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DVD Review: NewsRadio: The Complete Fifth Season

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 23rd 2007 6:06PM

NewsRadio season 5I think it can be universally agreed that the fifth season of NewsRadio - the final season - was by far the worst season of the series. Not only was Phil Hartman killed during the hiatus, but another cast member (Jon Lovitz) came on board and just didn't fit in to what the rest of the group had built over the previous four seasons.

The season kicks off with the "Bill Moves On" episode, where the gang has just returned from Bill's funeral (he died of a heart attack), and everyone mocks Dave's 2 hour eulogy. Matthew doesn't really believe Bill is dead, everyone thinks Lisa is drunk, and Catherine (Khandi Alexander) returns to the show for one episode. This is one of the better episodes of the last season, because it's important to the show's history and (as is revealed on one of the commentaries), they didn't really rehearse it or do any run throughs. It was hard enough getting through it once on tape night. The tears you see are real. It ends with everyone taking an item off Bill's desk to remember him. Jimmy takes the whole desk. A nice tribute.

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This NewsRadio DVD cover depresses me

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 14th 2007 3:16PM

NewsRadio season 5 dvdFor two reasons. The obvious reason is because Phil Hartman isn't in the picture. Instead, we get Jon Lovitz, who pretty much made the last season of the show unwatchable (except for a couple of episodes). He was really out of place as a regular cast member on the show (though he was great in the guest roles he had earlier in the series), and his character was completely unlikable.

But the second reason I'm not thrilled with the pic is that the original artwork on the box actually had Phil Hartman on it (you can see it here). The cast was standing in front of a picture of Hartman. In the new version, the cast is standing in front of a picture of New York City. Yeah, Hartman wasn't in the last season, but wouldn't that have been a nice nod to Hartman in the final set? The first episode of the season is about Bill McNeal's death, after all.

The fifth season set will be released on March 20.

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NewsRadio: Sweeps Week

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 22nd 2006 10:32PM

Janeane Garofalo(S01E07) Along with Mary Tyler Moore and Amy Sedaris, I've always had a crush on Janeane Garofalo. I remember being happy when this episode came on, since I had loved her standup and her work on The Ben Stiller Show (with Andy Dick). She plays Nancy, Dave's ex-girlfriend who seems nice on the outside but is really kind of a nut. She comes to New York City to be with Dave, who never quite told her that they were officially broken up.

Meanwhile, Jimmy meets a business and technology "visionary" named Tom at a conference and arranges for him to be interviewed by Bill, but that doesn't turn out quite as Jimmy or Dave had hoped...

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NewsRadio: Luncheon at the Waldorf

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 15th 2006 8:08PM
NewsRadio(S01E06) This is one of the first episodes to show that Bill isn't always the type of person everyone thinks he is. He asks Beth to go with him to an industry luncheon, and everyone assumes that he's just asking her because he wants to "make his move" on her, as Matthew puts it. She starts to think that he has ulterior motives, especially after he requests that she wear her sexy blue dress.

Meanwhile, Dave discovers that the station is $6000 overbudget, and he does some investigating to figure out what's going on.

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DVD review: NewsRadio, season 4

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 28th 2006 12:30PM
Khandi AlexanderSeason three of NewsRadio is the best season of the show. Having said that, season four has quite a number of gems too. You can see that this was the season that they started to tinker with the show: they brought in new cast members, they switched around the jobs of a few characters, they fired Matthew, introduced more of story arcs over several episodes, and they started to have more surreal moments. Not all of it works (I, for one, was a fan of the Dave/Lisa romance, and breaking them up and then having them switch jobs put the show out of whack in a way), but this set is a lot of fun.

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NewsRadio: Smoking

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 24th 2006 6:56PM
Phil Hartman(S01E03) Another funny episode, as a new no smoking ordinance in the office causes problems for Bill, who smokes like a chimney. And, because any problem for Bill ultimately becomes a problem for Dave, Dave has to give up drinking coffee, to help Bill with his addiction.

Meanwhile, Lisa and Joe are nervous around each other because they saw each other at the movie theater. Lisa thinks it's because Joe knows about her and Dave, but it's actually something else...

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More on the Newsradio season four DVDs

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 15th 2006 6:18PM
NewsradioSony has issued an official press release regarding the season four DVD set of Newsradio, which will be released on June 20. The bonus features on the set will include:

  • Gag reel
  • Commentaries on several episodes
  • The "One Man's Newsradio" short film.
Season four contained some great episodes: "Jumper," with Jon Lovitz as a suicidal man threatening to jump off the ledge outside Dave's office (Lovitz is funnier here and an earlier ep than he was as a later regular); "The Public Domain," where Bill buys a piano and sings political songs (funny as hell); "Super Karate Monkey Death Car," about Jimmy's autobiography; "French Diplomacy," where we learn Matthew used to be a dentist; and "Catherine Moves On," Khandi Alexander's last episode (though she did make a return appearance in the first episode of season five, after the death of Phil Hartman). Season four also includes a multi-episode appearance by Lauren Graham of Gilmore Girls, playing Andrea, brought in by Jimmy to get the office in shape.

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Newsradio and The Case of the Disappearing Penis

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 23rd 2006 1:59PM
NewsradioI've been watching the third season DVD set of Newsradio again. It's amazing how there are just some shows where you can just keep watching and rewatching and rewatching the same episodes over and over again. Sometimes within days of each other. I don't know, they give a sort of comfort to me. And now that you know how much of a freak I am, let me get into something that is probably baffling a lot of Newsradio fans.

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DVD review: Newsradio, season 3

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 10th 2006 8:33AM
NewsradioDid I tell you how much I love this show?  Every time they release a DVD set, I do a little naked happy dance around my apartment. With the shades drawn, of course.

Season three of Newsradio is probably the best season of the show. Lots of classic episodes, including "President,"  where Jimmy runs for office and Matthew grows a 70s porn mustache; "Mistake," which finds Dave getting into trouble for comments made in a radio magazine; and "Twins," with Jon Stewart guest starring as Matthew's twin (?) brother. Stewart's only one of the guest stars this season. Others include Jerry Seinfeld, Ben Stiller, and James Caan.

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Newsradio season three DVDs coming February 28

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 23rd 2005 5:38PM

Oh, this is certainly good news for Newsradio fans: the long-awaited second DVD set is going to be released on February 28.

There will be just the third season in this set, but the third season is a good one, with guest stars like Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Ben Stiller, John Ritter and James Caan. This is the season that includes the classic Christmas episode where Jimmy buys everyone new Miatas (except Matthew - who gets tapes and the rights to Fibber McGee and Molly).

The set will also contain several commentaries, like the first set.

Correction: that Xmas episode is on the first DVD set, not this one.

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