Remember the 90s? Blasting grunge music and lamenting the false promise of the 80s? Eddie Vedder stumbling into cliffside parties and freaking out on kids that were listening to his music? (Or something like that. It’s tough to pinpoint urban legends in the pre-internet era.) The 90s were a time of growth and insight and loud-ass music. I thought that was the angriest I’d ever be.
Ahhh the innocence of youth.
But now we can relive some of those cherished moments by flipping on some quality 90s TV shows on Plex. Watch now for free, or better yet, try our new Watch Together feature and bring some friends along for the ride.
NewsRadio informed a generation of comedy with its cadence and gallows humor and biting wit. This ensemble cast was phenomenal. Outstanding writing, amazing chemistry and magical physical comedy. Every episode of NewsRadio is a gift.
But the drama of NewsRadio goes well beyond the stage. Behind the scenes, the cast was often embroiled in some harrowing subplots of their own, culminating in the loss of Phil Hartman. To read more about it, here’s a decent rundown.
“Have you ever heard the expression when life gives you lemons, make lemonade and then toss it in the face of the person who gave you the lemons until they give you the oranges you asked for in the first place?”
So you have a lot of ancillary storylines to boost the idyllic status of what is already a masterful television show. Not only does the comedy hold up (albeit being a bit dated around LGBTQ issues) but it’s something you can watch with the whole family. That’s like gold for people like me with a hodgepodge of teenagers and little kids. Sometimes it feels like the only shows a big family can watch together are either cooking or sports related. This past weekend my family huddled ‘round the TV box and watched the episode in season one where Phil Hartman tries to quit smoking. It was so wonderful to hear all four of my kids laughing together. There still is something to be said for good, clean(ish) fun.
“In the future, it might help if you located the source of your rage before you unleashed it on the world.”
NewsRadio is the beautiful child of early ensemble comedies like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Cheers and the precursor to ensemble comedies like The Office and Brooklyn 99.
Here’s a fun piece that lists 21 Things You Might Not Know About NewsRadio.
You might remember the cast, but feast your eyes on them again.
Dave Foley as Dave Nelson
Maura Tierney as Lisa Miller
Phil Hartman as Bill McNeal
Khandi Alexander as Catherine Duke
Stephen Root as Jimmy James
Joe Rogan as Joe Garrelli
Vicki Lewis as Beth
Andy Dick as Matthew Brock
Vacillating between the mundane and the absurd, NewsRadio is that rare show that has something for everyone. Even the go-to jokes feel like old friends. I was roaring laughing during my last rewatch of the series, and damned if I don’t still miss Phil Hartman. What a talent.
If you’re craving more 90s TV fare, here are a few more titles to Watch Together on Plex.
3rd Rock from the Sun
A fun analysis of the human condition brought to you directly from the mouths of…aliens. If Mork & Mindy was too high brow for you, but you still love an alien fish out of water setup, this odd stew of pratfalls and soviet style humor is just the ticket for you.
Just Shoot Me
Did you know Just Shoot Me ran for seven seasons? Watch now to see the madcap machinations behind the fictional glamour magazine Blush. David Spade, Laura San Giacomo, Wendie Malick and George Segal lead this comedy ensemble.
The Dana Carvey Show
One of the most ambitious sketch comedy shows ever. For some it was head scratching. For others, pure insane bliss. Watch Now & Watch Together to see if sketches like ‘Grandma the Clown’ tickle your funny bone.