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

Tuesday, August 16

What We Do in the Shadows - "Pine Barrens" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Nandor and Lazslo air out their differences on a hunting trip at an isolated cabin; Nadja has a girls' night; Guillermo reconnects with his family for the first time in 12 years.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 15)

Tuesday, August 16

  • Bob Odenkirk (The Larry Sanders Show) - Catch Bob on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Al Franken (LateLine) - Al guest hosts Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi is a musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Murray Bartlett (Physical/Looking) - Murray is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Vanessa Bayer (I Love That for You) - Vanessa will be on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Amanda Peet (Brockmire/Togetherness/Bent) - Amanda is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Brett Gelman (Fleabag/Married/Go On) - Brett appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kyle Richards (Down to Earth) - Kyle is a guest on a repeat of Watch What Happens: Live at 3:30am on Bravo.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Mr. Iglesias/Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect/Suddenly Susan) - Sherri chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. She guest hosts a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rebel Wilson (Super Fun Night) - Rebel will be on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Sterling K. Brown (Starved) - Sterling talks about Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House/Hollywood Darlings/Full House) - Jodie is a guest on E!'s Daily Pop at 11am.
  • Wendie Malick (Hot in Cleveland/Big Day/Jake in Progress/Just Shoot Me!) - Wendie talks about her new movie Mack & Rita on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Melba Moore (Melba) - Melba will be on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 9:40am.
  • Suraj Sharma (How I Met Your Father) - Suraj appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April-August)

Up All Night - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy) - The Complete Fourth Season Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release) The Neighborhood - Season Four The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Three

04/05 - Up All Night - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/26 - The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy) - The Complete Fourth Season
04/26 - Jackie Gleason TV Treasures - 70th Anniversary Collection (including Honeymooners Rarities)
05/03 - No Activity - Season Three
05/13 - The Donna Reed Show - The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Time Life)
05/31 - Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
06/14 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Eleventh Season
06/14 - Hacks - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
06/14 - Rutherford Falls - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
06/21 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season One / Season Two
07/19 - The Neighborhood - Season Four
07/19 - Reno 911! - The Hunt for QAnon (Blu-ray) (DVD)
07/26 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Three / Season Four
08/16 - And Just Like That... - The Complete First Season (Warner Bros. - Canada)
08/16 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Fourth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

08/15 - Abbott Elementary Summer School Marathon on ABC; Freevee's High School Premieres in October
08/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 15, 2022)
08/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Game Shows Moving to Primetime Emmys; Ring Doorbell Viral Video Show in the Works
08/12 - Apple TV+ Renews Physical for Season 3; Lifetime Orders It's a Wonderful Lifetime and Ripped from the Headlines Titles for Fall & Winter
08/11 - Hallmark Original Series Sets Cast; Remembering Pat Carroll, Roger E. Mosley and Vin Scully
08/10 - Cobra Kai Returns Sept. 9 on Netflix; Marlon Wayans Gets Starz Comedy
08/09 - COZI TV Celebrates Emergency! 50th Anniversary with Documentary; Kaley Cuoco Heads to Peacock for Comedic Thriller Series
08/08 - FETV Acquires Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; Disney+ Orders 2nd Season of Robin Roberts Talk Show
08/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 8, 2022)
08/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Everybody Still Hates Chris Animated Series in the Works; HBO Max and Discovery+ Merging Into One
08/05 - Disney+ Series Premiere Dates, Includes Dancing with the Stars; Hallmark Orders New Original Drama
08/04 - NBC Moving Days of Our Lives to Peacock, Replacing with News Show; Selena + Chef Returns on HBO Max
08/03 - FX's Atlanta Final Season Launches Sept. 15; Elisabeth Moss Gets New Hulu Series
08/02 - Showtime Orders Comedy Pilot Titled Mason; NBC Renews Weakest Link Revival for Season 3
08/01 - HBO's Los Espookys Returns in September; Good Grief Is Back on IFC
07/31 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 1, 2022)
07/30 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Max Headroom Reboot in Works at AMC Networks; Jeopardy! to Continue Dual Host Plan
07/29 - HBO Max and Hulu to Share Streaming Rights to Abbott Elementary; Reboot Gets Premiere Date
07/28 - ABC to Present Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter; Remembering Tony Dow of Leave it to Beaver and Paul Sorvino
07/27 - The Orville Coming to Disney+ and Continues on Hulu; Retta Continues Partnership with HGTV
07/26 - Mythic Quest Returns for 10 Episodes in Fall; Patton Oswalt's Netflix Comedy Special We All Scream Premieres September 20
07/25 - American Dad! Returns Labor Day on TBS; Krapopolis Gets Special Nov. 27 Preview on Fox
07/24 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 25, 2022)
07/23 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Abbott Elementary Given Full Second Season; Preview of New Beavis and Butt-Head Episode
07/22 - Ghosts Dives Into the Metaverse with a Game; Jo Koy Gets 4th Netflix Special; Remembering Rebecca Balding of Soap
07/21 - South Park's 25th Anniversary Concert Event; FETV's Historic June Numbers
07/20 - Hulu's This Fool Premieres August 12; Mo'Nique Gets Netflix Comedy Special
07/19 - Apple TV+ Comedy Central Park Returns in September; Leah Remini Game Show Is Back on Aug. 1
07/18 - Paramount+ Revives Criminal Minds; AMC Network Sizzling in August with Hot Originals
07/17 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 18, 2022)
07/16 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Beavis and Butt-Head Premiere Date Set; TBS Abruptly Cancels Chad Hours Before Season Premiere
07/15 - Alfonso Ribeiro Joins Dancing with the Stars as Co-Host; Archer Returns for Season 13 in August