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

Wednesday, June 23

Dave - "The Observer" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Dave and Benny's friendship blossoms in strange and unexpected ways, leading them to confront questions of privilege, race, sexuality, and dermatology; Mike's isolation deepens, and a chance encounter sheds light on the root of his anger.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 21)

Wednesday, June 23

  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) - Watch Billy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Henry Winkler (Barry/Out of Practice/Monty/Happy Days) - Henry appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Christine Baranski (Happy Family/Welcome to New York/Cybill) - Christine is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She also talks about The Good Fight on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Josh Gad (Central Park/Avenue 5/1600 Penn/Back to You) - Josh will be on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Dana Carvey (One of the Boys) - Dana is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Caroline Rhea (Sydney to the Max/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) and Ruth Righi (Sydney to the Max) - Carolina and Ruth are guests on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alyssa Milano (Romantically Challenged/Who's the Boss?) - Alyssa discusses how she is inspiring a new generation of female leaders, the latest book of her children's series and her podcast on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Laura Prepon (Are You There, Chelsea?/That '70s Show) - Laura stops by to chat and shares her new kitchen gadget line on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi is a guest on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • D. L. Hughley (The Hughleys) - D. L. talks about the onstage collapse that led to his COVID-19 diagnosis on a repeat of The Doctors, so check your local listings.


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

Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series Happy Together - The Complete Series 'Til Death - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Series Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series

02/02 - Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - The Complete Series (2021 Retail Release)
02/16 - Fam - The Complete Series
02/23 - Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series
03/02 - Blue Mountain State - The Complete Series
03/02 - Happy Together - The Complete Series
03/02 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-4 (DVD) (Blu-ray)
04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series
05/11 - Dead to Me - Season Two
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)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

06/22 - MeTV Summer 2021 Schedule, Monk Joins Lineup; HBO Max Sets Cast for Period Comedy
06/21 - New Chip 'n' Dale Series Premieres July 28 on Disney+; Cruel Summer Returning for 2nd Season
06/20 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 21, 2021)
06/19 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Perfect Strangers Reboot in the Works; New Head of the Class DVD Release
06/18 - Fri-Yay: Master of None Pivots Genres in Season 3; Highway to Heaven Event Movies Coming to Lifetime; Remembering Frank Bonner of WKRP in Cincinnati
06/17 - Antenna TV Summer 2021 Schedule; The CW Fall 2021 Premiere Dates
06/16 - All-Star Cast Set for Paramount+ Animated Comedy Series; Home Makeovers with Marsai Martin
06/15 - Netflix's Popular Never Have I Ever Returns July 15; Peacock's Girls5eva Renewed for Season 2
06/14 - Chicago Fire Finally Heads to Syndication; Peacock Picks Up New Comedy Which Takes Place at a Singing Competition
06/13 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 14, 2021)
06/12 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Valerie Bertinelli Cast in Comedy Pilot with Demi Lovato; Broadway Version of The Nanny in the Works
06/11 - Fri-Yay: Kim's Convenience Is An Underrated Streaming Sitcom; Ted Revived as Series for Peacock
06/10 - CNN's History of the Sitcom Premieres July 11; Miracle Workers Returns to TBS for 3rd Season This Summer
06/09 - Antenna TV's Bewitched Double the Darrins Father's Day Marathon; HBO Max Renews Hacks for 2nd Season
06/08 - COZI TV Father's Day Marathon: Herman Munster vs. Dan Conner; Paramount+ Bolsters Offerings This Summer
06/07 - Who Are You, Charlie Brown? Debuts June 25 on Apple TV+; FX, FXX and FX on Hulu Announce 8 Premieres for Summer/Early Fall
06/06 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 7, 2021)
06/05 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Warner Bros. and Discovery Merger Moving Forward; Saturday Night Live Ends Season 46 on Top
06/04 - Fri-Yay: Happy Endings Now on Netflix, a Perfect New Comedy Binge; Remembering Arlene Golonka of Mayberry R.F.D.
06/03 - Leah Remini GSN Game Show Receives 2nd Season; Helen Mirren to Narrate ABC's When Nature Calls
06/02 - black-ish Coming to Freeform in July; TBS Sets Cast for Comedy Pilot Called Space
06/01 - Remembering Gavin MacLeod of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Love Boat; Mr. Big Returns in New Sex and the City Chapter
05/31 - Memorial Day 2021 TV Marathons
05/30 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 31, 2021)
05/29 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Looking at the Fall 2021 Lineup; Amazon to Buy MGM
05/28 - Fri-Yay: Friends Reunion Special Thoughts; Breeders Renewed for Season 3 on FX
05/27 - NBC Launches NBC Summer Games, Schedules Family Game Fight; Modern Love Returns Aug. 13 on Amazon Prime Video
05/26 - The CW Gets Nostalgic with The Waltons & Scooby-Doo; A Black Lady Sketch Show Coming Back for Season 3
05/25 - The CW Upfront 2021-22: Fall 2021 Schedule; Former Grey's Star Joins Sex and the City New Chapter
05/24 - TBS Launches Best of Friends Awards; AMC Networks Adds to All-Star Cast of Ultra City Smiths
05/23 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 24, 2021)
05/22 - SitcomsOnline Digest: First Look at Reboot of The Wonder Years; Kaley Cuoco Signs Development Deal with Warner