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October 13, 2015

NewsRadio: Review - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 18th 2008 3:01PM
standout episodes(S03E02) Originally aired on September 25, 1996.

First off, can we all agree that none of the episodes in the fifth, Phil Hartman-less season of NewsRadio aren't even in the running for one of the best of the series?

OK, once we start with that, it's still ridiculously hard to pick an episode that stands out. So many episodes from the first three seasons (and several in the fourth) could easily fit into this category. So I'm not even going to attempt to pick one episode to talk about. Thanks for reading, and have a good day.

Oh, alright, if you insist. I'll go with "Review," from the third season.

The plot: Matthew becomes obsessed with the Dilbert comic strip and pleads with Dave to let him do a special story on it, thinking it will "cement him" as someone who ahead of the trends (Dave fails to convince him that Dilbert is already massively popular). Meanwhile, a lame review in a radio magazine has the staff on edge, except Bill, who happens to think that being called "adequate" is the same as being called great.

I love how this episode (and all NewsRadio episodes) use the large cast in many clever ways. Dave is trying to deal with the magazine review and keep everyone happy, but he's also important to the whole Matthew/Dilbert storyline. Joe causes trouble by lowering Matthew into Dave's office so he can put a Dilbert strip on his desk, then tries to say he's not involved. Catherine and Lisa are upset about the review. Beth never seems to work but suddenly realizes that she has the same coffee-making job that Matthew gets. And at the start of the episode, Jimmy says he's "not here" and doesn't want to get involved in the whole mag review controversy, but there's a plot twist later in the episode that shows he was more involved than anyone knew.

Matthew is so upset that Dave won't let him do the Dilbert story that he ends up quitting and going to work at the coffee shop. The gang eventually convinces him to come back to the office (with the help of a faux-Scott Adams), and that leads to Matthew quitting the coffee shop in the same way he quit WNYX, and one of the great Andy Dick pratfalls. I still don't see how he didn't kill himself doing it.

And now, thanks to Hulu, is "Review." Enjoy.

Trivia and Observations:

1. Yup, that is Scott Adams at the start of the episode, the guy with glasses standing behind Joe who complains.
2. Vicki Lewis is the Larry Fine of NewsRadio. I love to watch what she's doing in the background while other actors have the main scene You can see her watching the action, reading, chewing gum, etc. It's one of those sets where the actors in the background have to do something to make it look real. This also happens with Phil Hartman and Khandi Alexander. You see them on the air in the booth, probably mouthing nothing.
3. Dave and Lisa go down to the coffee shop and talk to Matthew. They come back with coffee but it's in coffee mugs (Dave's in a WNYX mug, which I would love to have). Did they bring their coffee mugs down to the coffee shop? Nope, their hands were empty. I guess they bought coffee in plastic cups, came up to the office and poured it into their mugs.
4. Dave goes into the bathroom to do his business, but after talking to Bill and Jimmy leaves without even going.

Great Quotes:

"Oh hell, I haven't read the comics since I realized Beetle Bailey wasn't actually going to shoot anybody." - Jimmy

"It must be lonely in the middle." - Lisa, to Dave, who says the review of the station is "fine."

"Dave, you got any recent pictures of your mom?" - Jimmy

"Yeah, like that cheap slut Katharine Hepburn." - Dave, to Catherine, complaining that her name spelled with a "K" is a biker chick from Jersey.

"Just put back the rainbows and unicorns that usually cover your desk and get back to work." - Dave, to Matthew, who is spending all day cutting Dilbert strips out of the newspaper.

"Would you like a nice frappy mocha?" - Matthew, slinging coffee.

Bill: May I make a suggestion?
Dave: Sure.
Bill: Let him sling coffee for a few more hours. He'll get bored, realize he misses all of us, and he'll come back on his own. And when he does come crawling back, that's when you kick him away!!

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I gotta go with the "Shaft" episode, that one still has me rolling.

March 19 2008 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While 'review' is one of the better eps of season 3, my overall favorite remains 'Smoking'. Which ashtonishingly is the third episode of the first season. Very little shows accomplish that early in their run. The way Phil's voice goes into overdrive during the "so haul you skinny ass outa here" bit gets a tear to my eye til this day. Great man, still missed.

Gazizza, dills Noofus!

March 19 2008 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This review is overloaded with adequadiquivity.... : )

I slightly disagree...while most of the fifth season pales in comparison to the rest of the series, there are one or two good ones (the smart Matthew one is one just off the top of my head.

And we can't talk about the best unless we mention Complaint Box (3-14). "Coupon for one free kiss from Joe....if your a girl". ha ha ha...

RIP Phil...we really, really miss ya.

March 19 2008 at 1:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jesse Custer

This review of "Review" is virtually bursting with adequatulance.

March 18 2008 at 10:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd forgotten how good "Rap" was until I watched it today. Great Bill story, and the "cutest reporter in New York" story that cemented my Maura Tierney love. Oh, and I'm pretty sure I spotted Deirdre Lovejoy (Rhonda Pearlman on "The Wire") as an extra in the break room scene.

March 18 2008 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oddly enough I was re-watching the first series on dvd the other night. I really can't pick my favourite since I watch them almost as one continuous stream.

March 18 2008 at 8:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Dave's in a WNYX mug, which I would love to have."

Here ya go:


March 18 2008 at 7:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode was adequate.

March 18 2008 at 6:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Five words: Super Karate Monkey Death Car.

"Glorious sunset of my heart was fading. Soon the super karate monkey death car would park in my space."

"What did you mean when you said 'Feel my skills, donkey donkey donkey donkey donkey'?"

March 18 2008 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Agh, Bill stole my thunder. Smoking is the best Newsradio episode ever. The scene with Bill and Dave where Dave is attempting to show/explain the no smoking rule to Bill is hilarious as well as when Bill is attempting to hold the smoke in his mouth so Dave won't know he is smoking. Classic. Man, I miss Phil Hartman.

March 18 2008 at 4:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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