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Talk to Me aired from April until May 2000 on ABC.
Janey ( Kyra Sedgwick) was a bubbly New York radio talk-show host given to manic activity and tight sweaters in this short-lived comedy.Her gang at WSJB included young co-host Rob ( David Newsom), a handsome chap who provided the "male perspective"; Marshall( Max Baker), the sound-effects guy and general kibitizer with a British accent; and Cam ( Mike Estime), the witty black producer. There was rowdy interplay between the four during the show, plus imput from guests such as Vampira and Gene Simmons ( of KISS), Psychologist Dr. Debra ( Beverly D'Angelo) was the stuck-up host of the conservative talk show scheduled after hers , and Sandy ( Peter Jacobson) was the wimpy station manager , who owed the job to the fact that he was the son of the owner.
After the show the gang generally hung out at Janey's apartment, where she lived with her cheerful but somewhat clueless sister Kat ( Nicole Sullivan).
A Review from The New York Times
TELEVISION REVIEW; Sex (and No Sex) and the Single Girl
By ANITA GATES
Published: April 11, 2000
There are a couple of things wrong with Janey Munro, New York single and heroine of ABC's ''Talk to Me,'' trying to get over her breakup with her boyfriend ''like a man'' (i.e., having meaningless casual sex). It's a direct steal from an episode of HBO's ''Sex and the City,'' in which Sarah Jessica Parker was a lot more believable.
And when Kyra Sedgwick, the normally likable actress who plays Janey, bursts into tears in bed with the man she has brazenly, flirtatiously picked up for the evening, she comes across as a perfect replica of Alex Forrest, Glenn Close's character in ''Fatal Attraction.'' Alex was a fine fictional invention but possibly not the best candidate for her own sitcom.
Janey is a successful talk-radio host surrounded by a gaggle of colorful male colleagues (one heartland-cute and boyish, one spectacled and British, one sensitive and black) and they all seem demographically contrived. Beverly D'Angelo's character -- a hostile Dr. Laura-inspired radio psychiatrist whose tag line is ''Get over your darned self'' -- is a more original idea, but in the first two episodes she's a one-note joke.
The show does offer some clever one-liners. Asked what her possible choices of dresses for a big event are ''saying,'' Janey responds, ''We are saying, 'I'm at the boring advertising party and I crave the sweet release of death.' ''
When a beautiful lesbian explains to her that straight women aren't as adept as gay ones at kissing, Janey realizes, ''So if I could bring your powers to my people. . . '' But the jokes rarely soar, maybe because they don't seem to come from character.
With one exception: Nicole Sullivan, who plays Janey's animal-loving sister, Kat, is fantastically funny. Ms. Sullivan, who comes from Fox's late-night sketch show ''Mad TV,'' plays clueless innocence with such lovable authenticity that she makes a line like ''It's just that I'm not a one-dog dog'' hysterical; think of her as the anti-Dharma (as in ''Dharma and Greg''). If a new series can succeed on the strength of a supporting character (''Will and Grace'' comes to mind), ''Talk to Me'' may have a chance.
TALK TO ME
ABC, tonight at 9:30
(Channel 7 in New York)
For the series: Suzanne Martin, executive producer; Kyra Sedgwick, Suzan Bymel and Evelyn O'Neill, co-executive producers; Julie Goodman, producer. For the premiere: Ms. Martin and Vic Kaplan, executive producers; written by Ms. Martin; Michael Lembeck, director; Ms. Goodman, producer. Produced by Hostage Productions in association with Touchstone Television Productions.
WITH: Kyra Sedgwick (Janey Munro), Beverly D'Angelo (Dr. Debra), David Newsom (Rob), Nicole Sullivan (Kat), Peter Jacobson (Sandy), Max Baker (Marshall) and Mike Estime (Cam).
A Review from the New York Daily News
DON'T 'TALK TO ME' ABOUT SAD SITCOM
BY Eric Mink
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, April 11, 2000, 12:00 AM
TALK TO ME. Tonight at 9:30. ABC. 1 1/2 Stars. Excuse me ... For this they pulled "Sports Night"? "Talk to Me" is, God help us, a televisionized rendering of New York morning-zoo-style radio, and rendering is not a word I use lightly. The show is the wacky, wild and crazy world of morning radio as stuffed into, ground up and coughed out of the TV-sitcom meat grinder. And the show is every bit as delicious as that description makes it sound. Right off the bat, let's forgive the cast, which includes a number of undeniably able performers and blame the writers who leave their actors twisting slowly in the wind. Kyra Sedgwick stars as Janey Munro, the host of the fictional snappy-talk morning show at fictional WSBJ radio in New York. David Newsom plays Rob - the cool, knowing male counterpoint to Janey's female excitability. Max Baker is Marshall, the man with the sounds effects; when Max presses his boing button, how can your sides not split? And there's a bonus: Marshall is British, and he has one of those working-class accents that's just so darn funny when he talks. (A similar working-class British sidekick appears in ABC's equally lame "Then Came You" on Wednesdays. One more and we'll have ourselves a bona fide trend.) Finally, there's Janey's radio producer, Cam (Mike Estime), who also sits in the broadcast booth - a basketball-court sized expanse - and...well... Actually, Cam turns out to be one of the more realistic elements of the show. He's the radio guy who sits behind a microphone and contributes essentially nothing. But, wait! There's still more! Yes, we also have a Dr. Laura doppleganger - here she's called Dr. Debra (played by Beverly What's-She-Doing-Here D'Angelo) - a tough-talking, right-wing radio shrink who insults her audience and fumes when the gutsy Janey insults her on the air. And, finally, there's the clueless, nebbishy station manager, Sandy (Peter Jacobson), who got the job because his father owns the joint. Apparently having exceeded its allotment of stock characters, "Talk to Me" reached out to the fabulous Nicole Sullivan (from "Mad TV") to play Janey's ditzy sister, Kat. If there were just one reason to watch the show - and there is not - it would be to see Sullivan squeeze more comic energy out of a pause than any of her equally struggling cohorts manage to wring out of pages of dialogue. In tonight's premiere, KISS' Gene Simmons makes a pointless guest appearance as himself - he's a guest on the radio show - although the scene lets us see the cast members feigning far too much amusement at their mediocre banter. On the plus side, Sedgwick always knows where to look to find her line on the cue cards. Poor Sullivan works very hard to get a laugh from her featured punch line - "I worry that when I leave a room, the furniture is sad" - and she can take some comfort, I suppose, in the knowledge that the laugh track found it really, really funny. Episode two, scheduled for April 18 barring an anthrax epidemic - there's always hope - puts Janey right in the middle of a misunderstanding with a lovely lesbian (guest star Paulina Porizkova). Oh my, what hijinks. The fall-down-laughing line of the night comes from station manager Sandy, who explains the source of the friction between the two hosts of his car-talk show: "They had a screaming, on-air fight about oil viscosity in today's smaller engines.
" Please. Control yourselves. That this show gets airtime when two episodes of "Sports Night" sit on a shelf might be a violation of international law.
A Review from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette
TV Review: ABC's 'Talk to Me' hardly worth tuning in
Tuesday, April 11, 2000
By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor
For this tripe ABC benched "Sports Night"?
If "Talk to Me" gets better ratings than "Sports Night," it will only prove that Americans get the kind of television programming they deserve.
Kyra Sedgwick stars as Janey Munro, a female Howard Stern coming off a bad breakup with a boyfriend. She lives with her "professional volunteer" sister Kat (Nicole Sullivan) and spars at work with Dr. Debra (Beverly D'Angelo), an oh-so-obvious nod to Dr. Laura.
Tonight at 9:30, Janey learns to "take it like a man" in dealing with her breakup blues, meaning she picks up a guy for sex without commitment.
At work she's surrounded by her radio show sidekicks, including Max Baker who, if you're lucky, you won't remember from his role as Nibblet on UPN's "The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer."
Sedgwick, a fine film actress, is way too broad and manic here. Watching her gave me that embarrassed feeling you have when you see someone trying too hard.
Sullivan, who broke out from the ensemble on Fox's "Mad TV," acquits herself better than Sedgwick. The few funny moments in "Talk to Me" come from Sullivan's cockeyed performance.
"Talk to Me" comes from Hostage Productions. That makes sense. I felt like a hostage while watching next week's episode just in case "Talk to Me" improves. I assure you, it does not.
"Sports Night" wasn't a perfect show, often uneven -- one week excellent, the next week not-so-great. But it made an effort to be something better than the typical, standard-issue sitcom. "Talk to Me" doesn't even approach the mediocre level.
"Talk to Me"? Please don't.
For more on talk to Me go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk_to_Me_(2000_TV_series)
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