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

Monday, January 25

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Property" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Calvin discovers a member of the community plans to sell to greedy developers, he vows to find a buyer closer to home instead. However, the Butlers and Johnsons soon realize that the dilapidated property will require more work than they expected.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "Honest Yak Prices" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
With Abishola’s husband adamant that he’ll never agree to a divorce, Bob and Abishola grow disheartened that they will never be able to get married.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 25)

Monday, January 25

  • Dax Shepard (Bless This Mess) - Watch Dax on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jane Lynch (Angel from Hell) - Jane appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Kate Flannery (The Office) - Kate is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Nicole Byer (Loosely Exactly Nicole) - Nicole will be on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Yara Shahidi (grown-ish/black-ish) and Trevor Jackson (grown-ish) - Yara and Trevor talk about grown-ish on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Dakota Johnson (Ben and Kate) - Dakota discusses growing up in the spotlight, how she's spent her quarantine and reveals the famous person's name she uses to get reservations on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rob Lowe (The Grinder/Parks and Recreation - Rob talks about his hit show 9-1-1: Lone Star, and even shares some behind-the-scenes scoop on what it’s like working with his son who is a writer on the show on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Stanley Tucci (Central Park) - Stanley talks about Supernova on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Saved by the Bell/mixed-ish/Truth Be Told) and Tika Sumper (mixed-ish/The Game) - Mark-Paul and Tika talk about mixed-ish on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. Mark-Paul will also be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Daveed Diggs (Central Park/black-ish) - Daveed talks about TNT's Snowpiercer on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie/Malibu Country) - Lily talks about Radium Girls on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


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


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