Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WKRP in Cincinnati

I’ve started watching old episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati on my lunch break. I found them through, which I’ll admit is a shameless plug for the company my girlfriend work’s for. I did find them there though. Actually here’s the listing page. The entire first season is streamable.

Unfortunately due to my Flash problems, I can only stream the episodes through Aol, and not directly from Hulu, so I have a more limited selection.

Hardcore fans of the show will be dismayed to know that a lot of the original music has been replaced because they either can’t get the rights or the rights holders want exorbitant fees for the use of the music. This is yet another example of how the music industry just doesn’t get it. Maybe TV and movies should start charging them exorbitant fees for samples.

Yes, it’s true that the owners of WKRP would make a lot of money if they were able to release the series on DVD with the original music because of the music. The makers of the music should see some money from that, sure, but the music will also benefit form the exposure. They’ll sell more downloads and albums. It’s advertising dummy.

But no, the music industry are a bunch of greedy wankers.

The tragedy is that they used really good music on the show. It aired in the late 70’s early 80’s, a time when the music could have been tragically bad, but no, they aired the good stuff, including this clip with Come Together in the background (and notice the Kraftwerk poster in the background):

But, I’ll admit, even without the original music, the show is still hilarious. Not only did it follow the misadventures of the misfit crew of a small market radio station, but it tackled real issues like deserting the military during Vietnam (Who is Gordon Sims?) , Soviet defections during the Cold War (The Americanization of Ivan), and the trampling deaths at the 1979 Who concert in Cincinnati (In Concert).

But perhaps it’s best known and most beloved episode is Turkeys Away, which can be seen here. TV Guide once named it the 40th greatest TV episode of all time. It's certainly one of mine. In fact, I think I'll watch it right now.


If Turkeys Away doesn't hook you, try watching Mama's Review which features clips from the show's first 8 episodes. It aired after the show had been on a brief hiatus to bring viewers up to speed.

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