Spin City: The Complete First Season

DVD Reviews | Nov 19th, 2008

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Starring Michael J. Fox, Carla Gugino, Connie Britton, Richard Kind, Barry Bostwick, Michael Boatman, Alan Ruck, Alexander Chaplin
Written By: Bill Lawrence, Gary David Goldberg
Directed By: Andy Cadiff
Studio: Shout Factory
Buy on Amazon.com link

Finally! It has taken a long time to get a full season of Spin City on DVD, but it’s finally here! Spin City was a show that starred Michael J. Fox for many years and then it finished with Charlie Sheen. I thought both lead actors were excellent but obviously Sheen can’t top Fox’s character. If you like ensemble comedies like Family Ties, NewsRadio, Scrubs, Wings and Friends; you’ll enjoy this first season of Spin City.

Spin City takes you behind the scenes of City Hall in New York City. The show focuses on Mike Flaherty (Michael J Fox), the deputy Mayor and all around workaholic. The guy should just put a bed in his office. He works for Mayor Randall Winston (Barry Bostwick), and has an eccentric team of workers. There’s Paul (Richard Kind), an anxious and insecure press secretary; there’s Stuart (Alan Ruck), a horndog Chief of Staff. Plus you have Nikki (Connie Britton) the sexy accountant, and young speechwriter James (Alexander Chaplin). You can’t forget Carter (Michael Boatman) who’s a gay activist and running minority affairs. The first episode Carter is protesting something that the Mayor said that was insensitive towards gays, and Mike ends up hiring him to diffuse the situation. Just from that description, you can tell how the show is. Each episode deals with various topics that you might see in a political show and Spin City deals with it in a funny way.

I didn’t get into Spin City until the 3rd season or so. Then I went back to watch all the episodes when the show went into syndication. One of the main reasons why I liked this show so much was the hilarious ensemble cast. Bill Lawrence and Gary David Goldberg certainly know how to cast a funny group of people. I don’t have a favorite character but they are all equally good in their own way. Michael J Fox is perfect as Mike Flaherty from the very beginning. I forgot Carla Gugino was part of this show in the beginning. She plays Mike’s girlfriend for the first half of the season. This show always had good looking women on this show like Carla, Connie Britton, Heather Locklear, Jennifer Esposito and even Heidi Klum.

Spin City has its fair share of great guests as well. In the first season, some Cheers alumni show up like Woody Harrelson and George Wendt. Those happen to be the best episodes of the season I thought. It’s good to see the first season, but I felt the series was better after the first season. The Mayor seemed to get dumber as the seasons went on and I liked that. I thought it was amusing to watch an airhead Mayor who was clearly in the background when it came to the show. Spin City actually showed the characters in NYC, and I like that because it’s makes the show more believable. The episodes had a lot of political topics obviously, but this wasn’t the West Wing. It was a comedy show based on politics, but there was a lot more to the show than just politics. It was an office comedy as well.

The bonus features include commentary, a featurette showing highlights of The Paley Center for Media Seminar presented in October 1996 and a half hour featurette with the creators and cast of the show. That featurette was great because it has all new interviews with Michael J Fox, Gary David Goldberg, Bill Lawrence, Connie Britton, Michael Boatman and others. Each of them looks back at how the show started, what they liked about the show and stuff like that. It was good to see Michael J. Fox again, and the rest of the cast. Any fan of the show must watch that featurette! Thanks to Shout Factory and the creators of the show for at least giving us some type of featurette to watch. Most studios would just give us the episodes and that’s it.

Spin City: the Complete Season is available now from Shout Factory and it’s a worthy purchase. All of the first season episodes are on this DVD, along with a great featurette or two. This show has an impressive ensemble cast, the writing is terrific and it’s just a funny comedy series. Bring on Season 2!

– The Spin
– Prime-Time Partners
– Commentaries by Cast, Creators and Crew

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo CC

Standard 1.33:1 Color


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Rating: NR
Running Time: 630 minutes
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