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"WKRP in Cincinnati" Fish Story (1979)

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

NOT "a very good day to impress a reporter"

Author: Jason Daniel Baker from Toronto, Canada
21 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A self-satisfied Travis is set to meet a writer for Cincinnati Magazine on what he characterizes to sceptical Jennifer as "a very good day to impress a reporter". No sooner does he say it than Tarlek shows up wearing a fish costume with the station call letters on it whilst Fever and Venus are drinking on the air as part of a promotion to curb drunk driving lackadaisically and improperly referred as "The Drunk Promotion".

"The Drunk Promotion" would be an apropos name if you were promoting getting drunk rather than what the station and local authorities are really trying to do which is show the effects alcohol has on the reflexes to inform listeners of the dangers of driving after drinking.

Travis is taken aback by the mascot idea and doesn't appear soothed by Tarlek's ominous "What could happen?" so he sends Bailey to chaperon. The disappointment (and legal issues) of the infamous turkey bombing of the Pinedale Shopping Mall in Season 1, Episode 7 is evidently a distant enough memory where the "Dream Team" (Carlson, Tarlek and Les) feels like getting back into action.

Tarlek, attending a pep rally at the local university dressed in the giant fish mascot outfit is so desperate to relieve himself after the pep rally we see him crawling on the floor of a men's room (An utterly horrific proposition in a place where utterly horrific propositions are often made) to try to slide under a stall door because he doesn't have a dime on him to pay to get into the stall (pay toilets - a diabolical concept).

The WPIG mascot, an abrasive, rude and exceptionally vindictive individual in keeping with the way in which WPIG (WKRP's hated rivals and the number one station in town) employees would be depicted during the series, is morally outraged as he emerges from the adjacent stall. He provokes Tarlek, then Les who merely tries to break it up. They get arrested with Bailey in a mess so bizarre and embarrassing it could only happen while a journalist was visiting the station.

Again Travis is looking beyond what is in front of him and is seeing a vision of the station on the road to success when he makes the appointment for the writer to visit. Here his perceptions are placed under the magnifying class of cold journalistic logic when he is asked some perfectly straightforward questions.

Travis' comic attempts at spin with the reporter after it is discovered what has happened to Tarlek, Les and Bailey would be admirable if they weren't so devious. We see him conjure up the possibility that Les was arrested for protecting a source, that Tarlek was arrested with him just for trying to get Les out etc. It comes apart at the seams when he has to explain why poor Bailey would get busted for being in a men's room.

The theme of oppression by law enforcement presented in an ironic light here continues as an Ohio State trooper is shown ordering Fever to drink more when his reaction time on a reflex test shows that he gets more alert when he's loaded.

Then there is this diabolical concept of pay toilets (Its the United States - taxes are communism but user fees are free enterprise engines of economic growth), something we see a giant pig (The WPIG mascot) defend.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:


Author: challey-3 from United States
21 June 2009

In the radio booth it shows Venus's jacket a Cincinnati Reds jacket, but Cincinnati is spelled "Cincinnato", Why? I think this is a very funny show. 2 of the 3 story lines are very funny, the interview part is poor. I have watched it many times, and never noticed until tonight. I would like to know why the Name was spelled wrong. The Pig fight is also funny. I think it was funny that when Mr Carlson needed bail money, he did not have any, and Jennifer had it to give to him. I think the fish suit is cool, much better than the Pig suit. Wkrp is the funniest show from it's time, clean, funny, and silly. The networks should make shows like this now. It would make people relax.

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