What To Binge This Weekend: ‘NewsRadio’

Is NewsRadio a genuinely underrated sitcom? Or is it one of those sitcoms that gets talked about as being underrated so much it becomes properly rated? Either way, it definitely isn’t the first show that pops to mind when people talk ‘90s sitcoms. Admittedly, that’s true for me as well. However, that makes it kind of perfect to pitch as a show for you all to binge. Since there are “only” 97 episodes, you might even be able to talk on the whole show. Although, you’ll have to be ready to bear a brutal bit of heartbreak.

If nothing else, NewsRadio is a throwback to a time when Andy Dick and Joe Rogan were acting and had steady gigs. Their lives have both gone in…interesting ways. The show is a workplace sitcom about a news radio station in New York City. When things begin, Dave Nelson, played by Dave Foley, is the new director of the station. Other notable characters are the station’s owner Jimmy James, played by the always welcome Stephen Root, Dave’s occasional love interest Lisa (Maura Tierney) who has assorted jobs around the station over the shows run, and anchorman Bill McNeal, brought to life by the legend Phil Hartman.

NewsRadio - NYT Watching

McNeal is a perfect Hartman character, loud, brash, arrogant, but barely capable. Also, Hartman’s voice is just ideal for playing a news anchor. Bill is probably the best character, but here is where things have to get bleak. Hartman was tragically murdered after the fourth season. The show continued for one more season, with Hartman’s friend Jon Lovitz stepping into the cast. Lovitz is totally fine on the show, and it’s still funny, but it doesn’t feel the same.

The first four seasons, though, are fun and clever and sometimes quite out there. Is there an episode where the cast are aboard the Titanic? You bet! If you like a workplace sitcom with a strong ensemble, definitely check out NewsRadio. It’s totally underrated. Or properly rated. Either way you’ll get laughs.

About Chris Morgan

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