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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.

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Jon Lovitz Beats Up Andy Dick

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 17th 2007 12:05PM

Andy DickA lot of people have wanted to do this for a long time, and now Jon Lovitz has done it. It also brings up something from the past I wasn't aware of.

At L.A.'s Laugh Factory the other night, Lovitz and Andy Dick got into an argument about Phil Hartman's death and Andy Dick's drug use. Five months before Brynn Hartman shot Phil and herself to death, Dick allegedly gave her cocaine at a house party that Lovitz also attended. Brynn Hartman had been sober for ten years, and now Lovitz blames Dick giving her the cocaine as the reason why she got hooked again and killed Hartman and herself five months later.

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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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NewsRadio: Big Day

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 8th 2006 8:00PM

NewsRadio(S01E05) This episode has one of my favorite scenes of any sitcom ever. It's a scene that probably wasn't even that funny on paper, but Phil Hartman makes hysterical.

The plot: while Jimmy gives Dave the task of deciding who gets what bonus this year (and who gets "the shaft" - nothing), Bill has to contend with fellow employees leaving food and drink on his desk.

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NewsRadio: The Crisis

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 1st 2006 10:24PM

Stephen Root(S01E04) For some reason, I think this might have been the first episode of NewsRadio that I ever watched. That seems right to me, and I think I've seen it more times than any other NewsRadio episode, except maybe the episode where Matthew tries to get Dave to let him do a story about Dilbert.

This is the episode where we really see Dave getting in over his head as news director and his employees trying to take advantage of him. During a subway crisis, Dave wants the whole team to snap into action and cover the incident, but everyone is too obsessed with the new desk that Dave got Matthew.

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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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NewsRadio: Inappropriate

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 17th 2006 7:47PM
Foley and Tierney(S01E02) The second episode (after the pilot) of NewsRadio was actually the third episode filmed, and it introduces the Dave/Lisa relationship storyline. Paul Simms mentions in the commentary that NBC wanted Dave and Lisa to not get together so quickly, because they wanted a long dance a la Sam and Diane on Cheers. Actually, I think putting them together right away was a brilliant move, because it's different than what every other show does, it gives a nice base for all the episodes to start from, and it gives a great running subplot for the first half of the season. I also think that Dave telling Beth about the affair is a great move. It gives a secret for them to keep for the first half while also showing that Dave trusts Beth. A nice touch to get some closeness between the characters.

While Dave and Lisa argue about how their relationship shoud progress, Bill annoys Catherine by throwing her a birthday party and Matthew screws up Joey Buttafuoco's name on the air.

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NewsRadio: Pilot

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 10th 2006 7:59PM
NewsRadio(S01E01) I overheard someone the other day say that they had never seen an episode of NewsRadio. And this wasn't someone who didn't watch much television, it was a big TV fan that had somehow missed this show. He asked what it was like and the answer was "as smart as Arrested Development, but with a more basic sitcom format," and I thought that was a good description.

This first episode focuses on Dave Nelson, a young news industry professional from the Midwest, who comes to NYC to be the new news director of WNYX. When he gets there, he finds out that not only are the other employees an "interesting" bunch, but he also has to fire Ed Harlow, the current news director.

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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 season 4 coming June 20

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 11th 2006 11:59AM
NewsradioAny excuse I have for mentioning Newsradio on this site I immediately grab. Even if there isn't any news, I'll make some up. And when I'm talking to friends and family about what's going on in our lives, I'll try to throw in a Newsradio reference. Like when my sister asked me if I was coming to Easter dinner, I said "Hey, it's just like that Newsradio episode where Matthew punches Bill in the mouth and becomes the office bully!" Sure, it had nothing to do with Easter dinner, but like I said, any chance to mention to show.

This is just my roundabout way of saying that the fourth season of the show is coming to DVD on June 20! It will include a featurette, cast commentaries, and that special "pop up" episode that aired that season. More details coming soon.

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