Friday, June 04, 2021

Fri-Yay: Happy Endings Now on Netflix, a Perfect New Comedy Binge; Remembering Arlene Golonka of Mayberry R.F.D.

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!

Happy Endings

by Vincent

ABC's Happy Endings is one of the biggest cult favorite sitcoms of the last decade, at least in terms of shows that were canceled far too soon. The zippy single-camera sitcom can best be described as "a faster, weirder version of Friends," and for three seasons it was a beloved factory of fast paced one liners and quotable lines, with cleverness on par with 30 Rock or The Simpsons. However, the show was canceled due to low ratings in 2013. It has lived on as a cult classic on Hulu since then, even getting namedropped in the sitcom-obsessed Marvel miniseries Wandavision a few months ago. Now, the show has the opportunity to reach an even bigger audience as it started streaming on Netflix this month.

While Hulu has expanded and quickly developed a following, there's no denying that Netflix is still the supreme streamer, and a show moved to Netflix has been proven to be able to catapult it to new heights, such as when Community bursted in popularity last year after it began streaming on Netflix, despite being available on Hulu for years. Considering Netflix's algorithm success, it shouldn't be hard for people who watched shows like Community, New Girl or Schitt's Creek - all popular Netflix shows that share DNA with Happy Endings - to discover this gem of a sitcom. Here's to hoping it's the next sitcom to explode in popularity.


Arlene Golonka

Actress Arlene Golonka, who starred as Millie Swanson on Mayberry R.F.D., has died. She died on May 31 in her sleep at a memory care facility in West Hollywood, California, after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. Ms. Golonka was 85.

Golonka's early drama guest appearances included The United States Steel Hour, Naked City (2 episodes), The Defenders, The Doctors (5 episodes), The Doctors and the Nurses (3 episodes), The Big Valley (2 episodes) and I Spy.

Arlene Golonka - Mille Hutchins - The Andy Griffith Show

Some of her early sitcom guest appearances included Car 54, Where Are You?, The Flying Nun, Accidental Family and Get Smart. She played Millie Hutchins in the eighth and final season of The Andy Griffith Show episodes "Howard's Main Event" and "Howard and Millie." She works at the bakery and becomes engaged to Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson) before they decide to break the engagement.

Mayberry R.F.D.

Her character was named Millie Swanson on The Andy Griffith Show spinoff series Mayberry R.F.D., which premiered on September 23, 1968. The 1968-1971 CBS sitcom aired for 3 seasons and 78 episodes. Millie Swanson was the love interest of Sam Jones (Ken Berry). The cast included Frances Bavier (1968-1970), George Lindsey, Jack Dodson, Paul Hartman, Buddy Foster and Alice Ghostley (1970-1971).

She starred as Stella Sweetzer in the second season of the short-lived 1978-1979 NBC sitcom Joe & Valerie. Stella Sweetzer was the mother of Valerie Sweetzer (Char Fontane). The season two cast included Paul Regina, Lloyd Alan, David Elliott, Donna Ponterotto, Robert Costanzo and Jack Riley.

Arlene Golonka as Tina - All in the Family

Golonka appeared as Lieutenant Edwina “Eddie” Ferguson, an attractive but clumsy nurse, in the M*A*S*H episode "Edwina." She played Tina, an escort of one of Archie's old pals (Larry Storch), in the All in the Family episode "Oh Say Can You See." Some of her other sitcom guest appearances included That Girl (3 episodes), Love, American Style (3 episodes), The Mary Tyler Moore Show (2 episodes), The Girl with Something Extra, Maude (2 episodes), The Cop and the Kid (2 episodes), Alice, Carter Country, One Day at a Time, Taxi, The Love Boat (2 episodes), Gimme a Break!, Benson, Valerie, We Got It Made, Growing Pains (2 episodes), 1st & Ten (3 episodes) and Drexell's Class. Her final credit was a 2005 episode of The King of Queens.

Some of her drama guest appearances included Sarge, The Rookies, The F.B.I., Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (1972), The Delphi Bureau, Young Dr. Kildare, Cannon, Faraday and Company, The Manhunter, Police Woman, Barnaby Jones (2 episodes), The Streets of San Francisco (2 episodes), The Rockford Files, Police Story, Trapper John, M.D., Fantasy Island (3 episodes), Simon & Simon, Murder, She Wrote (2 episodes), In the Heat of the Night and Matlock (2 episodes).

Her voice credits included Speed Buggy, The New Scooby-Doo Movies, Scooby's Laff-A Lympics and The New Yogi Bear Show.

Some of her film credits included Harvey Middleman, Fireman (1965), Penelope (1966), The Busy Body (1967), Welcome to Hard Times (1967), Hang 'Em High (1968), Airport '77 (1977), The In-Laws (1979), Love at First Bite (1979), The Last Married Couple in America (1980), My Tutor (1983), The End of Innocence (1990) and A Family Affair (2001).

Survivors include her sister, Zorine; nieces Stephanie, Susan, Amy, Debra, Lisa, Karen and Crissy; and nephews David and Michael.

Mayberry R.F.D.

Ms. Golonka was a talented, cute and bubbly actress. If you enjoy The Andy Griffith Show, the first season of Mayberry R.F.D. is worth checking out on DVD or digitally. It has some of the same Mayberry charm. Hopefully they will release the other two seasons on DVD or put them on a streaming service at some point. We thank her for the laughs and entertainment she brought us. She will be deeply missed.

Share your memories on our Mayberry R.F.D. message board. View photos in our galleries.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, January 20

Young Sheldon - "A Pink Cadillac and a Glorious Tribal Dance" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon attends his first comic book convention. Also, Mary tries selling make-up.

United States of Al - "Poker / Pokar" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Art grows concerned when Al gets hooked on playing poker, misses a class and is late for work. Also, Lizzie and Brett’s relationship grows stronger, but she struggles with dating again for the first time in a few years.

Ghosts - "The Vault" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Just as Sam and Jay are set to host a friend’s wedding that could get their B&B business off the ground, the ghost of Hetty’s husband, Elias Woodstone (Matt Walsh), tries to ruin it.

B Positive - "Louisville, Bubbaroo and Sully" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Gina hires Peter’s son to be her lawyer, but things get complicated when he asks her out. Also, Drew and Harry’s van breaks down during their road trip.

Call Me Kat - "Call Me a Sporty Giant" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
While staying in Kat's apartment, Randi starts to feel overwhelmed by Kat's quirks; Max and Carter try to teach Phil how to ride a bike.

Pivoting - "The Giving Tree" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Sarah drags Amy and Jodie out on a night of hijinks; Amy struggles to balance a work crisis and her new dedication to motherhood; Jodie's anxiety takes over after sending a flirty text to Matt and doesn't get a response.

Single Drunk Female - "Pilot" (Freeform, 10:00PM ET/PT)
A public flameout forces 20-something alcoholic Sam to move back home with her overbearing mother, Carol; surrounded by all the triggers that made her drink, Sam tries to move past her worst self and figure out her best self.

Single Drunk Female - "One Day at a Time" (Freeform, 10:00PM ET/PT)
An awkward run-in with her former best friend and her ex inspires Sam to own up for her past mistakes, both emotionally and financially; as she resets her relationship with her mother, Sam is horrified to learn Carol is dating.

Warped! - "Pilot" (Nickelodeon, 7:30PM ET/PT)
Milo, the beloved head geek at a comic book shop, finds his world disrupted after his boss hires the quirky and excitable Ruby.

Warped! - "Challenged!" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After Milo's nemesis Carl beats his world record, Ruby helps him try to reclaim it.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 17)

Thursday, January 20

  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/George and Leo/Chicago Sons/Simon/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move/Silver Spoons) - Catch Jason on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Will appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Jennifer Coolidge (2 Broke Girls/Joey) - Jennifer is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • David Cross (Arrested Development/Running Wilde/Oliver Beene) - David appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Laura Linney (The Big C) and Kristin Davis (And Just Like That.../Sex and the City) - Laura and Kristin are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 10:30pm on Bravo. NBC's Today catches up with Laura in the 9am hour.
  • Ricky Gervais (After Life/The Office) - Ricky chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Sharon Gless (House Calls/Turnabout) - Sharon chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Edi Patterson (The Righteous Gemstones/Vice Principals/Partners) - Edi will be on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ed Helms (Rutherford Falls/The Office) and Randall Park Fresh Off the Boat/Veep) - Ed and Randall talk about Peacock's True Story with Ed and Randall on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT and on PEOPLE in 10 at 8am.
  • Kym Whitley (Young & Hungry/Animal Practice/Sparks) and Finesse Mitchell (Outmatched/A.N.T. Farm) - Kym and Finesse guest host The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Wendy Raquel Robinson (The Game/Here We Go Again/The Steve Harvey Show/Minor Adjustments) - Wendy talks about Paramount+'s The Game on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/CafĂ© Americain/Sydney/One Day at a Time) - Valerie talks about her new book Enough Already on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Chris Kattan (The Middle) - Chris is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kyle Mooney (Arrested Development) - Kyle appears on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • John Early (Search Party) - John talks about the final season of Search Party on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen talks about The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Bridget Everett (Somebody Somewhere/Camping/Lady Dynamite>) - Bridget talks about Somebody Somewhere on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Sofia Black-D’Elia (Single Drunk Female/The Mick) and Ally Sheedy (Single Drunk Female - Sofia and Ally talk about Freeform's Single Drunk Female on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Marsai Martin (black-ish) - Marsai talks about Remix My Space on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.


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

Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Mom - The Eighth and Final Season Punky Brewster (1984-88) - The Complete Series (2021 Release) I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

10/19 - Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
11/02 - The Honeymooners Specials - A Christmas Carol
11/02 - Mom - The Eighth and Final Season
11/02 - Punky Brewster - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
11/02 - Sex and the City - The Complete Collection (Blu-ray)
11/09 - Saved by the Bell (2020) - Season One
11/09 - Younger - The Complete Series
11/16 - Kevin Can F*** Himself - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
11/23 - Dead Pixels - Seasons One and Two
11/30 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) (2021 Release) (Blu-ray)
12/07 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/07 - Rick & Morty - Season 5 (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray Limited Edition Steelbook)
12/14 - The Abbott and Costello Show - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
12/14 - Letterkenny - Season 9
01/04 - Work in Progress - Season 2
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

01/20 - REELZ Announces I Love Lucy, Gilligan's Island Unknown Story Specials; The Proud Family Revival Premieres Feb. 23 on Disney+
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01/17 - Celebrating Betty White: America's Golden Girl Airs Jan. 31 on NBC; Netflix Premieres Murderville on Feb. 3
01/16 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 17, 2022)
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01/13 - MeTV Acquires Full House, Launches with Bob Saget Tribute; Dickinson Gets Documentary Retrospective
01/12 - TCA Winter 2022 Press Tour: ABC; Hulu Orders More of The Great
01/11 - Hulu Orders Reboot, Sitcom About a Sitcom Being Rebooted; Emily in Paris Renewed for Season 3...and Season 4!
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01/06 - More Betty White Tributes Scheduled; Growing Belushi Returns Jan. 19 for New Season, Includes Guest Appearance by According to Jim Co-Star
01/05 - Peacock Unveils Wolf Like Me; Freeform's New Comedy Single Drunk Female
01/04 - USA Network Acquires 9-1-1; Space Force Season 2 Drops Feb. 18 on Netflix
01/03 - Fri-Yay: Networks Have a Few Promising Comedies for 2022; Betty White Tribute Marathons on CMT, MeTV, TV Land, Decades, Hallmark, etc.
01/02 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 3, 2022)>
01/01 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Remembering Betty White; Lost in Space a Hit for Netflix
12/31 - In Memoriam: Remembering TV Legend Betty White and the Other Sitcom Stars We Lost in 2021
12/30 - New Year's Eve 2021 and New Year's Day 2022 TV Marathons
12/29 - Celebrate the End of 2021 with Snoop Dogg & Kevin Hart; UPtv's Binge Week Continues with Reba, Gilmore Girls
12/28 - HBO Max Announces January Slate; New Campaign for 2022 Includes Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin and The Flight Attendant Season 2
12/27 - Atlanta Returns for Third Season on March 24 on FX After 3 Year Break; Bridgerton Returns for Second Season on March 25 on Netflix
12/26 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of December 27, 2021)
12/25 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Grey's Anatomy Potentially Headed Toward Another Season; Lorne Michaels Looking to Retire
12/24 - 2021 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day TV Marathons & Movies
12/23 - Hallmark Channel January 2022 Schedule; Search Party Final Season on Jan. 7
12/22 - Hallmark Channel and MeTV Celebrate Betty White's 100th Birthday; Ben Savage to Star in Lifetime Movie
12/21 - Showtime Announces We Need to Talk About Cosby; Nick Announces Warped!
12/20 - COZI TV Columbo Toast on New Year's Day, Brings Back McMillan and Wife, Banacek and McCloud; Better Things Final Season Premieres Feb. 28