Theres an inadvertent nostalgia in a sitcom about a magazine. When Just Shoot Me was airing in primetime, the periodical business was at its peak. Advertising revenue was healthy. People enjoyed flipping through those glossy pages while waiting for a flight, bleach job or root canal. Now magazines are a dying breed. The ones that survive have more pages of real content instead of ads. Its just sad to see a decaying industry when passing a newsstand at the airport. They killed The Weekly World News. Just Shoot Me: The Complete Third Season reminds us of a time when folks working in the industry didnt fear for their job vanishing.
The staff at Blush have no fear of being pink-slipped back in 1998. The stories revolve around the distracted publisher Jack Gallo (George Segal), his smart daughter Maya (Laura San Giacomo), an aging supermodel (Wendie Malick), an aspiring photographer (Enrico Colantoni) and a horny assistant (David Spade). Their troubles were enough to fill each episode with more than just love.
“What the Teddy Bear Saw” has Jack hire a new nanny (Ana Gasteyer). He begs Spade to check up on the help. He does more than visit, he gets nasty with the sitter. What he doesnt realize is that Jack has a hidden camera. A decade later such a sex tape could get David Spade a show on E! “Steamed” gets Maya involved in ousting the tenant above them. She thinks its to put in a free daycare center. Turns out Jack wants a steam room. Those were the days when a magazine could afford a VIP steam room. “Two Girls for Every Boy” makes Spade think that a model wants to shag him. Turns out the lady only has eyes for Maya. Instead of pouting, Spade brings together these two ladies. All he asks is for a good view of the girl play. This might have been David Spades finest moment on television.
“Puppetmaster” lets Maya date a childrens TV host (French Stewart). Her co-workers fear the guy is sending coded messages about the relationship through his puppets on TV. As if we expected French Stewart to be a normal guy. “Slow Donnie” introduces David Cross (Arrested Development) as Enricos slightly less smart sibling. “Nina Sees Red” brings on Tyra Banks as the guest supermodel. And over a decade later, we cant get her off the TV. “Mayas Nude Photos” gets her to expand in her understanding of photography. She takes a course where the instructor assigns self-nude portraits. Enrico gets ticked off at the instructor for calling his work “commercial.” “The Odd Couple” wraps up the season with Spade getting Rebecca Romijn to pose as his girlfriend. Things get weird in the second episode when they get engaged. Nobody can believe its real. Weirder things can happen. She dumped John Stamos for the fat kid from Stand By Me.
After nearly four years since the box set that had seasons 1 & 2, its a relief Just Shoot Me hasnt been abandoned. This was a funny show even with David Spade in the cast. George Segals child-like obsessions with freakish things adds so much to the show. Who wouldnt enjoy a Slurpee machine in the office? Just Shoot Me: The Complete Third Season reminds us that there was a time when working at a glossy magazine was fun. That it was all about the articles, express accounts and staff camaraderie instead of the fear of being axed in a downsizing move.
“What the Teddy Bear Saw,” “Steamed,” “The Mask,” “Funny Girl,” “Two Girls for Every Boy,” “The Withholder,” “Puppetmaster,” “The List,” “How Nina Got Her Groove Back,” “How the Finch Stole Christmas,” “Slow Donnie,” “A Spy in the House of Me,” “Lies & Dolls,” “Nina Sees Red” (two-parter), “Hostess to Murder,” “Toy Story,” “Miss Pretty,” “Maya’s Nude Photos,” “And the Femmy Goes To…,” “Softball,” “Shaking Private Trainer,” “Nina’s Choice” and “The Odd Couple” (two-parter).
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfer is fine with enough detail to see when David Spade finally grew facial hair. The audio is Dolby Digital Surround. The levels are good. You can hear Wendie Malicks amazing sighs. Shes a sigh queen.
Just Shoot Me: The Complete Third Season is a chipper time in a glossy world. Its easy to see why David Spade accepted a supporting roll when he got to stare at supermodels.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents Just Shoot Me: The Complete Third Season. Starring Laura San Giacomo, George Segal, Wendie Malick, Enrico Colantoni and David Spade. Boxset Contents: 25 Episodes on 3 DVDs. Released on DVD: Feburary 24, 2009. Available at Amazon.
Tags: David Spade