Friday, August 21, 2020

Fri-Yay: The Lasting Impact of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; BET Sets Premiere Date for Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Assisted Living

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!

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

by Vincent

Recently, as I've been stuck in the house more often, I've been rewatching some old sitcoms in syndication since I've watched many of the sitcoms on streaming services over and over again. I've also been browsing the app TikTok, which as you probably know is very popular with teenagers and young adults. I've noticed that some sitcoms that are aging remain very popular with younger generations today, and one of those sitcoms is The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I've been watching Fresh Prince in reruns on VH1, for the first time in about a decade, and I'm struck by how timeless the show feels, which is likely why it remains so popular.

Fresh Prince was at its heart a "fish out of water" story that smartly dealt with class differences. The show was upfront about these differences in a way sitcoms typically aren't, never forgetting how Will's background was so different than his uncle, aunt and cousins. Class issues are a very relevant and popular topic among the younger generation today, and Fresh Prince's upfront stance on these issues might be a reason why it's endured. Additionally, Fresh Prince was a sitcom with an entirely black cast (which is actually less common on TV today than it was 25 years ago) and was also very upfront in issues dealing with race - issues such as racism and police profiling were covered on Fresh Prince in raw and real ways. These are obviously issues that have been very "front and center" in today's society and this year especially, so for a 25 year old sitcom to be tackling those issues, again, helps it stay fresh for future generations. And, not to forget - the show's humor genuinely still feels fresh. Will Smith is a strong comedic actor (something he himself has seemingly forgotten) and the jokes are fast and furious. Sometimes they don't flow too well with the dramatic moments, but this was a common issue in '90s sitcoms, and it can be forgiven. I spend a lot of time talking about modern sitcoms on this blog, but sometimes it's worth it to take a look back at the shows that did and didn't stand the test of time, and Fresh Prince is one that definitely did. I might make this a regular feature and look back every so often at some past sitcoms and analyze why they did - or didn't - stand the test of time.


Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Tyler Perry's Assisted Living

Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Tyler Perry's Assisted Living will premiere on BET Wednesday, September 2nd at 9 PM ET and 10 PM ET, respectively. Two half-hour episodes will air for each show. Tyler Perry's House of Payne, returning for its seventh season, is a hilarious comedy about retired fire chief Curtis Payne (LaVan Davis) and his lovely wife Ella (Cassi Davis Patton) that picks up five years later, as they continue to navigate the problems of life with their quirky modern-day family. Tyler Perry's House of Payne stars LaVan Davis as Curtis Payne, Cassi Davis Patton as Ella Payne, Lance Gross as Calvin Payne, Demetria McKinney as Janine Payne, China Anne McClain as Jazmine Payne, Keshia Knight Pulliam as Miranda and Allen Payne as CJ Payne.

In the new sitcom Tyler Perry's Assisted Living, Jeremy (Na'im Lynn), a patriarch of a young family with teenage children, loses his job and decides to move to the backwoods of Georgia to help his crazy grandfather. Grandpa Vinny (J. Anthony Brown) has foolishly purchased a terribly run-down home for the elderly and he is in way over his head, but comedy ensues as Mr. Brown (David Mann) and Cora (Tamela Mann) show up at the right time as needy investors. Tyler Perry's Assisted Living stars David Mann as Mr. Brown, Tamela Mann as Cora, J. Anthony Brown as Vinny, Na'im Lynn as Jeremy, Courtney Nichole as Leah, Tayler Buck as Sandra and Alex Henderson as Phillip.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Monday, May 20

none scheduled

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 20)

Monday, May 20

  • Jennifer Lopez (South Central) - Watch Jennifer on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Reiser (Mad About You/Red Oaks/Married/My Two Dads) - Paul and Michael McDonald are guests on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. They also talk about What a Fool Believes: A Memoir on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Sarah Paulson (Leap of Faith) - Sarah stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Paul Scheer (Black Monday/Fresh Off the Boat/The League) - Paul is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Daniel Radcliffe (Miracle Workers) - Daniel appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Rory Scovel (Physical/Ground Floor) and Harvey GuillĂ©n (What We Do in the Shadows/The Thundermans) - Rory and Harvey are guests on After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Shay Mitchell (Dollface) - Shay appears on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen at 10pm on Bravo. NBC's Today catches up with Shay in the 10am hour.
  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) and Martin Lawrence (Partners/Martin/What's Happening Now!!) - E! News has interviews with Will and Martin at 11pm on E!.
  • Drake Bell (Drake & Josh) - Drake shares his story on NBC's Today some time between 7-9am.
  • Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso) - Hannah is joining Drew and answering a round of questions in balloon pop quiz on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.. She's also telling Drew about voicing her animated character in The Garfield Movie.
  • Kadeem Hardison (K.C. Undercover/Abby/Between Brothers/A Different World) - Kadeem stops by to tell Sherri about his role on The Chi on Sherri, so check your local listings.
  • Tony Danza (Taxi/Who's the Boss?/Hudson Street/The Tony Danza Show) - Tony discusses his Standards & Stories tour on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Dylan McDermott (LA to Vegas) - Dylan is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project/The Office) - Mindy can be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM.
  • Bailee Madison (Trophy Wife) - Bailee appears on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 9:30am.
  • Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) - Jeremy is a guest on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 10:05am.


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)
05/21 - Frasier (2023) - Season One

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


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04/24 - Apple TV+ Comedy Trying Season 4; Shoresy Returns to Hulu in June
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