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NewsRadio - The Complete Third Season


TITLE: NEWSRADIO - THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON


Info:

Release Date: February 28, 2006 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Color/1996-97
MSRP: $39.95
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 25
Running Time: approx. 563 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 329 minutes.
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles: Portuguese
Closed Captioned
Special Features:
*Season Three Gag Reel
*Commentary on 10 episodes by cast/crew
*Featurettes


Introduction:

When it comes to sidesplitting comedy and laughter, they’re number one. Tune in for the third hilarious season of NewsRadio, the hysterical misadventures of the wackiest news team in New York. Join micromanaging news director Dave Nelson (Dave Foley), office weird guy Matthew Brock (Andy Dick), ambitious reporter Lisa Miller (Maura Tierney), and bombastic anchor Bill McNeal (Phil Hartman) as they do everything they can to keep NYC the best misinformed city in the world! The series also stars Stephen Root, Joe Rogan, Khandi Alexander, and Vicki Lews.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

I love this show, I really do. Almost all the episodes are great. That being said, here are some especially good ones to watch for (just my opinion):

1) President. This is just a strange yet great episode—the 3rd season premiere. Over Dave and Lisa’s objections, Jimmy decides to run for president.

2) Review: The very next episode! ­ Matthew quits over a story that he’s not allowed to do, while an annual review of the station sparks problems far and wide.

4) Arcade: Dave’s old nemesis comes back to haunt him (dramatic music) when Beth replaces the lobby sandwich machine with a certain popular 1980s arcade game…meanwhile, Lisa retakes her college entrance exams to see if her mind is slipping.

7) Daydream: A broken thermostat and heat wave induce some extremely strange dreams in the WNYX staff.

11) The Trainer: Bill thinks he’s been cheated by his new health club; the staff discovers a secret about Dave’s past.

20) Our Fiftieth Episode: An argument over a traffic ticket gets Bill committed to a mental hospital.

24) Space: The NewsRadio crew faces disaster on a space station hundreds of years in the future. Yes, you read that right.

The List of Guest Stars:

Al Roker: President
James Caan: Movie Star
Ben Stiller: The Trainer
Norm MacDonald (“Saturday Night Live”): Complaint Box; The Injury
George Lindsey (“The Andy Griffith Show”/”Mayberry R.F.D”): Rose Bowl
Jon Stewart : Twins
Jon Lovitz (“The Critic,” “Saturday Night Live”): Our Fiftieth Episode*
Jerry Seinfeld: The Real Deal

*Jon Lovitz guest starred as “Fred” in season three, before becoming a regular cast member in season five following the death of Phil Hartman.


Packaging:

The packaging is in a similar style as the combined 1/2 set released last May, just with different artwork. The outer box features an extraordinarily fake show of the cast standing/climbing the WNYX “tower”. Back cover has Matthew (Andy Dick) crouching under a desk, with a couple of extra still shots on the right. Discs themselves are held within 2 slim cases. On the cover of case 1 is the cast standing in front of an old-time radio set, while on the second case the cast is climbing on/hanging off of a stone gargoyle on the “roof”. Disc 1, containing the first 9 episodes and majority of the special features [except for a few commentaries], has Maura Tierney on the disc art. Disc 2, containing 10-18, has Phil Hartman on the cover. The third disc has episodes 20-25 on it, and features Vicki Lewis on the cover.


Menu Design and Navigation:

Menus are an almost EXACT carryover from season 1, as such, most of the description below is reprinted from my first season review. The description is accurate, and honestly, if Sony is good enough to reuse material, then, well, so am I.

Menus are somewhat basic. Each disc’s menus feature a different color scheme (1: Red, 2). Main menu on all three discs is a shot of a radio microphone with the NewsRadio logo in front. Episode selection menu is a set of earphones on top of a radio sound board, with a still image from each episode in a gold-light border, and the episode title below it. Special Features (Discs 1/3 only) is a shot of the outside door of WNYX. Commentaries are a close-focus shot of a desk. The Film-ographies menu consists of a close-up shot of a radio dial, with the WNYX logo on the dial, and each cast member’s name off in a circle with an arrow pointing to a different location on the dial.


Video and Audio Quality:

Video looks quite good. Admittedly, the show’s not THAT old, so it wouldn’t have time to deteriorate THAT much, but stuff can happen in nine years (wow, has it been that long). Anyway, video looks good. It’s about as good as you’re going to see for releases of this type…accept it and be happy. Audio is a nice 2 channel mix. Folks with 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound setups may be a bit disappointed, but for the plain ordinary people with two speakers, it’s all good. Chapter Stops? Fade to blacks.

President: 22:31
Review: 22:31
Massage Chair: 22:31
Arcade: 22:31
Halloween: 22:33
Awards Show: 22:31
Daydream: 22:31
Movie Star: 22:31
Stocks: 22:31
Christmas: 22:33
The Trainer: 22:20
Rap: 22:32
Led Zeppelin Box Set: 22:32
Complaint Box: 22:32
Rose Bowl: 22:33
Kids: 22:32
Airport: 22:33
Twins: 22:32
Office Feud; 22:31
Our Fiftieth Episode: 22:32
Sleeping: 22:31
The Real Deal: 22:31
Mistake: 22:33
Space: 22:32
The Injury: 22:32


Special Features:

Season 3 Gag Reel: Various Clips and bloopers from the third season of NewsRadio. Actually has an extended video version of the NewsRadio opening credits. 16:45

Commentary:
I’m not going to summarize the commentary: I could, but what would honestly be the fun in that?

Arcade: Writer/Producer Joe Furey, Writers Al Higgins, Lew Morton, and Sam Johnson, and actor Stephen Root. 22:31

Daydream: Executive Producer/Creator Paul Simms and Actors Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Andy Dick, and Vicki Lewis. 22:31

Stocks: Paul Simms, Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Maura Tierney, Vicki Lewis, and Writer/Producers Joe Furey and Josh Lieb. 22:31

Christmas: Joe Furey, Al Higgins, Sam Johnson, Post Production Assistant Todd “Spider” Chambers and Script Supervisor Robert Spina. 22:33

The Trainer: Paul Simms, Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Joe Furey. 22:20

Rose Bowl: Joe Furey, Al Higgins, Lew Morton, Sam Johnson, Stephen Root. 22:32

Our Fiftieth Episode: Joe Furey, Al Higgins, Sam Johnson, Todd “Spider” Chambers, Robert Spina. 22:32

Sleeping: Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Andy Dick, Vicki Lewis, and Joe Furey. 22:31

Mistake: Paul Simms, Dave Foley, Andy Dick, Josh Lieb. 22:33

Space: Joe Furey, Al Higgins, Lew Morton, Sam Johnson, Todd “Spider” Chambers and Robert Spina. 22:32

Featurettes:
Now THIS is different. ­ Normally Sony’s idea of a featurette is some still-graphic thing that doesn’t really add much. Here on the other hand, well, take a look:

“Space”: From table read to Film--With OR Without Commentary. Video clips shot behind-the-scenes of the entire production process of the episode Space. Commentary is by Joe Furey, Writers Al Higgins, Lew Morton and Sam Johnson, Script Supervisor Rober Spina, and Stephen Root: 14:24 x2 [with/without commentary]

Filming Episode #323: Mistake: Like the above, but centered more on the filming process. Also has commentary: Paul Simms, Robert Spina, plus Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Andy Dick, and Vicki Lewis. 10:26 x2 [with/without commentary]

A Visit to Andy’s Trailer: Same commentary crew as above. This is, uh, a trip to Andy Dick’s trailer. This is just…weird. Andy flipped off the camera in the first 20 seconds! It’s insane. 14:03 x 2

Joe Furey’s One Man NewsRadio: Basically, Joe Furey just performs an entire scene from an episode of NewsRadio ­ ALL CHARACTERS ­ by himself. This is one of the most unique special features I have EVER seen. Even has an alternate version of the open credits with Joe Furey in the place of every cast member’s name. 4:31 x 2


Final Comments:

As much as I severely dislike reusing credits, at least DID change the colors for the disc menus, so I won’t deduct there. The set is otherwise great, and the commentaries are a genuine hoot (but like I said, I’m not spoiling them ­ if you want to know, find out yourself. Normally I wretch when I see the word “featurette”, as it usually equates to “boring trivia on a still graphic that you should just go ahead and overlook”. Not this time. These features genuinely blew me away.

Honestly, for the season 4 set, I hope there’s a lot of Phil Hartman related material, given that it was his last season due to his death. Otherwise they should do it like this. It is VERY impressive, and highly recommended.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 4/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 3/5
Overall: 4/5

Seth Thrasher Seal of Approval

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 03/09/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000DZ854A/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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