, 30 Rock and Happy Endings. 30 Rock's remote reunion special aired last Thursday on NBC, while the Happy Endings remote reunion episode streamed on YouTube this past Monday. It was great seeing the casts and hearing the joke rhythms of these two cult classic comedies again, both of which had a non-stop joke telling approach to comedy writing that I really loved, and which have allowed both of them to go onto become cult classics via streaming services. That said, I had very different opinions of both specials, despite being a big fan of both shows.

The 30 Rock reunion special doubled as a promotional vehicle for NBC's fall schedule as well as Peacock, and it made the entire special seem a little forced. It was nice to see the 30 Rock cast again, catch up to where they are in 2020, and hear some of the show's classic joke rhythms. The special felt true to the characters, and it was especially fun watching Jane Krakowski's Jenna deal with the effects of "cancel culture." And there were some other good gags in the special, such as Jack having the "iPhone 40" and the meta joke about Peacock not securing the rights to Friends (which felt like a very classic "30 Rock dunking on NBC" joke.) And yet, the fact that the special had to be interrupted every few minutes to watch the characters shamelessly plug NBCUniversal Networks' line-up was disappointing, even if that's what the special was intended for. It was a little odd to see the show just blatantly promoting NBC when it spent so much of its run making fun of it and using meta, tongue-in-cheek humor to get out of doing product placement (the classic gag where Liz looks into the camera and says "Can we have our money now?" was one of the show's funniest moments). Still, it was enjoyable enough and I did like seeing all of the characters again, so while I was a bit letdown, it wasn't a complete waste of time.

Happy Endings

But it couldn't compare to the Happy Endings reunion episode, which had a much lower production budget (it was literally just the cast on Zoom, similar to the Parks & Recreation episode from earlier in the pandemic) but otherwise was written and structured like a regular episode of Happy Endings. And the show has not missed a beat in terms of joke crafting - the jokes came fast and furious, just as they did during the show's original run. The running joke of Dave accidentally opening a restaurant called "Covid-19" felt extremely classic Happy Endings, as did the idea of airheaded Alex being a virus denier, or Penny and Max marrying each other on Zoom because they couldn't find anyone else. It was simple, but it managed to completely capture everything that made the show so great, and further convinced me that a Happy Endings reboot would be one of the only shows that I think could successfully be rebooted and not miss a step from its original run. This special proved you could literally just get the cast onto video chat and it would still be comedy gold. I'm just saying, if any streaming service or network wants to greenlight a show that's just the Happy Endings cast talking in character over video chat for 10 episodes a season...I'd watch. All in all, this special really reminded me just how great Happy Endings was, and if you still haven't seen it, I really recommend checking out all 56 episodes on Hulu as soon as possible.


Netflix has renewed southern drama Sweet Magnolias for a second season! The first season dropped in May with 10 episodes. Life in the small, Southern town of Serenity isn't exactly serene for three best friends as together they navigate relationships, family and careers. Centered on three South Carolina women, best friends since high school, as they shepherd each other through the complexities of romance, career, and family. The series stars JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Maddie Townsend, Brooke Elliott as Dana Sue Sullivan, Heather Headley as Helen Decatur, Justin Bruening as Cal Maddox, Chris Klein as Bill Townsend, Carson Rowland as Tyler Townsend, Logan Allen as Kyle Townsend, Anneliese Judge as Annie Sullivan and special guest star Jamie Lynn Spears as Noreen Fitzgibbons.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, October 28

The Goldbergs - "It's All About Comptrol" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Geoff and Erica come to a point in the relationship where they realize they are in different places in college; and Geoff makes an important decision while Beverly tries to find a new purpose in her life as she seeks political office as the city comptroller.

American Housewife - "Graudation" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie goes to great lengths to appease Principal Ablin (Jerry Lambert) in order to ensure Taylor graduates high school. Meanwhile, Greg finishes ghost writing the final chapter of Lonnie’s (Matt Shively) book. And while Oliver is devastated to learn Cooper’s (Logan Pepper) family will be moving out of Westport, Anna-Kat tells Franklin (Evan O’Toole) she is ready to venture outside her comfort zone and plans to attend sleep-away camp during summer break.

The Conners - "Halloween and The Election vs. The Pandemic" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Mary is devasted that Halloween has been canceled by the city, so Darlene and Becky enlist Jackie and the rest of the family to create an unforgettable experience. Meanwhile, Mark goes toe-to-toe with another kid at school who doesn’t believe in wearing a mask on “The Conners.” Michael Fishman, who stars as D.J. Conner, makes his directorial debut.

black-ish - "Dre at Home Order" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Dre underestimates how hard of an adjustment operating during a pandemic will be for the Johnsons. Meanwhile, Junior’s attempts to bring his girlfriend closer to the family are stymied by the new realities of social distancing.

Tyler Perry's House of Payne - "Been a Long Time" (BET, 8:00PM ET/PT)
House of Payne is the hilarious comedy about Retired fire chief Curtis Payne and his lovely wife Ella. Together the loving couple navigate the problems of life with their quirky modern day family.

Tyler Perry's Assisted Living - "A Huge Debt" (BET, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Leah tries tracking Sandra's cell phone when she comes up missing.

Family Time - "Notorious D-O-G" (Bounce TV, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Lisa brings home a stray, despite Tony's aversion to dogs; Lisa's and Vivian's Soul Sisters Catering secure their biggest gig yet.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 26)

Wednesday, October 28

  • Gillian Jacobs (Community/Love) - Watch Gillian on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Ken Jeong (Community/Dr. Ken) - Ken appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Bette Midler (Bette) - Bette is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She also talks about New York Restoration Project’s Hocus Pocus Hulaween on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea will be on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. She chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Anna Faris (Mom) - Anna appears on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll) - Natasha is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • D. L. Hughley (The Hughleys) - D. L. appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Rickey Smiley (The Rickey Smiley Show) - Rickey will be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Thomas Middleditch (B Positive/Silicon Valley) - Thomas is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Mario Cantone (Sex and the City) - Mario appears on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Emma Roberts (Scream Queens/Unfabulous) - Emma will be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Phil Rosenthal (Creator of Everybody Loves Raymond) - Phil is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your loca listings.
  • Michael Fishman (The Conners/Roseanne) - Michael talks about the season premiere of The Conners, directing his first episode and why he has become a mental health advocate on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • China Anne McClain (Tyler Perry's House of Payne/A.N.T. Farm) - China will be on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Ilana Glazer (Broad City) - Ilana is a guest on ABC's GMA3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela talks about TBS's The Misery Index on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project/The Office) - Mindy will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (July/August/September/October)

Will & Grace - The Revival -Season Three - The Farewell Season 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

07/07 - Will & Grace - The Revival - Season Three - The Farewell Season
07/21 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Tenth Season
07/21 - The Thundermans - Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3 / Season 4
07/21 - The Unicorn - Season One
07/28 - The Thundermans - Season 1-4 Bundle
08/04 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Eighth Season
08/04 - The Neighborhood - Season One
08/11 - Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens - Season 1
08/11 - Final Space - The First and Second Seasons (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
10/27 - The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
10/27 - Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

10/28 - COZI TV Halloween Marathons of The Munsters & Roseanne; Apple TV+ Orders Another Comedy, This Time with Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen
10/27 - Freeform's The Clock Is Ticking Special with Yara Shahidi; Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Ends on New Year's Eve
10/26 - TBS Orders 3rd Season of Miracle Workers; SNL Extended to 6 New Episodes in a Row - A Record!
10/25 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 26, 2020)
10/24 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Another Addams Family Reboot in the Works?; Quibi Says Goodbye After Six Months
10/23 - Fri-Yay: Archer Goes Back to Its Roots for Season 11; Everybody Loves Raymond Cast Reunion Tonight
10/22 - CBS Announces More Fall Premieres; REELZ Books Jennifer Aniston Special
10/21 - MeTV Network Acquires Looney Tunes and More Classic Cartoons; Kaley Cuoco HBO Max Series Announces Nov. 26 Premiere
10/20 - Antenna TV Officially Announces Returns of The Jeffersons and One Day at a Time; Holiday Movie Reunites Family Matters Siblings
10/19 - Disney+ Says "Simpsons Forever"; TBS Orders 4th Season of The Last O.G.
10/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 19, 2020)
10/17 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Fried Green Tomatoes Series Starring Reba McEntire in the Works at NBC; Last Man Standing to End After Nine Seasons
10/16 - Fri-Yay: COVID-19 Storylines on TV, Will Viewers Watch?; Antenna TV's 70 Episode Jack Benny Marathon for 70th Anniversary
10/15 - Last Man Standing to Conclude After Season 9 in 2021; CBS Announces Fall 2020 Premiere Dates
10/14 - TBS Brings Out Halloween Sitcom Episodes on Halloween; Remembering Conchata Ferrell of Two and a Half Men
10/13 - Freeform's 'Kickoff to Christmas' Schedule; Celebrate 20 Years of Curb on HBO Max
10/12 - TNT Airing The West Wing Reruns on Fridays; Kate Mulgrew Joins Star Trek Animated Comedy
10/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 12, 2020)
10/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Seinfeld's Newman Returns in PSA to Encourage Mail-In Voting; Showtime Cancels On Becoming a God in Central Florida
10/09 - Fri-Yay: One Day at a Time Makes Broadcast Debut As a Continuation of the Series' Unlikely Journey; Dickinson Season 2 Premiere Date and Renewal for Season 3
10/08 - Hallmark Drama Adding Cheers, Happy Days and The Brady Bunch; Chelsea Handler HBO Max Special Gets Date
10/07 - NBC Fall Pilot Review: Connecting... - Premieres Thursday (Oct. 8); Supernatural Gets Marathons on TNT as Series Finale Airs Nov. 19 on The CW
10/06 - Cobra Kai Season 3 Premiere Date, 4th Season Renewal; Busy Philipps Joins Peacock Comedy Girls5eva
10/05 - Apple TV+ Launches The Snoopy Show in 2021; Antenna TV Celebrates 70th Anniversary of The Burns and Allen Show
10/04 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 5, 2020)
10/03 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Saved by the Bell Reboot Debut Date Set; South Park Pandemic Special a Ratings Hit
10/02 - Fri-Yay: The Return of Sitcoms: black-ish & Superstore; Bounce Acquires Everybody Hates Chris & Greenleaf
10/01 - NBC's Young Rock Announces Cast; OWN Gets Digital Comedy
09/30 - Saved by the Bell Reboot Launching November 25; HBO Orders Weekly Talk Show with Sam Jay
09/29 - The Addams Family Coming to FETV; Netflix Developing Korean Sitcom
09/28 - 2002-2007 Sitcom George Lopez Coming to TBS; Guests Announced for black-ish Election Special