Welcome back to the episode-by-episode rewatch of Newsradio. There are spoilers ahead but only through the current episode.
THE QUICK AND CLEAN EPISODE SUMMARY:
THE EXTRA DUSTY RECAP and REACTION:
Lisa enters Dave’s office to discuss the promos. This appears to be a code word for making out. However, Lisa breaks up their kissing to say that they do actually need to discuss promos. Beth enters and asks if they are making out. When they say no, she advises them that they need to start closing the blinds to Dave’s office if they want to avoid being seen.
Beth lets Lisa know that Stewart is on line 5. Lisa takes the call at her desk. Dave says “say hi to Stewart” through gritted teeth. Beth asks Dave if he feels threatened by how often Lisa talks to her ex-boyfriend of five years and he says he is not. The two of them leave Dave’s office. Beth abruptly hands Dave a telephone. Dave asks who it is and she says “It’s Lisa and Stewart, I thought you might want to listen in.” Dave explains that she is talking to him to resolve an issue having to do with the security deposit on the apartment they used to share. Just then, we hear Lisa laughing.
Beth: Whoa, that would drive me crazy. You want me to listen in and give you a full report?
Dave again says no, though his discomfort is becoming more apparent. He tells Beth that he really needs to discuss the promos with Lisa. “Of course you do, good luck.” Dave tries to interrupt her phone call and he is rebuffed.
Dave leaves her desk and runs into Bill at the coffee station. Bill asks Dave what’s troubling him when he hears Lisa laughing uproariously.
Bill: Is that Stewart?! Let me say hi to him!
Now it’s Bill’s turn to laugh uproariously with Stewart. Bill finds out on the phone call that Lisa and Stewart broke up. But he laughs dramatically again before handing the phone once more to Lisa. Returning to the coffee station, he tells Dave, “they’ll get back together.”
Dave: I don’t know. They’ve been split up for over a year now.
BIll: Just a bump in the road. They were made for each other.
Mr. James comes in. He approaches Lisa’s desk and asks her to get off the phone. She – through laughter – says she needs to get off the phone. Mr. James tells her that he owns the phone and that she needs to get off of it. When Dave approaches her desk and joins the request for her to get off the phone, Mr. James realizes who she is talking to.
Mr. James: Hey wait a minute, is that Stewie? STEWART! YEAH! It’s Jimmy!
In the background, as Mr. James is now laughing, Dave is slowly losing his grip.
Later, Mr. James asks Dave, Lisa, and Beth, at the conference table, what they did over the weekend. However, before giving them a chance to answer he tells them that he attended a business symposium. Mr. James says that he sat next to a brilliant visionary named Tom, at the symposium, and that he wants Tom to be interviewed by the station.
Mr. James: You ever, uh, you ever had your mind blown, Dave?
Mr. James: Well get ready ’cause here comes Tom.
Mr. James leaves them at the table at the same time that Bill leaves the broadcast booth. Dave tells Bill that he will be interviewing a business visionary tomorrow. When Bill asks “what’s his vision” Dave does not know.
Bill: Friend of Jimmy’s?
Bill suggests that Dave have Catherine do the interview. Dave tersely says no, because he has already asked Bill to do it. Just then, Beth interjects to Lisa, who is standing right there, that Stewart is on line 2. Dave asks Beth to take a message. A few moments later, we hear Beth laughing with Stewart while she takes his message.
Bill then asks Dave if he has a spacial lady in his life. He corrects himself, though.
Bill: I’m sorry that was presumptuous of me. Do you have a special “person” in your life?
Dave tells Bill that he had a girlfriend in Wisconsin and that it sort of ended when he moved to New York. Bill says “take it easy, I believe you” and walks away. From his tone, he is insinuating that he wants Dave to believe he might not believe him.
After Bill leaves, Lisa asks Dave what he means by “sort of” ended. She asks him details of how it ended.
Dave: Let me put it this way. At least I don’t talk to her every other day on the phone.
Lisa: Does it bother you that I talk to Stewart.
Dave: No, it doesn’t bother me but let me put it this way. I’ve seen tobacco company lawsuits settled more quickly than this interminable security deposit dispute.
Dave tells Lisa that he has not spoken with Nancy since he left Wisconsin. Lisa replies that not talking with her is unhealthy and that he should give her a call sometime. Dave says that maybe he will.
Beth interrupts them to say that Stewart is on line 2. Lisa jumps up and goes toward her desk.
Dave: Beth, can you hold all my calls for a little while? I’m going to be on the phone… gettin’ healthy.
Sometime later, Lisa feigns needing to ask Beth a question. Beth understands that Lisa is attempting to learn whether Dave is still on the phone with Nancy. She picks up the phone, listens in for a while, and tells her that it sounds as though they are wrapping up. Lisa asks if Beth ever listens in on her and Beth lies and says no.
Dave emerges from his office. He looks somewhat shaken. Lisa asks how the call went and he tells her that “apparently” Nancy is coming for a visit. Lisa asks when and Dave says, “apparently” tomorrow.
Dave: Is that still good and healthy?
Lisa asks where she will be staying and Dave says that “apparently” she will be staying with him. Suddenly we see Beth holding the phone receiver to hear ear and laughing. Lisa asks if she is talking to Stewart and Beth says no, she has just been eavesdropping on their conversation.
The next day, Bill interviews Mr. James’ friend “Tom P. Baxter.” He does not give Tom a chance to talk at any point in the interview.
Dave asks Lisa what Bill is doing and she suggests turning on the emergency broadcast signal to stop him. Dave says he has used that three times this month, already. He tells Lisa to bring Tom back tomorrow. Just then, Janeane Garofalo walks into the office and says “David!” I guess she is playing Nancy. Wearing a pink cardigan and looking, Midwestern, I guess, she runs up to Dave, kisses him on the lips, and gives him a hug.
Matthew sees them and takes their picture. Matthew then tells Lisa to get in there and he then takes a picture of the three of them.
The next day, Lisa comes into Dave’s office first thing in the morning. She kisses him vigorously enough that they ignore Beth when she opens the office door, sees them, and then leaves. Lisa asks why Dave did not answer his phone when she tried to call him the night before. Dave tells her that “apparently” Nancy does not think that they split up.
Lisa: Exactly how did that happen, Dave?
Dave: Apparently when I left Wisconsin I wasn’t, uh, clear enough with her.
Lisa: Exactly how unclear were you?
Dave: Apparently, I…
Lisa: Dave, you say apparently one more time I’m going to strangle you!
Beth re-enters the office, says “brrr” and tells them that the “business visionary dude is back.”
By the time Dave and Lisa go back into the office, Tom P. Baxter is nowhere to be found. Dave asks Bill where he is and Bill tells Dave that he told Tom to take a hike and that Tom was a fraud. Dave repeats a couple of times that Bill never gave him a chance to speak and Bill repeats that his experience has given him a way of sniffing out frauds.
Just then, Nancy returns to the office. She greets Dave with a kiss on the lips again. This time Matthew takes a selfie picture of himself with Dave and Nancy. Dave asks if she can wait for him in his office but she asks if she can give out presents, first.
She brought pastries for the office. Beth gets “lady fingers” because she is so petite. Catherine gets a honey roll because she is so sweet. Joe and Matthew both get bear claws because they are so rugged. Lisa gets a plain donut.
Dave goes into his office to grab his coat so that he can take Nancy to lunch. Sitting on the edge of Lisa’s desk, while she waits, Nancy tells Lisa that she seems like one of the nicer people in the office. But that’s not all!
Nancy: That’s why I wanted to tell ya not to even think about moving in on my boyfriend or I’ll kill ya.
After Dave and Nancy leave, Lisa tells Beth what happened. Beth tells her that “she did the same thing to me.” They decide not to eat their pastries.
The following morning, Lisa again talks with Dave in his office. He tells her they were up until four in the morning talking things out. She asks if he told her that he was seeing someone else and that things are over?
Dave: Well, apparently…
She walks out of his office at the word apparently. Beth, Joe, Matthew, and Catherine are eating at the conference table. Beth has told Matthew and Catherine about the threats from Nancy. Matthew refuses to believe it.
Joe: Everybody’s thinking it so I’m just gonna say it. You two are jealous.
Matthew: Ooh, I was thinking that.
Bill tells them she brought him a nice kiwi tart pastry yesterday.
Matthew: What did the pastry say about your personality?
Bill: I didn’t discuss anything with the pastry Matthew, I just ate it.
We later see Catherine interviewing Tom. He tells her that the future of business is computer, that they are great, that you can play games on them, that they are like magic, and that he does not have one yet. He also tells her he is between jobs.
Mr. James: Well, this guy is a complete fraud! I’m surprised Bill didn’t sniff this one out. He usually has great instincts about who’s on the up and up.
Dave approaches Bill to tell him that he was right before going to his office.
Nancy walks in a few moments later and is directed toward Dave’s office. Just a few seconds later, she runs through the office and exits. Lisa goes to see Dave and asks him for the exact words he said to her.
Dave: I told her that it was over. I told her that I have a new girlfriend that I’ve been seeing for two months. And I told her that girlfriend was you.
Lisa: [suddenly very alarmed] What did you do that for?!
Just then, Nancy re-enters Dave’s office and asks him to walk her to the elevator. Lisa apologizes to her for the situation. Nancy tells Dave that she hopes they can still be friends at least. Just outside of Dave’s office, Nancy tells everyone good-bye. Matthew insists on one more photograph.
Nancy thanks everyone for being so nice to her and then she tells everyone that Dave and Lisa have been having a secret office affair for two months. She kisses Lisa on the cheek and then leaves.
Everyone stands in a stunned shock. Matthew announced to Lisa and Beth that he owes them an apology because Nancy is clearly insane. Bill then mocks the idea of Lisa and Dave having an affair. Everyone disperses from the conference table.
Basking in relief of not being found out, Lisa tells Dave that he surely feels better to have closure. Beth interrupts to say that Stewart is on line 2. She immediately heads toward her desk to take the call.
The episode title is “Sweeps Week.” To be clear, the title has nothing to do with the content of the episode. The show title just breaks the 4th Wall and lets you know that Newsradio needs good ratings at a time of year when most other shows invite a big name guest star in search of good ratings. This is the season 1 finale so that makes some sense.
In this episode, Dave and Lisa’s secret relationship the elephant in the room that makes everything funny.
Everyone loves Lisa’s ex-boyfriend Stewart? That’s not funny until you see Dave hiding his inner turmoil in every scene. Almost the entire cast delivers an over-the-top laugh while on the phone with Stewart at some point, including Lisa. My favorite moment in the midst of that was Bill telling Dave that Lisa and Stewart were made for each other and that the year long break up was just “a bump in the road.”
Everyone loves Dave’s “apparently” current girlfriend, Nancy? Same dynamic. Matthew’s insistence on pictures was a really nice touch, too, especially his call to Lisa to “get in there” with Dave and Nancy for a photo.
Janeane Garofalo as Nancy was a nice touch from a “big name guest star” casting standpoint. She captured wholesome Midwestern girl with some hidden menace very effectively.
In addition to the aforementioned gags of everyone laughing while on the phone with Stewart, and Matthew insisting on taking (unbeknownst to him) incredibly awkward pictures, Dave’s use and re-use of the word “apparently” played well for a lot of laughs, too. The gag build to a crescendo when Lisa finally calls him out for it and threatens to strangle him. Of course, Dave continued using the word after this threat. All of this hit close to home for me personally. One thing I have discovered about myself while blogging is that there are a few words and phrases that I over-use to a great degree. “Apparently” is one of my worst chronic offenses. I empathize with you, Dave Nelson.
A lot of the humor of this episode, too, is that despite the chaos created by Dave talking to Nancy, everything went pretty much back to normal at the end. Their relationship was outed publicly and the entire staff just chose not to believe it. Most humorous to me was the fact that after everything that happened, and after seeing things from Dave’s perspective, the episode ends with Lisa continuing her inappropriate “dispute” with her ex-boyfriend Stewart as though none of the events with Nancy had occurred at all to shift her perspective. Dave, as a result, gets to be this episode’s sad sack (a role he seems to trade off with Matthew), unable to do anything about Lisa and Stewart despite his suffering efforts.
Speaking of sad sack Dave, that reminds me that the best line of this episode was from Dave, regarding Lisa and Stewart:
I’ve seen tobacco company lawsuits settled more quickly than this interminable security deposit dispute.
The sub-plot in this episode did not take much away from the main story. Mr. James meets someone and wants to put him on the radio. Bill appears to be insane when not letting the man speak once he is put on the radio. We ultimately learn, after Dave brings Tom back and lets him speak, that Bill was correct to not let the man talk. Mr. James gives the extra twist of the knife to Dave when he tells Dave that Bill usually has a way of sniffing these things out.
There were a lot of small jokes that I missed in this recap. It’s well written, very funny, and “Sweeps Week” ends up as of the best episodes of Season 1.
That’s a wrap on Season 1. I encourage you to find this and binge it if you’re looking for a comedy. I’ll be back with Season 2… eventually.