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 very well.
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!
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