NewsRadio: Review - VIDEO
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.
"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?
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!!