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

Tuesday, October 26

The Last O.G. - "The First Hump Is the Hardest" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
With Wavy's help, Tray tracks down the person who shot him to set things straight; Jasmine has second thoughts about her relationship with Tray.

Tyler Perry's House of Payne - "Bearer of Bad News" (BET, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Calvin wants his son in his wedding, but Miranda might not be on board.

Tyler Perry's Assisted Living - "Mr. Big Stuffed" (BET, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Mr. Brown lets business success go to his head, but he gets taken down a peg when the residents threaten to move out.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 25)

Tuesday, October 26

  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Catch Drew on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Victoria Jackson (Strip Mall/Romeo!) - Victoria is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tori Spelling (Mystery Girls/So Notorious) - Tori appears on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alan Cumming (Schmigadoon!) - Alan is a guest on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Tisha Campbell (Dr. Ken/Rita Rocks/My Wife and Kids/The Jamie Foxx Show/Martin)- Tisha talks about Netflix's Inside Job on Access Daily, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June-October)

Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)

06/08 - The Critic - The Complete Series
06/08 - Fuller House - The Fifth and Final Season
06/08 - Fuller House - The Complete Series
06/08 - Our Cartoon President - Season 3
06/15 - The Office - Season 1 (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
06/15 - Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/07 - No Activity - Season 2
07/13 - The Unicorn - Season 2
07/20 - Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season
07/27 - Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - The Neighborhood - Season Three
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Deluxe Edition (100 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Standard Edition (50 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/24 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season 2
09/07 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
10/19 - Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

10/26 - COZI TV Acquires Munster, Go Home Movie for Halloween Marathon; Peacock is Killing It with Craig Robinson
10/25 - Remembering Peter Scolari of Bosom Buddies and Newhart; Mythic Quest Gets 2 Season Renewal
10/24 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 25, 2021)
10/23 - SitcomsOnline Digest: NBC Orders Lopez vs. Lopez Pilot; Tyler Perry's Sistas Renewed for Season Four
10/22 - Fri-Yay: Are Ghosts and The Wonder Years the Saving Graces of Network Comedy?; Ghosts Receives Full Season Order
10/21 - Butch Patrick Hosts Halloween Monster Bash on Classic Reruns TV; Harlem Starring Meagan Good Premieres Dec. 3
10/20 - Fox Announces Special Post NFL January Premieres; TBS Comedy Wipeout Returns in January for Season 2
10/19 - One Final Family Reunion on Netflix; Apple TV+ Announces Premiere Date for Harriet the Spy
10/18 - GAC Family Acquires Classic Sony Sitcoms; Remembering Betty Lynn from The Andy Griffith Show
10/17 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 18, 2021)
10/16 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Could a Looming Strike Shut Down TV Production?; GAC Family Acquires Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Silver Spoons, and More
10/15 - Dickinson Final Season Date Announced; Superstar: Robin Williams to Air Next Week (Oct. 20)
10/14 - Antenna TV's Bewitched 24-Hour Halloween Marathon; Rewind TV's Sabrina Witch-O-Ween Marathon
10/13 - Head of the Class Reboot Premieres Nov. 4, Guest Stars Robin Givens; The Bear Coming to FX
10/12 - CBS Picks Up First 2 New Series for Full Seasons; On My Block Spinoff Series Cast Set
10/11 - Netflix Orders That '90s Show Featuring Red and Kitty; Nash Bridges Movie Premieres Nov. 27 on USA Network
10/10 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 11, 2021)
10/09 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Orders That '70s Show Spinoff Featuring Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith; Nash Bridges Revival Movie Premiere Date Set
10/08 - Fri-Yay: CBS’s Ghosts Is the Most Interesting New Comedy of the Year; Insecure to Hold Festival for Final Season
10/07 - Mini Desperate Housewives Reunion on Hallmark Christmas Movie; The Kids Tonight Show Premieres Oct. 14
10/06 - And Just Like That... We Get a Premiere Date; The CW Holiday Specials Schedule
10/05 - New Peanuts Holiday Special on Apple TV+, PBS to Air Classic Holiday Specials; COZI TV Acquires Heartland
10/04 - Disney Channel Orders Season 5 of Raven's Home; Freeform Picks Up Phoebe Robinson Comedy
10/03 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 4, 2021)
10/02 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 11 Premiere Date Set; Lori Loughlin Returns to TV Role
10/01 - Fri-Yay: The Fall 2021 Sitcom Line-up Is Pretty Bare; Bounce Renews Johnson for Season 2
09/30 - It's a Wonderful Lifetime Expands with 35 New Movies; Hulu & Lifetime Acquire Castle
09/29 - Curb Your Enthusiasm Returns Yet Again; Archer Returning for Lucky Season 13 on FXX
09/28 - Nick at Nite Acquires Mike & Molly; NBC Orders Night Court to Series
09/27 - MeTV Network Halloween Schedule; HBO Max Renews The Other Two for Third Season
09/26 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 27, 2021)