Newsradio: The Complete Fourth Season

DVD Reviews | Jun 24th, 2006

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Starring Dave Foley, Maura Tierney, Phil Hartman, Vicki Lewis, Andy Dick, Stephen Root, Khandi Alexander, Joe Rogan
Written By:
Directed By: Rick Beren, James Burrows
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Newsradio used to be one of the TV shows I always wanted to have on DVD, and now the fourth season is already available! I think that’s great that the seasons are coming out so fast! Plus, Sony is including some nice extras on the sets as well (which, sadly, some other studios aren’t doing). The 4th season continues the hilarious antics of the previous seasons, and sadly, this is the last season that Phil Hartman is in.

Newsradio is about the New York City’s news station WNYX. Each episode combines office politics, relationship & friendship mishaps, hysterical storylines and an excellent ensemble cast. The station is owned by goofy billionaire Jimmy James and WYNX is run by stressed out Dave Nelson. Dave has to deal with an office filled with crazy employees, especially the stations lead anchor Bill McNeal. Other people among the close knit group are Lisa, producer and ex-girlfriend of Dave, Joe the handyman who can fix anything, reporter Matthew, the spaz of the group, Beth the redheaded bimbo secretary and Catherine, the voluptuous co-anchor. Some of the episodes this season are about a suicide jumper that Bill tries to interview, Matthew gets fired & rehired from the station, Lisa takes over Dave’s job, Bill wants to be a foster parent by himself, Catherine moves on and leaves the station, the staff has to take a lie detector test, Bill gets into trouble when he bashes the French, Dave tries to win a charity talent show by throwing knives at Lisa, Joe has to fight Matthew in a ultimate fighting match and other outrageous stuff like that!

I wouldn’t say this season was the best Newsradio season but there were still plenty of hilarious episodes that had me laughing out loud. I think the best season of NewsRadio was the third season. I like the fourth season a lot, I just feel sadden by the fatc that this was Phil Hartman’s last season. Phil Hartman’s acting was top notch that season and it pisses me off that he’s not with us anymore. Each episode, Bill McNeal provided many of the laughs and Hartman just played a conceited & heartless bastard so well! Andy Dick, love him or hate him but he was another important part of the show because he did all the sight gags and stupid things. There’s always one character like that on a show, and he did it TOO well. Dave Foley was great this season because he seemed different (well besides the wig he had on his head) but the fact that he doesn’t care anymore. Since Lisa took over his job for 6 episodes, you just see a side of him you never really saw. He sort of just sat back and enjoyed everyone else getting stressed out. But back to the overall show, just each character was great in different ways, and the more important thing is they worked really well together. I think it’s one of the best ensemble casts of any sitcom.

This show is so addicting I must have watch 6 episodes right in a row without stopping. And did that throughout the week. Gotta love DVD where you can’t skip the opening credits and commercials! Not sure if it was this season or last, but there were new credits this year. The staff was in New York doing goofy things for the credits. Then some episodes the credits would even show up. I sort of like that because I don’t feel like watching the credits every show. To continue, I felt the show was a height where they could do just outrageous, unbelievable things and get away with it. I think one of my favorite moments of this season was when Dave was having a problem with his co-news director guy (the late Paul Gleason). He recruits Bill to help him deal with the problem, Bill says he has something he can and when the guy comes near Bill he just sucker punches him. I must have laughed for a good minute straight after the fact. Other funny moments of season 4 for me were when Dave is disgusted by Bill and he’s eating in slow-mo, when Joe and his brothers come to visit him and they end up beating the crap out of each other the entire episode and pretty much every scene where Matthew runs away crying and ends up smashing into things.

Like with all Newsradio DVDs, Paul Simms has been overseeing the production and I thank him for that because the quality is top notch. There’s actually some decent extras on here. There’s audio commentary with various crew members, along with Maura Tierney and Vicki Lewis on one or two commentaries. I listened to the first one and the next one after that. They seemed like they didn’t have anything to talk about, but that’s what they said as well. They said the first episode was the last commentary track they did, but not sure why they would do that out of order. Oh well, if you seen the episodes a few times then check out the commentaries because you get to hear them talk about stuff that you didn’t really know. I didn’t know Dave Foley had a wig on for most of the season, i’m not sure why though. Maybe he just had spiky hair that was different than Dave Nelson’s hair. Yeah I wouldn’t want to have that straight laced haircut either. There’s an excellent gag reel extra that is about an episode long. See the cast mess up their lines, curse their brains out and other things you usually see in gag reels. I love watching actors screw up their lines. There’s some weird featurette where you see one man acting out all the scenes for the show. I got weirded out by it and had to turn it off.

Well the run for Newsradio is almost at an end, but i’m just happy I’ve gotten 4 seasons of the show so far. This is the last time Phil Hartman is seen on the show and it sucks, but at least you can enjoy his flawless performances on this show. The episodes look great on DVD and they still hold up as one of my favorite sitcoms of all time. I don’t really remember the show after Phil Hartman died but still can’t wait to watch those again on DVD. Go out and buy this set if you are a fan of Newsradio.

Gag Reel
Cast and Crew Commentaries
Short Film

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo CC

Standard 1.33:1 Color


Favorite Scenes: Jumper, French Diplomacy, Catherine Moves On, Stupid Holiday Charity Talent Show, Look Who’s Talking, Security Door, Big Brother, Beep Beep
Rating: NR
Running Time: 480 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: