Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by TED S. McGREGOR JR. & r & & r & WKRP in Cincinnati Season One & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & W & lt;/span & KRP in Cincinnati is one of the greatest sitcoms of all time -- at least that's the way I remember it. But memory can be funny. That huge mountain you used to climb as a kid? It's really just a little bump in the ground. Nostalgia is a fun-house mirror, and 30-year-old TV is no exception, as proven by Hollywood's insatiable appetite for recycling small-screen mediocrity.





So it was predictable but still disappointing when Season One's 28 episodes felt flat. Even that episode when they dropped live turkeys out of a helicopter wasn't as hilarious as I'd remembered. (Although TV Guide named it as one of the best sitcom episodes ever -- "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly," is all station manager Arthur Carlson (Gordon Jump) could say.)





Starting its four-year, 90-show run in 1978, WKRP is a relic of one of my favorite eras, and the clothes and cultural cues are part of the fun -- although due to copyright fights, the original rock 'n' roll played during the shows (Pink Floyd, Foreigner) has been edited out, replaced by muzak. Badly done, 20th Century Fox!





But the characters -- some of the most memorable on TV -- are still great. There's the sleazy ad salesman Herb Tarlek (Frank Bonner), the geeky newsguy Les Nessman (Richard Sanders), the DJs -- perpetually stoned Dr. Johnny Fever (Howard Hesseman) and superfly Venus Flytrap (Tim Reid) -- and the reason so many tuned in, receptionist/tight-sweater model Jennifer Marlowe (Loni Anderson). The delights come from the repeated idiocies of Herb, Les and "Big Guy" Carlson, along with Hesseman's perfectly delivered rants. People loved this gang, and WKRP became a huge hit in syndication.





What's odd is that aside from Hesseman, who managed a few nice acting gigs after the show, the remainder of the cast was barely heard from again. Call it the Jason Alexander Rule: If your character is too good, you may never be able to play another role again. But Loni Anderson went on to that final reward for all '70s-era TV sexpots -- a stint as Mrs. Burt Reynolds.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • In Defense of Refugees
  • In Defense of Refugees

    In the aftermath of the presidential election, local residents seek ways to love and support their refugee friends
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • No License to Kill
  • No License to Kill

    Task force says officers should be held responsible for police shootings; plus, state auditor clears Spokane Valley firing of city manager
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Trumped-up Education
  • Trumped-up Education

    Could the President-elect's support of school choice trickle down to Spokane?
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science

Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 6

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Unfinished Business

    Isaiah Wall wants to get his life on track. But first, he's gotta buy drugs for the police
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • The Scourge of Fake News

    Made-up news stories played a role in the presidential election: Who's to blame?
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


election 2016


Readers also liked…

  • Buzzkill
  • Buzzkill

    Elected officials in Idaho won't mellow the state's pot laws. Can an initiative change that?
    • Apr 22, 2015
  • Deaths in the Family
  • Deaths in the Family

    Students, teachers and administrators are grieving after five suicides in Spokane schools — and uniting to find a solution
    • May 13, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation