Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Doin' the "Chy Chy"!

Just finished watching Disc 1 of the newly-released "WKRP In Cincinnati" Season 1 DVD set via my Netflix rental, and thoroughly enjoyed itit's kinda like reconnecting with an old friend whom you haven't seen in like 20 years.  The set is worth it alone just to hear Les Nessmanthe Ted Baxter of radiomangling his news copy with his infamous "Chy Chy Rodrigweez" mispronunciation, not to mention hearing the Hallelujah Tabernacle Choir's rendition of "You're Having My Baby", but there are plenty more classic moments to behold here.

This DVD release is sadly flawed in that they couldn't afford to license the use of the music that was included in the original episodes (the precise reason there's been such a long delay in this series making it to DVD), so you won't be hearing the likes of Foreigner's "Hot Blooded", et al, but that's a small price to pay, reallyit's better than the show never being released at all.  They did make up for it a little by including a bit of commentary from Hugh Wilson (the show's creator), Frank Bonner, who played the insufferable Herb Tarlek, and (much to my surprise) Loni Anderson herself.  And I must say that I'd forgotten how pretty she was back in the day!  I don't normally go for platinum blondesI'm more partial to dark-haired women and redheadsbut Loni most definitely kept me tuning in each week when I was going through puberty!

Another thing that was fun for me was seeing the location shots of Cincinnati in the opening title sequence again, now that I've actually been there a few times, thus giving me a better perspective.  AND, I finally got to see the beloved "Turkeys Away" episode that, for whatever reason, I had never seen in its entirety until now.  What a classic line from "The Big Guy", Mr. Carlson: "As God is my witnessI swear I thought turkeys could fly!"

One thing that always drove me crazy about this show was the set layout.  The orientation of the hallway that supposedly led from the reception area behind Jennifer's desk to the studios is impossibleunless they had some sort of open-air skywalk that ran outside the window in Mr. Carlson's office!  Another boo-boo was how Les and the DJs rarely ever wore headphones while speaking on the air.

Don't mean to nit-pick, thoughthis was a fun little show!  The plots were a little hokey sometimes, but when you have a good ensemble cast with great characters, you can get away with that.  I look forward to seeing the rest of the series, especially the episode with Les warning people to take cover from those "Godless tornadoes" and former Reds manager Sparky Anderson's guest appearance, as well as the really poignant one based on the 1979 Who concert tragedy in Cincinnati.  The one with Herb and Jennifer getting stuck in the elevator was pretty good too.  Let's hope they put the other three seasons out with a bit more alacrity...

Good night, and may the good news be yours...

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