Spin City: Complete First Season
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At last, the complete first season!
Spin City is a smart, sophisticated ABC sitcom about the behind-the-scenes workings of City Hall in the biggest city in America. Workaholic Mike Flaherty (Michael J. Fox) is the Deputy Mayor of New York City, serving as Mayor Randall Winston s (Barry Bostwick, Rocky Horror Picture Show) key strategist and much-needed handler. Mike runs the city with the help of his oddball staff: an anxious
and insecure press secretary (Richard Kind, Mad About You); a sexist, boorish chief of staff (Alan Ruck, Ferris Bueller's Day Off); an impeccably groomed gay activist running minority affairs (Michael Boatman, Arli$$); a sharp and efficient, man-crazy accountant (Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights); and an idealistic young speechwriter (Alexander Chaplin). Like Mike, they are all professionally capable but personally challenged.
* The Spin: The cast and creators look back at how the show began and remember its first season. Includes all-new interviews with Michael J. Fox, Barry Bostwick, Richard Kind, Alan Ruck, Michael Boatman, Connie Britton, and Alexander Chaplin and show creators Gary David Goldberg and Bill Lawrence and more.
* Prime-Time Partners: Highlights of The Paley Center for Media Seminar presented in October 1996.In October 1996, Michael J. Fox and Gary David Goldberg gave a seminar for members of the Museum of Television & Radio (now know as the Paley Center for Media).
* Commentaries by Cast, Creators and Crew
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Top Customer Reviews
Can't believe it's been fifteen years since this season aired, and the characters are still as refreshing as when I watched them when I was 10. Paul's nervous ticks, James' shy ambitions, Stuart's one liners, Carter's foreward honesty, Nikki's dry humor, (Janelle doesn't have much a character presence yet, and Stacy isn't in the first season), The Mayor's foot in mouth disease, and of course, the enthusiastic deputy mayor.
What I love more than the characters are their relationships with one another, especially the well received, and well performed friendship between Stuart and Carter, which to this day is one of my favourite television friendships.
This show is a perfect amount of wit, funny, and knows how to deliver the more serious moments well.
Intelligently written, and the performances are unforgettable.
Love, love, LOVE this show!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I can't say enough about how much I love this show, it also has the unique ability to cross borders in that you don't have to be an American or even a New Yorker to appreciate the storyline. I'm an Australian, but I still love the characters and the stories. Just can't get enough of the Spin!!!
If you're a Michael J. Fox fan, it's a fun show. Very vintage "him", which works great in this show, which is one reason I don't think Sheen worked for me when he took over after MJF left.
It's always fun seeing shows from the pre-cell phone days, a world in which the technology we take for granted now doesn't exist...
Alan Ruck was always a riot in here, his smarmy character so much fun to watch. Richard Kind plays a character reminiscent of the one he played on Mad About You. Connie Britton is always a pleasure to watch.
The stories sometimes can be a little one dimensional, the various arcs through the episodes pretty quickly resolved, but still a fun ride.
He'd also battled Alcoholism(related to the despair that often comes with an illness like Parkinson disease.)
Additionally, he also struggled in the early 1990's with a botched film career(Save for, the Back To The Future Trilogy,The Secret Of My Success, Doc Hollywood & late in his run on Spin City,the Dec.1999 Blockbuster Stuart Little.)
So Spin City marked a major comeback for a film/TV vet. Who'd been through a rough decade up to this point. From the very first Episode of the series, you get the idea that Micheal J. Fox doesn't give up easily. The Show really was his to carry. Although his supporting cast-mates do the absolute best to keep up with him.
The Show is all about Micheal J. Fox's comeback to the medium that made him a star in the 1980's with Family Ties.
Highlights/Standouts of this first season include: The Pilot, Dog Day Afternoon, Criss Cross,Meet Tommy Dugan, A Star Is Born, Grand Illusion, The High And The Mighty,The Great Pretender, Bye, Bye Lover & several others.
To Sum Up Spin City: The Complete First Season is simply Micheal J. Fox at his best,Period.
Now he is playing Democratic New York Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty. Flaherty is a curious combination of Al Gore and George Stephanopoulos with lots of requisite/inevitable `Kennedy family' references tossed in.
His boss is Mayor Randall Winston (Barry Bostwick), a more-or-less transparent spoof of Bill Clinton. In terms of physical structure at least, there is a fair resemblance. Vocal-inflection and intelligence, I don't see a comparison, but hey, politics is the game of compromise. You take what you can get.
Basically, this is a small-screen version of Primary Colors: a warm-hearted but satirical look at Democratic politics. And the 24-episode season won't make you incur a personal deficit in order to own it!
A favorite episode is "Kiss Me Stupid" where another childhood crush, Luke Perry returns to his former boyfriend Carter Heywood--with some very important but unexpected news. After having dated each other for a while, Luke's character now dates women, even planning on marriage. Spence Kamer wants Carter to be his best man for this impending ceremony. Perry's apparent comfort with publically delivering `flirty' lines to another man sincerely impressed me, having grown up seeing him merely as a `teen idol'. Instead of Sheen in the later seasons, the production crew for this series should have convinced Perry to sign on as a replacement for Fox. Who knew he was capable of successfully delivering sitcom work? I certainly hadn't.
Being a disability advocate, I easily imagined myself in "Deaf Becomes Her". Misunderstandings about the Mayor's intention towards the deaf community (and more generalized, the disability community!) eventually get successfully resolved. Arriving at mutual ground, Mike and the city's leading deaf advocate realize they do share a mutual desire to help people--and maybe more.
Mike is a politician, but he's also on the prowl only for true and lasting love. An ongoing storyline this season is his romance with news reporter Ashley Schaeffer (Carla Gugino)---and how sincerely heartbroken he becomes upon their breakup ("Bye-Bye, Love"). Rather than a temporary fling with the inevitable `campaign trail...etc' woman, Mike concedes that he is looking for something deeper and safer ("Striptease").
This is exactly why Mike is so charming; he is political without being `sleazy' or the stereotypical know-it-all. He's still our lovable `guy-next door'!
After Mike (duh), my second favorite permanent staff member has to be Carter Heywood (Michael Boatman). As the Mayor's "Diversity Liaison" (who comes on in the "Pilot"), he is supposed to perform outreach with and for `diverse' community organizations. Otherwise, presumably these groups would not have their fair share of representation at City Hall. For it's not that the other staff are insensitive or `not diverse' they just juggle multiple `other concerns' in the ever-compartmentalized world of public service. There is always too much to do and never enough time or money.
Perpetual pulls between his previous "outsider" grassroots community organizing and now being on the `inside' gets best illustrated in "Pride and Prejudice". The same needle exchange program which Carter believes would halt (or even eliminate) the spread of AIDS throughout New York ultimately must get withdrawn for political expediency. It's a powerful lesson for Carter to concede that the `edgiest' public policies will not always work the best in the staid world of bureaucracy. Carter is passionate about his causes, but he's also genuinely intelligent and articulate--rather than being a `token' who is appointed merely to fill a slot.
Since Boatman and the other actors merely could have been one-dimensional tokens for Fox and Bostwick to bounce their one-liners off of, it's appreciated that they have substantive plots of their own throughout this season (and the series). Technically it's 'his' show, but Fox is the type of leading actor who sucessfully demonstrates that he can and is not afraid to share the limelight with other actors.
Extras for this season include a retrospective featurette by the cast and crew: they are also contributing to fond memories about this perpetually awesome series. And Michael J. Fox and Gary David Goldberg themselves provided a seminar to what was then the Museum of Television & Radio. It explained how the creation of this series successfully came into fruition between the two of them.
Please, please, cast your vote for this release so we get (at least) all the seasons with Mike elected into production--and on the market!