|Index||7 reviews in total|
Megyn Price was the selling point for me on LateIine. She was smart, witty, sassy, not to mention incredibly sexy. She was a fantastic dresser, had a terrific figure, and exreamly attractive. I was very sorry to see this funny, entertaining show cancelled so early on, but I was especially sorry to see Megyn Price's character go. We wouldn't see her on TV's major running for a few years until she became a young mother on Fox's GROUNDED FOR LIFE. However, her costume department wasn't nearly as talented as her old one on LateLine. As far as female office characters go, she was one of the best. Forget Mary Tyler Moore's character, Price's Gale is the finest comedic women on TV. One to put in TV's history books.
"Lateline" was a well-written, wonderfully-acted sitcom that assumed the
audience had a brain. And unlike just about every OTHER sitcom on TV,
"Lateline" was about more than just sex. For those reasons, it didn't last.
I guess the thing that really made the difference was the show's tone. It had funny situations and dialogue, not one-liners. That separated it from everything else on TV. The cast was fantastic: Al Franken, Robert Foxworth, Miguel Ferrer, and the gorgeous Megyn Price. They all acted and sounded like REAL PEOPLE, not sitcom characters shouting jokes. The show had a laid-back tone sorely missing on TV today.
If you didn't already know, "Lateline" was a spoof of network TV journalism. I work in TV news myself, and I can tell you: In addition to being funny, it's easily the most realistic depiction of journalism I've ever seen on a TV sitcom. ("Murphy Brown" isn't even CLOSE to getting it right.)
Fantastic show! NBC was crazy to cancel it. The network should have slipped it into its "Must See TV" Thursday lineup, and it would have run for years. Why does junk like "Suddenly Susan" last for years, while "Lateline" gets the shaft?
Please, TV Land and/or Comedy Central: rerun "Lateline"!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Why this show was canceled so early, I do not know. The comedy herein
bears Al Franken's trademark brand of satire, a wry, subtle kind of
humor that I wish more people could get into. The shows were
consistently funny and in some cases came scarily close to looking and
sounding like real news programs. Possibly the best example comes in
the episode "Error Apparent", when a new correspondent plays his tape
of a local news report he did: "But for many dogs like Fluffy, the race
ends where the race begins. *Bang!* *Squeal...*" (For the record, the
funniest moment of the whole series is Franken's impression of Henry
The ensemble cast is full of terrific characters and actors. Probably the best character is Catherine Lloyd Burns's Mona, who comes so close to being an actual secretary you could pick her up from the show, drop her at any office building and she'd fit in perfectly. Second best is Ajay Naidu's Raji, who is hilarious yet manages to come off as something other than a parody of Indian people. The rest of the characters are great, too. Robert Foxworth shines as a self-centered, pompous, womanizing news anchor. (This is what I imagine them to be like behind the scenes.) Al Franken himself plays a correspondent that nobody likes and always gets really lousy jobs, like standing in the world's most toxic bog- there's a correspondent like this for every news show. Oh, and don't forget Megyn Price playing a neat associate producer.
All in all, this is a great show, the kind of thing that I like to watch. Highly recommended.
Being Canadian, we appreciate satire. My spouse and I think it was one
of the best satires of TV news shows since Max Headroom. We watched all
the episodes over a few days on DVD and we constantly found ourselves
laughing out loud at the crazy situations and lines. The show had just
the right level of restraint and a stellar cast. We loved all the
actors, but especially Megan Price, the Associate Producer. We were
constantly amazed and delighted by the appearance of so many different
special guests playing themselves. The comic timing was ideal for us
and the humour really suited our "auslander" sensibilities.
There is a reason Canada sends so many comedy writers and actors to the States and that is because we can see our American friends in a slightly different light than they see themselves and we can appreciate them for their attitudes and motives. We are alike but not....and we just loved Lateline.
Ajay Naidu has really captured the true comedy of an asian person in that
My friends and I always joked around using a dialog similar to his on the show, because we simply found it funny to act as our parents (the true indians, whom we love so dearly).
Good job, Ajay! Let's not forget the rest of the talented staff of LateLine. Gail. =) Great Work *everyone*!
Ajay Naidu is the only reason why I watched Lateline. And he is very funny. He delivers his lines perfectly. I have been a fan of Mr. Naidu since I first saw him in No Greater Gift, followed by Touch & Go, Lady Blue, and Where The River Runs Black. Thanks to IMDb.com, I can print a list of the work Ajay Naidu has done and try to find and watch all the movies he has been in. He was hilarious in Subway Stories and had a good dramatic role in SubUrbia.
INTENSITY of contemporary occurrences and strong feelings on the part
of all of us about such happenings has contributed to our becoming a
divided United States. That we all have the right to hold opinions and
even more so, the First Amendment Right to express same, is a most
familiar American expression and untouchable God given right.
STRONG feelings on both the Left (Liberal) and Right (Conservative) sides of issues has proved to be a catalyst in making ours a nation divided into the "Blue" States and the "Red" States; "Blue" States meaning those traditionally Liberal (being more of a Democrat State)and "Red" being a designation for those generally voting with the more conservative political party (the Republicans, the "Grand Old Party", or "G.O.P." for short.).* Oddly enough, many a political pundit believes this puts our voting populace at just about a 50-50 mark, politically speaking. Others have maintained that we have a population of approximately One Third staunch Conservatives, One Third die-hard Liberals with the remaining people being the non-committed "swing vote"; falling somewhere in between.
SUCH intense beliefs could tend to take anything funny out of a political satire show; but the production team who brought us LATELINE (Markus/Frankin Productions/Paramount Television/NBC Television Network, 1998-99) ever so skillfully avoided any such problems with careful attention to content and management of any situations that were touched on.
CREATOR and Series Star, the very talented Al Franken had the wisdom to avoid making it a spoof of the American Political scene; but rather a parody of the Network News Magazine Program; you know, shows like DATELINE, HANNITY & COLMES, 60 MINUTES, 20/20 and the like. Parodies or "Spoofs" are always a sure-fire laugh getter; with some built in fodder for providing send-ups of persons or regular practices that always seem to please audiences.
ONCE again, the main concentration is focused on the FORMAT and the foibles of a most pompous, conceited and arrogant TV Newsman, Al Freundlich (Mr. Franken) and a whole veritable menagerie of characters as portrayed by a fine group of players, such as: Megyn Price, Miguel Ferrer, Ajay Naidu, Sanaa Lathan, Catherine Lloyd Burns and Robert Foxworth.
SOME very amusing episodes were presented using certain Guest Stars to very good advantage. Our favourite guest was Mr. G. Gordon Liddy (Himself), who displayed a real talent for that which is comic; in doing a self deprecating parody of his famous tough personality and very masculine life style.** We also had enjoyed the talents of Al Franken, both on this series; as well as before its being first broadcast. We just never have agreed with Franken's decidedly Left leaning Politics.
FRANKEN & Company kept things from being offensive to anyone by concentrating on the show, with obvious contrast of the on screen TV show with the uncanny happenings occurring off camera, behind stage. This was somewhat similar to the oft used plot device in THE LARRY SAUNDERS SHOW (Billsten-Grey Entertainment/Columbia Pictures Television/Home Box Office, 1992-98) with Garry Shandling.
LATELINE, at times, looked so very much like a real TV News Magazine, that it was hard to differentiate between the real and the lampoon. That may have contributed to its being assigned to a premature home in the Graveyard of Network Series. It would seem that the "Suits" in the Board Rooms in New York have little sense of humour when it comes to their industry.
AND that, my dear Schultz is really too, too bad; for LATELINE deserved a better fate and a longer run than its part of 3 seasons.
NOTE: * We are somewhat amused that the Red (Republican, Conservative) and Blue (Democrat, Liberal) designations were placed on the subjects that they were. Somebody in charge of the Eastern Establishment News establishment definitely didn't want their "New Left" being designated as "Red".
NOTE: ** Need we mention that this is the true life hero of his autobiographical book, WILL, which was adapted into made for TV Movie, WILL: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF G. GORDON LIDDY (A Shane Company, National Broadcasting Company, 1982) with Robert Conrad in the title role.
SPECIAL NOTE: It is interesting to see that right now, in A.D. 2008, that Al Franken is now a candidate for the U.S. Senate from the Great State of Minnesota. We look ahead with great anticipation to our National Elections on November 4, 2008 to see if Mr. Franken can match the success of former Minnesota Governor, Jesse "the Body" Ventura and connect with the voters.
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