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NewsRadio - The Complete First and Second Seasons

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Old 03-09-2007, 02:44 AM   #1
TJ
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Default NewsRadio - The Complete Fifth Season DVD Review

One of the best things in the television world is the ability to re-shoot a scene if you don’t like the way the first one turned out, or more relevant, if something happens to cause the destruction of the first take. Why am I blathering about this? Because this is actually the 2nd take of my NewsRadio review. I forgot to save the first copy, so it’s lost to memory forever. You’re really not missing anything other than I’m being slightly less harsh towards Brynn Hartman in this one.

Why did I waste a paragraph talking about that? Because, it’s important to know when something is changed from the original, or if things are just wholesale not the same as they were before. That’s an apt metaphor for NewsRadio Season 5 with the death of Phil Hartman. With Phil gone, things were just not the same – something was missing. This was, even moreso than after Khandi left, no longer the original NewsRadio. Max was no Bill, and Jon Lovitz is not Phil Hartman. That’s not to say Jon Lovitz didn’t bring his own special talents to the show – just that it’s not the same. I’m a huge fan of Jon Lovitz – the first TV DVD I ever bought was The Critic – Complete Series – so naturally I was happy to see him join NewsRadio. But with all the respect in the world for Mr. Lovitz, Phil – and the Bill character – was simply a perfect match for the show, while Max seemed a mesh of some of Bill and Matthew’s quirks.

Still, an “off” season of NewsRadio is better than the “best” seasons of a LOT of shows. The final season of the show stars Dave Foley (Dave), Maura Tierney (Lisa), Stephen Root (Jimmy), Jon Lovitz (Max), Joe Rogan (Joe), Vicki Lewis (Beth), and the always-interesting Andy Dick as Matthew.

Read our review here:
http://www.sitcomsonline.com/newsrad...dvdreview.html

Post any questions or comments about this set.
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Old 03-10-2007, 09:26 AM   #2
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I'm not a fan of the "One Man NewsRadio" feature. I thought it was funny once, but then it kept coming back. Once is enough, Joe. But still, since he made it, it's nice that it's included for those who do like it.

I guess we won't see the Pop-Up episode after all. It was said to be coming in the third season set, then the fourth and then the fifth. It never came.

And early on, Paul Simms said they would try to do a tribute for Phil, probably in the fifth season. I guess they didn't do that either.

I'm also disappointed by the lack of cast and crew in the commentaries. Dave Foley was my favorite in the commentary sessions, and I didn't see his name listed in the review. Good for Stephen Root, though. He's been there for all five seasons of commentaries. I was also kind of hoping that Lovitz and Warburton would do some commentaries, but no.

While I was hoping for a commentary on "Bill Moves On" I guess maybe it's too hard for them to watch and comment on. But I'm glad they're doing it for the finale. And there's a few other episodes that there's commentary on that I'm glad about.

It's a weird feeling. It's over. I'll never get on tvshowsondvd.com and see a news article saying "Another season of NewsRadio is Coming!" because there's not another season to the show. It's a good feeling to have it complete, but it's just kind of sad at the same time. I took a vacation from work for three out of the four sets (I didn't have enough time to take one during the 4th season). So I've always made a big deal about these DVDS.

If I've sounded negative during this post, it's just because I was expecting more. When I heard there was a "Lost Episode Featurette", I expected something more than what it's turned out to be. Of course when "NewsRadio" was first supposed to come out on Febuary 3rd, 2003, there were not going to be any bonus features at all. So I really can't complain, just because the first set was so loaded with features that I've become spoiled.
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:00 PM   #3
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There's one complaint from me, after viewing the DVD. There's a scene missing from "Bill Moves On." It's the scene in which Lisa talks to Matthew, and he tells her that he wants his own ashes to be put in his desk. It's a really funny scene. It aired the very first time NBC aired the episode. However, when they reran that episode later in the season, the scene was gone. It remained gone for the local syndication. However, it showed up in the A&E broadcasts. I haven't checked TBS's version yet. Anyways, that scene is missing from the DVD.

On a GREAT note, my screename, TVAdam717, was mentioned by Paul Simms when he was reading questions from the fans, via the internet. My screename was said three different times. So, I was very excited.

Other than that first episode edit, I thought the commentaries were good. The One-Man NewsRadio was crap, however, Joe Furey (the One-Man) does a pretty good Lovitz impression.

Now Sony needs to release a single disc set with the unedited versions of "Injury", "Bill Moves On" and the Pop-Up version of "Our 50th Episode."
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:38 PM   #4
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I'm in Costa Rica, and my pre-ordered Season 5 will be waiting with my folks until I return home.

Has anyone written down all of the questions that Paul Asked/Answered? I'd love to know if some of mine made it (such as the lyrics to the theme song).

Cheers!
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoFire
I'm in Costa Rica, and my pre-ordered Season 5 will be waiting with my folks until I return home.

Has anyone written down all of the questions that Paul Asked/Answered? I'd love to know if some of mine made it (such as the lyrics to the theme song).

Cheers!
I can't remember the name of the person who asked that question, but I know Paul mentioned that question. Josh Lieb said some of the lyrics, but not all of it.

One of my questions was about Walt. If he was meant to be a regular or just in a few episodes? The answer: He was only meant to be in a few episodes.

Another question I had that they answered was about what other fantasy episodes they would like to have done. They some some good ideas. My favorite is where each staff member reveals their own super powers. Jimmy would pick up the refrigerator from the breakroom, and behind it would be his Jimmy Cave. lol
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamantium
I can't remember the name of the person who asked that question, but I know Paul mentioned that question. Josh Lieb said some of the lyrics, but not all of it.
Too cool, can't wait to get home to see it. You had some great questions; I loved when I got Season 4 directly from Amazon - I was only 40 miles from their shipping area, so I had it 3 days before public release!

This one, well, I'll make up for that. Can't wait to finish off my collection. I do wish that there was a fuller cast for Season 5, but almost everyone BUT the long terms likely had no reason to go..

Oh well, it's not 'MY' NewsRadio, but Season 5 is still a part of the family!
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:32 AM   #7
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I was glad when Khandi left!
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocolate Moose
I was glad when Khandi left!
I wasn't "glad" when Khandi left. However, her departure didn't hurt the show one bit. In fact, it seemed like the writers only wrote for her because they had to. When she was gone, it seemed just fine with only Lisa and Beth as the women of the office. Almost like it was balanced somehow.

However, obviously, when Phil died, the show had a harder departure to deal with. In retrospect, Jon Lovitz was okay. Out of Phil's ten out of ten, Jon (IMO) got a six. Which is still passing, but not by much. Patrick Warburton's five guest spots really helped the season. Even Stephen Root said that the three-part Johnny Johnson storyline made him feel like it was the old NewsRadio again.
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