I 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.
For 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.
(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...
Meanwhile, Dave discovers that the station is $6000 overbudget, and he does some investigating to figure out what's going on.
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...
- Gag reel
- Commentaries on several episodes
- The "One Man's Newsradio" short film.
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.
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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