|Index||8 reviews in total|
One of the things that made the original so good was that you had this sane character Andy Travis coming into what is essentially a nut house and becoming one of the nuts.But with this new one there are too many sane people who work at the station and also it centers around Carlson,Les Nesman and Herb Tarlick.While they were a bit off center in the old show they weren't the main characters.On this one they were and somehow without Jennifer to play off of Herb and Carlson to play off of Andy and Nesman to play off of everybody,it just doesn't work.Plus the original just had a great cast that that seemed to click.My advice would be to buy the original on DVD and try to forget this one
I always remember thinking I'd never seen a TV show get revived after
that much time where it felt like they picked up a WEEK later instead
of almost a decade. They rebuilt the sets to look like they had, with a
few minor changes... The booth was slightly bigger, Les had a place to
sit and do the news on the other side of the board, so the DJs wouldn't
have to move when he came in, and behind him, they added a window
looking into the program director's office. Other than that, the
attention to detail was amazing.
Arthur was clearly older, Herb hadn't changed much, Les looked exactly the same. Jennifer made a guest-appearance in the 2nd new episode, clearly older but still gorgeous. Johnny also turned up, his hair turning white. I immediately took a liking to several of the new cast members, including Jack Allen (Michael Des Barres) who had appeared earlier as a member of "Scum Of The Earth"; his wife Dana Burns (Kathleen Garrett); program director Donovan Aderhold (Mykelti Williamson). Over the course of the series, I got the impression they did everything they could to try to make viewers forget all about Loni Anderson by casting some of the most beautiful women I'd EVER seen on TV; Katherine Moffat had a recurring role as Edna Grindbody, head of the Cincinatti League of Decenty (C.L.O.D.), and at the end of the 2nd episode they introduced new night-time DJ Mona Loveland (Tawni Kitaen). Her intro scene is unforgettable, as ALL the guys in the station stop by to just stare in thru the booth window in a state of shock and awe-- while Johnny just stands there smiling and says, "Very impressive!" Carol Bruce came back as Lillian Carlson, her hair now completely white, but only slightly mellower. I was disappointed not to see Hirsch (Ian Wolfe), as I read he was still around at the time.
Not everything on the show was to my liking, but there were a lot of good moments. There was a LOT of potential in this, and it's a shame that the stations running it kept screwing with the schedule. (I'm amazed I was able to record ALL the episodes. I was a lot more dedicated back then.)
I am a huge fan of the original WKRP - I have watched every episode
probably twenty or thirty times, if not more. The reality is though, in
comparing the New WKRP to the original, there is a tendency to angelize
the former and demonize the latter. This is unfair. The reality is,
there were as many problems in the original as the New WKRP. While Jan
Smithers was beautiful, she was not an overwhelming personality on the
show. The same is true for Gary Sandy. He paled in comparison to the
others on the show. Of course, Loni Anderson, In many ways, the New
WKRP made up for some of the failures of the original, in that most of
the cast were, overall, much better. Returning were Gordon Jump,
Richard Sanders and Frank Bonner (Carlson, Nessman, and Tarlek) for
every episode, and they pick up right where they left off. Howard
Hesseman also made several regular appearances (and all were
excellent), as did Mama Carlson (Carol Bruce)who seemed to have aged
Three bright and shining characters that add to the new cast were Marla Rubinoff who played Nancy the receptionist. She was as hilarious as she was beautiful (she left TV and went on to become a counselor and therapist). French Stewart, later of 3rd Rock From the Sun fame, was quite entertaining as the morning DJ Razor D, and of course, let us not forget the gorgeous Tawney Kitaen. She was a much better actress in her early days than her later career would evidence. She had great timing and filled the screen with her presence. We must not forget Mykelti Williamson either, who would later go on to play Bubba in Forrest Gump. He brought a lot of energy and great timing to the role of the station manager.
Overall, I have found the episodes to be of excellent quality, and with a stronger cast (overall), I think the writing is better. I hope that one day, these will be available on regular DVD, but for now, they can only be purchased from people who have the VHS tapes (on ioffer.com). Enjoy, I know I have!
Like almost everyone who tuned in, we were fans of the original show.
Bill Dial (the original engineer, Bucky Dornster) was a major creative
force behind the scenes in both, but was working in a different
environment this time round.
The new WKRP had paid great attention to the physical details of the sets, and brought back 3 strong cast members. Unfortunately that was less than half of the original ensemble, and despite what other reviewers have said, few of them seemed to work. French Stewart as Razor and Nancy Braithwaite were the only standouts, as they were drawn as broadly comedic characters like most everyone in the original WKRP. Claire, Dana, Jack and even Art Jr. were just too boring and plain, forcing the best story lines to lean on Art, Herb and Les too much, or to bring in guests from the first series.
The 2 seasons were very different as well, since 4 main cast members from season 1 were replaced without explanation heading into season 2. This disjointed nature rose towards the end of season 2 with Donovan being killed off apparently in the second last episode, then zero mention in the final episode, while Mona just never appeared after the episode in LA with Johnny. So the overall story arc was a problem, along with the casting.
Now that said, there were still moments of strong TV here, particularly as Herb and Les still are the wacky nuts they always were. Nancy provides a great foil for Herb, showing the reverse of the Jennifer scenario. He gets a taste of his own medicine for a change. When Johnny guests it is always a compelling tale, and the Hollywood version of WKRP mimics the "Real Families" episode from the original to great effect.
Hopefully now that the show has finally appeared on the torrent and streaming sites it will be possible for more fans to rediscover this interesting, albeit flawed, bit of TV history.
I give this show a 8! Some of you may think I am crazy but I liked it. There are a lot of running gags that are quite funny,Is it as good as the original...no way but from a die hard fans perspective I am just happy to see the further adventures. I like Razor and I like the Nancy Brakeway character and I think they did a damn good job with 3 out of 8 and the guest appearances. There are some funny moments with Johnny particular in the episode where he stays with Les Nessman and Buffy comes back. Sam Anderson makes another appearance as well and a lot of the same crew are involved. The funniest one to me is where Herb pursues the Sam Bass tire account and fixes up Donovan Adherdhold up with the giant mans wife on a date with his wife....haha...this show had a lot of potential but remember a lot of the music is public domain and the characters didn't have time to grow. Still worth a spin if you can find a unofficial version
I'd actually like to see a DVD release of this, though I doubt that's going to happen. I've got several of the episodes recorded on VHS, but haven't viewed them in several years. My memory could be a bit faulty here, but from my recollection, the show on the one hand wasn't nearly as good as the original. On the other hand, I still thought it was better than most sitcoms on television at the time. Les, Herb, and The Big Guy were all great in reprising their roles, but the supporting cast was kind of hit and miss. Mykelti Williamson was pretty good as the new P.D., and Tawny Kitaen became "the new Jennifer," the station bombshell, and I thought she was pretty good, but the rest of the new cast, even Michael Des Barres, didn't really stand out. I thought that changed a bit in the second season, when French Stewart arrived as Razor, and Howard Hesseman showed up a bit more guesting. And as I recall, there was an end of the second season cliffhanger that Johnny Fever MIGHT have been Razor's father! Definitely have to agree that, for a show that was pretty accurate in its portrayal of radio, it really didn't make any sense that, in 1991, there was still a current pop/rock format on the AM band, especially in a large market. But on balance, I liked the show, and was sad to see it go so soon.
10. This is a reunion show, as mentioned above. 9. Only 1/3 of the original cast bothered to show up, thus supplying only 1/3 of the humor. 8. It's never a good idea to call something "the new version" of anything as it will only make fans long for the original (just like The New Leave It To Beaver). 7. Had this show started out as a new concept, people might not have noticed right away that it wasn't really that funny. But when you have the original to compare it to, it can be downright painful (just like Saturday Night Live after the departure of the Not Ready for Primetime Players). 6. Dr. Johnny Fever is NOT a regular. That factor alone hurts the show. 5. This show was syndicated, which means no major network would buy it. More often than not, the networks would never know a good show if it lived next door. This time, however, they made the right choice. 4. Who are all those other people? They have no personalities. They might as well be rejects from Murphy Brown or Newsradio. 3. Herb, Les and Mr. Carlson are funny, I'll give them that, but here they have nobody to get their laughs off of. 2. In the original WKRP, the premise was that Andy had to bring rock to the station against Mama Carlson's wishes and deal with all the buffoons. What exactly was the premise behind this show? Was there even a premise at all? You know a show's in trouble when someone says, "Uh, they're still running the station with Herb, Mr. Carlson and Les." AND FINALLY... 1. The Number One reason for this show bombing (and by that, I don't mean "the bomb")...Tawny Kitaen. Any show that's desperate enough to use her as the resident bimbo/sex symbol is desperate indeed. Any time you see her name (or the names of Pamela Anderson or Barbi Benton) in the opening credits, you know right away that what you're watching is utter crap. What a shame to blacken WKRP's great name this way.
I have yet to see this series, but I am looking forward to it as I am a
Tawny Kitaen fan. Here is a complete list of episodes (taken from
Season 1, Episode 1: Where Are We? Season 1, Episode 2: Where Are We Going? Season 1, Episode 3: Every Move a Work of Art Season 1 Episode 4 Then Came Nessman Season 1, Episode 5: Lotto Fever Season 1, Episode 6: The Cincinnati Kids Season 1 Episode 7: Cincinnati's New Favorite Couple . Season 1, Episode 8: Here Comes Everybody: Part 1 Season 1, Episode 9: Here Comes Everybody: Part 2 Season 1 Episode 10: The Real Thing Season 1, Episode 11: Good Ole Radio Days Season 1, Episode 12: Venus, We Hardly Knew Ya Season 1 Episode 13: Hip Hop KRP Season 1 Episode 14: You are my Sunshine Season 1 Episode 15: Razor D Rules Season 1, Episode 16: Jennifer and the Prince Season 1 Episode 17: Long Live the King Season 1 Episode 18: Mama was a rolling stone Season 1 Episode 19: Number one Fan Season 1 Episode 20: Herb's got a Guy Season 1 Episode 21: Chicken a la Russe Season 1, Episode 22: Where's Jack Season 1 Episode 23: Spies Like Us
Season 2, Episode 1: Razor's Edge Season 2, Episode 2: Retreading on Thin Ice Season 2 Episode 3: Sex, Lies and Videotape Season 2 Episode 4: Can't we get along Season 2 Episode 5: Studs of the airwaves Season 2 Episode 6: Nancy in charge Season 2 Episode 7 Play Razor for Me Season 2 Episode 8: Loveland to Look At Season 2 Episode 9: Strange Bedfellows Season 2 Episode 10: Moss Dies Season 2 Episode 11: Flimm Flam Man Season 2 Episode 12: Nancy's Old Man Season 2 Episode 13: Herb's Lost Weekend Season 2 Episode 14: Murder by Les Season 2, Episode 15: Fever in the Morning Season 2 Episode 16: Fever All through the night Season 2, Episode 17: Johnny Goes Hollywood Season 2 Episode 18: Old Boyfriend Season 2 Episode 19: Treasure of Sierra Smith Season 2 Episode 20: My Fair Nun Season 2 Episode 21: Chicago Story: The Disappearance Season 2 Episode 22: Father of the Groom
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