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TV Series Review

The former NBC hit NewsRadio has been all but reborn on the network’s "Must-See" Thursday night. Good Morning Miami slavishly follows the NewsRadio formula, using a TV station as the setting for a self-conscious new boss (Jake Silver, played by Mark Feuerstein) to nurse an unrequited crush on an attractive, flirty staffer (Ashley Williams as Dylan). Of course no TV station would be complete without news anchors, and WWEN’s pride and joy is the team of Gavin, a recovering alcoholic with a superiority complex, and Lucia, a Latin hottie whose wardrobe eclipses her brain. Then there’s the weather girl. She’s Sister Brenda, a bitter, foul-mouthed nun. Rounding out this ensemble farce is a geeky goof named Frank, and Penny, a droll administrative assistant.

Jake, a nationally respected talk-show producer, took the Miami job because he got all fluttery inside when he met the station’s hair stylist, Dylan. What he didn’t know was that Dylan was already spoken for—by co-anchor Gavin. That sets Jake up for a series of disastrous power-plays which he hopes will win Dylan’s heart, but only make him look foolish. Pretending to be disinterested and bored, Penny secretly falls for Jake. And Frank, in a particularly besotted Halloween episode, dances the night away with an assortment of drag queens.

Penny fills her time at work with snide remarks directed toward anyone within earshot. No one’s exempt. Not even Sister Brenda. After calling Brenda’s convent a coven, Penny rants about her years at Catholic school. "Nuns are just bitter chick thugs with great PR," she exclaims. Not that the sullied Sister doesn’t deserve most of what she gets. When Jake announces that they’ll be doing a location shoot at a gay bar, Gavin lets loose some rough language about homosexuals and his own threatened manhood. Glancing at Brenda, he’s quick to pardon his French, but Brenda shushes him. "Oh please!" she cackles. "You should be at the convent on poker night. Let’s just say superior is not usually the word following mother."

All that, plus smoking, drinking, gambling, sexual jesting and cheery references to pornography comes courtesy of Will & Grace producers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. Seeing the world through their eyes is at best warped. If your family really "must see" something on Thursday night, and you demand good taste, you may want to try the Food Network.

Episodes Reviewed: Oct. 3, 10, 24, 31, Nov. 14, Dec. 5, 2002

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Steven Isaac

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