Starring Dave Foley, Jon Lovitz, Maura Tierney, Vicki Lewis, Andy Dick, Stephen Root, Joe Rogan
Written By: Paul Simms
Directed By: James Burrows, Tom Cherones
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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I remember waiting for NewsRadio to come out on DVD, and now it’s over already. Time flies when you’re having a good time watching a funny show! I swear this show lasted longer than 5 seasons but I guess not. This is the season where Jon Lovitz took over for the late Phil Hartman, and while he’s funny on the show; he doesn’t really fill the void of Hartman. Phil Hartman WAS Newsradio, or at least the funniest actor on the show. Since his murder, the show never got really back on it’s feet but they made a valiant effort.
Season Five starts out with the aftermath of Bill McNeal’s funeral. It’s an episode that tries to be somewhat funny but in the end it’s just downright sad. Between the seasons of 4 and 5, Phil Hartman was murdered by his wife so they had to do something with Bill McNeal’s character. So Bill died of a heart attack (he did smoke a hell of a lot in the building) and the episode is the cast reading letters from Bill to them. You can tell in their faces how sad they are and that they aren’t acting in those scenes. I don’t know how they got through that episode but they did it. After the Bill McNeal remembrance episode, Jon Lovitz joins the cast as Max Louis. Max is a weird character who’s pretty much Jon Lovitz in real life (it seems). I’m not sure his style of comedy fit Newsradio but I still chuckled at his character. But Max had a hard time of keeping a job as a disc jockey, but he manages to stay on WNYX for the season. Besides that storyline, other things that happened on the last season include: Lisa goes undercover at a fast food restaurant, Matthew takes a smart drink and is a smart ass, Jimmy goes to jail and flees jail because they think he’s D.B Cooper, Jimmy battles his evil nemesis Johnny Johnson, Matthew turns 30 and becomes a poseur punk rocker, and Jimmy retires and wants the staff to come with him to New Hampshire.
Even though Phil Hartman wasn’t on the show anymore, I still found the show really funny. Hartman was the heart and soul of the show and was beyond hilarious. Thankfully, the rest of the cast picked up their wackiness. Andy Dick was particularly funny and goofy, more so than other seasons. One of my favorite Newsradio episodes is in this season and that’s the episode called “Towers.” Matthew turns 30 years old and gets depressed. He comes back dressed up like a kid at Hot Topic, and he thinks he’s a punk rocker. He speaks in a fake British accent and screams “mayhem!” It’s quite comical as a punk fan to watch this episode. It’s even funnier when Dave asks Matthew what he’s listening to since he used to be into punk. Dave discovers that Matthew is listening to Stryper and Winger, and Dave gets offended by the crap that he is listening to. I couldn’t help but laugh at that scene.
I wasn’t really happy that the series ended so soon. I don’t think people gave the show a chance after the death of Phil Hartman. I watched every episode on TV and was sad when the show ended. Newsradio was one of the funniest sitcoms I’ve ever watched and didn’t think it got enough credit than it did. Season 5 wasn’t as good as the previous seasons but I think it still was above par with a lot of the sitcoms that are out now. If you have the other seasons on DVD, be sure to get season 5 as well. There’s some extras on the DVD set as well, like a bunch of audio commentary, some deleted scenes and a gag reel. I’m sad the show is no longer coming out on DVD anymore but at least I can enjoy all the seasons on DVD.
– Season Five Gag Reel
– Deleted Scenes
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo CC
Standard 1.33:1 Color
Favorite Scenes: Lucky Burger, Flowers for Matthew, Towers, Stinkbutt, Assistant, Freaky Friday
Running Time: 482 minutes