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|Index||104 reviews in total|
Newsradio was a fish out of water. In a time of oversexed young white
sitcoms, Newsradio relied on brilliant writing, expert character
development, and excellent plots to drive it along. No gimmicks needed.
character had a role to fill, and they filled it well. All of the cast
members are excellent, with no misfires. Everyone has classic episodes they
like to talk about.
Still, as excellent as this is, there are a few minor flaws. For one, Khandi Alexander never got as much screen time as she deserved, and this is no doubt why she left the show. She tried to be a Bill McNeal foil, but Dave served that function already. She seemed like an excellent actress, and her character seemed to be geniune, but nothing ever seemed to happen--in fact, I cannot readily recall any episode where the plot line was based on her save for her departure and maybe some of the Joe-Catherine romance episodes.
I like Jon Lovitz, and, unlike others, I found him to be just as capable as Phil Hartman to be in Newsradio. I believe that his performance did, in fact, grow as the last seasoned progressed (watch his hire date vs. some of the later shows--his character certainly changes). He did serve better playing off of other characters, such as Beth and (surprisingly) Lisa, and the few shows that center on him are indeed subpar. Still, some of the best episodes (in my opinion) are in the last season (the apartment hunt, Matthew's 30th birthday, Joe Jitzu), so Lovitz's appearance couldn't have changed the show that much.
Some shows just didn't work. Some of the very early ones are heavy on the Dave/Lisa romance, and did use just as many sex-related jokes as other sitcoms of the time. Some shows try to cram three plot lines in one episode, and Newsradio needs time to develop. Some rely way too heavily on Andy Dick's slapstick or Jimmy's over-the-top schemes. And some just don't make sense (the Dilbert episode did little for me).
All this, however, is little detriment to the show at large. I would much rather watch reruns of Newsradio than any new sitcoms out there right now. I can't say I blame NBC for cancelling it--pure business reasons; the show wasn't making money for them--but creatively, they blew it.
Newcomers may want to watch a few episodes before they cast judgement. It took me a few episodes to really enjoy it. It requires that you know the characters before it becomes interesting and funny.
I have to say, I really didn't get into this show until A&E started showing
it in reruns. I really miss the fact that there are no new shows that will
ever come because NBC didn't have the foresight to place it on its Thursday
night lineup. In that time slot it would have easily outpaced such dogs as
Veronica's closet even without Phil Hartman (I raise my glass to you
While Phil Hartman was truly the glue to the show, it did start to make a recovery after the writers and Lovitz started to make some sense of what to do with his character (I think it might have been good to use him as his original role as a mental patient).
I think Steven Root's character was possibly the greatest TV boss in history. He was nuts! If you think that his character was little unrealistic for a multi billionaire, just look at the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban. I was glad to see him again in the movies in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"
The writing was always fresh. The actors were all perfect for the role's they played (I am NOT an Andy Dick fan, but he even worked in this show). The humor was sometimes understated, sometimes slapstick, but always funny.
NewsRadio was an excellent and clever show, yet it was cancelled while shows like Suddenly Susan (which when you really think about it rips off NewsRadio) got to continue. What's with that? Granted, the series never recovered from the loss of Phil Hartman, but NewsRadio was still good and way better than other shows on NBC or any other networks. The cast was great, especially Phil Hartman. Jon Lovitz was not as good as Phil Hartman, but he was a good replacement and funny. My favorite episode would be the one where Bill gets a piano and sings hilarious songs about the government and Dave keeps trying to stop him. Hilarious. NBC, cancelling this series makes you the dumbest network in the world without a doubt. And with a network like Fox around, that saying something.
NewsRadio has to be one of the most wittiest television sitcoms the 90's has to offer. Every character is wonderfully written and hilariously portrayed by a cast of excellent actors. Dave Foley, from Kids in the Hall, is great at playing the dead pan and sarcastic new boss "Dave." And of course Phil Hartman and Andy Dick steal the show as a great combination of stand up and slapstick. This show is one of the funniest ever!
A true classic, one of the funniest shows in the history of television. It's a shame that Phil Hartman passed away, which basically was the beginning of the end. I can understand why they tried a fifth season, but it wasn't the same. Newsradio was smart, funny and had an amazing cast from top to bottom. A&E airs reruns daily from 8-9 am, and 2-3 pm. Definitely worth a look, you'll not be disappointed.
Lets look at this as a recipe... (please forgive the gimmick)
Start with a premise: A radio show. OK, so it's been done. But this isn't WKRP. This is WNYX, an all-news station. So, it's far from original; an amalgam of different sitcoms which take place in media outlets. This is our main protein source, where we get our main plotlines.
Here's where it gets interesting. Add a former member of one of the most popular Sketch comedy shows in the world, The Kids In The Hall: Dave Foley. A gifted comedian and a very good actor as well. Probably the most versatile player out of the 5 "Kids", Foley is the base flavor that keeps the show balanced, like a carefully prepared stock.
Add another former Sketch player from the award winning Ben Stiller Show: Andy Dick. Dick plays probably the most ridiculous character to ever be employed in any capacity. Picture a 30 year old man with the mind of a 15 year old girl. A great physical comedian, Andy Dick is an acquired taste akin to cilantro- strong, sometimes overpowering, but improves almost anything to which its added.
What?! Another gifted comedian straight from a great sketch comedy show? Of course I refer to Phil Hartman, without question the most consistent and versatile actor ever to be featured on the uneven series Saturday Night Live. Mr. Hartman, who left the show abruptly due to his untimely demise, was the potato in this dish- so consistent you sometimes forget how amazing he could be.
Maura Tierney and Khandi Alexander were given what were probably the most "straight" roles, usually only involved in storylines which involved sex or relationships with the men on the show. Both are very talented actresses but neither contributed nearly as many laughs as the three men above. Their roles were essentially sauces, breaking up the flavor and adding different sweet, rich notes.
Vicky Lewis, on the other hand, was quite like the female version of Andy Dick. Instead of cilantro, however, she was the hot pepper- and not just because of her red hair. She was a foil for every character, taking no one seriously while doing as little work as possible. Again, not a favorite character for most because of her caustic screen presence. Hmmm... this tastes pretty good so far, but it needs something more... Perhaps some vegetables... well, kids don't like their vegetables and immature adults don't like to be told what to do. So Stephen Root, the hilarious Billionaire/Owner of WNYX, is the bitter vegetable- unyielding and necessary for good health.
OK, we have our meat, our potatoes, our vegetables and our sauce as well as the important herbs and spices. But... this doesn't taste good. It tastes flat. We need something which improves every flavor it comes in contact with. Salt!
Joe Rogan, the station electrician/conspiracy theorist, is the icing on the cake- a theoretically irrelevant yet logically important character who just happens to be funny every time he appears on screen. Possibly my favorite character.
There... delicious! A heady mix of flavors which would conflict without the sturdy base it's built upon. I love Newsradio and although I do like Jon Lovitz, the show was never the same after Hartman's departure. Watch for reruns, as the show has been canceled, whenever possible.
News Radio is a brilliant 90's television show. It's a great comedy, great actors, and is flexible (has many different forms of comedy) Never boring or dull. Once I started watching, I couldn't stop. I never miss it! Get it on your TV screen NOW!
"Newsradio" is possibly the freshest comedy left on television in 1998. The chemistry between the cast members remains at a high level, even after the unfortunate passing of Phil Hartman. To this point of the fifth season Jon Lovits has stepped in and done a great job as Max. I salute NBC for not giving up on this fine show just because it's not in the top twenty each week. Someone at the network obviously still feels there should be SOME quality programing on television.
I originally watched "Newsradio" for one reason only, (1 1/2 if you count Andy Dick) because I've been a fan of Phil Hartman when he was previously on SNL. That was all I watched the show for. Then when he died, I tried to give the Jon Lovitz Episodes a chance, but by then it just turned into just another "sitcom" (Though it could be argued that it was leaning in that direction regardless of whether it was with or without Phil.) Having rediscovered this show on DVD years later, I realize that this is a perfect ensemble show that gets a little goofy on purpose. What "Arrested Development" was for this Decade, "Newsradio" was for the 90s and the quality holds up to this day.
I have been watching this show about 7 months now and by far It is my absolute favorite show on TV. I originally hated "NewsRadio" and would be disappointed when it came on, but after I gave it a chance by watching the old episodes with the late Phil Hartman, I never miss it. I have seen my own mother in tears over this show laughing out loud. I myself don't believe a show has ever made me laugh this hard. So if any of the cast and crew is reading this, keep it up, we love it!
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