Spin City (TV Series 1996–2002) Poster

(1996–2002)

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Works because of the characters and their interactions...
MovieAddict201618 November 2002
Spin City works primarily because of great characters and their interactions and chemistry. I haven't seen any of the new Charlie Sheen episodes, but I saw the Michael J. Fox episodes, and they were quite good. I love Barry Bostwick as the mayor, and how he basically acts like a child.

In Michael J. Fox's last episode, everyone started crying, and you could tell they weren't fake tears. They were real. It wasn't because he was leaving because he was tired of the show. It was because he had Parkinsons disease.

I've always liked Michael J. Fox, because I always thought he had a strong screen presence, especially in Back To the Future. He wasn't one of those stuck up guys. He knew he was short and funny. Now he has moved on to animation films like Stuart Little, but I will always remember his goodbyes from Family Ties, up to the emotional goodbye on Spin City, as he ran out on stage, and the camera picked up one last image of him waving to the audience.
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Heather Locklear is a gaping black hole that sucks every last ounce of life out of this formerly incredible series
liquidcelluloid-124 November 2004
"Spin City": Network: ABC; Genre: Sitcom; Content Rating: TV-14 (for language and strong sexual content); Available: syndication; Classification: Contemporary (Star range: 1 - 4);

Season Reviewed: Seasons 5 & 6

To keep this little project manageable I have roped off the new millennium as a starting point to look at television. The trap door in this rule is that if a show was on the air at all after that time I can review the whole thing - except in the instances where that show underwent a change, for better or worse. Unfortunately, as with 'The Drew Carey Show' and 'The Daily Show', 'Spin City' is one such series whose glory days lie before the year 2000 and out of my jurisdiction. Thus, this review is really of a version of 'Spin City' that isn't the heart of this show. It is of a show that had lost it's lead, reshuffled the cast and was on it's dying legs. The change in the show is undeniable, and it would be irresponsible to simply ignore it, but this is not what 'Spin City' really was about.

Created by Bill Lawrence and Gary David Goldberg, 'Spin City' is a traditional sitcom about the womanizing deputy mayor and his staff of spin-masters struggling to save and protect the image of flaky New York City mayor Randall Winston (Barry Bostwick). The real 'Spin City' was driven about Michael J. Fox's terrific lead performance and absolutely impeccable comic delivery (for which he garnered a well-deserved Emmy award and 2 Golden Globes). It crackled with sharp, adult and always laugh-out-loud writing and an awesome ensemble cast to contend with any other on TV. Michael Boatman, Alexander Chapman as James, and Jennifer Esposito's hot Stacey are just 3 of my favorites. And the reunion episode with Christopher Lloyd was superb. Truly one of the funniest shows on the air, It probably gets my vote for the most underrated sitcom of the 90s. During the first 4 years, 'Spin City' was a 4 ½ star show by my scale. It was that good.

At the close of the 2000 season, Fox made a classy exit to fight a private battle with Parkinson's disease. At that signal, the rest of the cast (save for Boatman, Bostwick, Richard Kind and Alan Ruck) jumped overboard like rats form a sinking ship. But all was not quite lost as replacement Charlie Sheen - reportedly hand picked by producer Fox himself - stepped in and stepped up, filling the new role with surprising success and agility. Sheen has picked up Fox's mannerisms for the arrogant Mike Flaherty and incorporated it into his own completely new character, Charlie Crawford (like Fox, taking his own first name). In fact, with this his first project after coming out of rehab, Sheen is something of a revelation here. As hard to believe as it may be for the purists, but he almost comes up to par with Fox.

The fast and steep decline of the series really has nothing to do with Charlie Sheen. I believe it had more to do with the rest of the ensemble leaving and the show making the suicidal decision to shoulder the series on Heather Locklear. 'Spin' then quickly became a 2-person series in which we are supposed to agonize over the sexual tension between the leads and wonder if Sheen and Locklear's characters will get together. It should have occurred to Lawrence that it's fans where smarter than that. Locklear is a black hole that sucks every remaining ounce of life out of 'Spin City'. Sheen's efforts to save the show and the legacy of it's name deserve far better than this. Forget about this. Stick with seasons 1 through 3, and 4 as a bonus, and you will be in good hands.

* ½
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Solid, under-appreciated show for the first 3 seasons
superscal2322 July 2004
Spin City was a great show for the first three years, okay for a year, and bad for the last two. From what I've read on IMDb, I'm the one who didn't like Michael J. Fox from Family Ties and Back to the Future. I also don't like some of the things I've heard him say in interviews, but that all goes away when he is playing Mike Flaherty. That, I believe, is a sign of a good actor.

This show is by Mike, for Mike, and about Mike, and for the first 3 years of the show, it worked, and worked well. Bringing in Heather Locklear served its intended purpose, which was to create competition for Mike, but it did not work. This show was at its best when Mike was in command of his team of dunces, including the mayor.

In the beginning, Carla Gugino played Mike's love interest, and that created some great moments just in the first 12 episodes. Mike is the Deputy mayor of New York City, and Gugino, as Ashley, was a City Hall reporter. Not a totally original concept, but it worked really well. After the original 12 episode run, they decided that they had enough show without the Ashley character. Apparently it came as a surprise to the producers of the show that New York City politics was enough to stand on its own. So much so that no character other than Mike was ever really explored on this show.

All the other characters are very simple, but very funny. Stuart is the sex obsessed wacko. Carter is the homosexual, token black wacko. Nikki is the unlucky in love, neurotic wacko. James is the naive wacko. Stacy is the foul-mouthed Brooklynite wacko. Paul is just plain wacko.

What made the first 3 seasons great were the story lines and the performances of Michael J. Fox and Barry Bostwick. The fact that they used politics without politicizing the show just makes it a stroke of genius. Think about this: the show is about politics, and it never once got preachy. In fact, I don't believe they ever come out and say what political party the staff is representing. Reading between the lines, you can figure out that they are Democrats, but that is not the point of the show in any way. Others may find this a detriment to the show, meaning it was not socially relevant. This is true, it was not. But it was funny. That was really the bottom line of this show. It was just funny. Nothing more, nothing less. The jokes made you laugh. Whether its a joke about the Pope, or the state of Wisconsin, or homosexuality, or an overflowing toilet (perhaps the single best moment ever on the show).

This show lost me in the fourth season when Heather Locklear came on board. Her character took charge of the office, and the energy that came with Mike in control was gone. In addition, with two well known stars on the show, the other characters were literally filtered out. I would have loved to see Caitlin take on Stacey, but Jennifer Esposito left as Heather Locklear came on. Of course, Mike and Caitlin eventually fell for each other, but it never really worked, and shortly thereafter, Mike was gone.

I personally consider the Charlie Sheen years to be a completely different show, not worthy of comment.
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10/10
My opinions on Spin City and characters
ajnash516 November 2005
Personally I think that this is one of, if not the best TV series ever made and although it was very sad to see Mike have to leave for personal reasons I still think that Charlie was a good replacement and that it continued to be as good with Charlie as it was with Mike because of the fantastic acting from the likes of Alan Ruck and Barry Bostwick.

My personal favourite character in the show would have to be Stuart Bondek because i think that he is just brilliant with the way he makes fun of everything and also turns everything into one big joke.

A very close second would be Mayor Randall Winston because he is so funny when he needs to be but then can be very serious as well such as when he saying goodbye to Mike at the end of series 4 and how he says that he has been like a son to him i thought that was very touching.

One of my other favourite TV series would have to be Scrubs which I know was made by the same people and that Michael J fox, Alan Ruck, Barry Bostwick, Alaxander Chaplin, Richard Kind, Michael Boatman and Heather Locklear have all starred in and they were all as good in that as they were when they did Spin City.
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8/10
Near perfect at first but then Caitlin arrived!
kclambeth4 May 2007
I used to love spin city; set around the Mayor of New York and his staff, it provided a lot of laughs and politics in comedy actually quite works.

The mayor's deputy Mike was one of the best and brilliantly played by one of my favourite actors, Michae J. Fox who has so much screen charisma. The way Mike interacted with his staff was great; his relationship with Carter was hilarious and the way he mentored James was often touching. So many of the characters were great including James, Stuart, Carter, Paul, Nikki and Stacey.

Then they ruined it by casting Heather Locklear as Caitlin. I hated Caitlin, she was so annoying and she replaced the fiesty brooklyn gal, Stacey who was far superior.

When Stacey left it started to go wrong, then Mike, James and Nikki left too and Charlie Sheen couldn't be good enough to replace the loss of three great characters. Charlie was good, not as good as Mike but still a great actor, but Caitlin seemed to be the focus, it should have been called the Charlie Sheen and Heather Locklear show at the end as it was always about their relationship, just like it had been with Caitlin and Mike.

The later episodes are not as memorable, James was such a good character that the show suffered without him, everyone else was so self assured but James was the innocence of City hall and without him it was a bunch of big shot Caitlin's who wanted to rule the world.
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9/10
most underrated!
bennett-lau29 March 2008
Classy, Witty, Satirical, Dynamic...

Seasons 1-4 TV series brings a half hour of highly enjoyable escapism. Well loved characters. Michael J Fox is the glue for the whole show. It started with him and unfortunately the show died without him.

The strong ensemble cast gave the show depth and representation, from Carter to James you felt that the show had a commentary from a broad spectrum of characters, not particular deep as perhaps west wing, but that is not the intention. you become invested in the T&T of these characters, as with all good shows, they bring familiarity, social commentary at its light entertainment best.

This show like "friends " was a staple diet during my university years. Recently i have got my hands on the whole series of shows. It was a pleasure to revisit this comedy. Good luck to Mr Fox's foundation on Parkinson's research.
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Heather Locklear kills another good show.
shrek200422 August 2003
Michael J. Fox is a terrific actor. The supporting cast for this show

were a witty team. However, for some reason the secretary Stacy

was replaced by Heather Locklear. Heather really killed this show,

it was almost dead even by the time MJF left. When she was

added, all the other charactars were pushed to the background

and we hardly ever saw them anymore. Instead, we saw a lot of

Heather interacting with Michael in a strange, contrived way. Then

when Michael J. Fox left, they brought Charlie Sheen in. Charlie

Sheen was all right, but at this point the show was unbearable to

watch because of Locklear's wooden acting abilities and the way

the other cast members (which had dwindled to just four, counting

the Mayor) were shown only once or twice per show. If Locklear had not been brought in and the other cast members

had remained with the show, this show could have survived even

without Fox. This show went off the air in 2002. If you happen to

catch it in reruns, only watch the MJF episodes and the first few

Charlie Sheen episodes, but no more than that.
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8/10
Great Ensemble/Great Writing
ginaloo17 November 1998
This is the funniest show on TV this year. The writing is clever and genuinely funny. All of the members of the cast are interesting characters in themselves, and there is also tremendous chemistry among them. The chemistry between Stuart and Carter is especially good (possible spin-off?) I'd recommend that everyone look in on this show.
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A barrel of laughs!
mattymatt4ever27 February 2002
Another one of the few sitcoms on TV I find very funny and quite witty. The cast is packed with talented performers. Now, don't get me wrong, Michael J. Fox was great in the role of Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty, but Charlie Sheen does just as good a job at replacing the lead role as Deputy Mayor Charlie Crawford. Rarely, do I watch a show where a lead character is replaced by another actor, and that actor is just as good as his/her predecessor. I have nothing against Charlie Sheen, I really appreciate him as an actor. But I was very pessimistic about him filling Fox's shoes. Well, he succeeded with flying colors!

Anyone who has seen "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (one of my all-time favorites) should be familiar with Alan Ruck--who played Cameron Frye, Ferris's anal retentive best friend. He pretty steals the show as the witty, perverted Stuart Bondek. I guess I would say he's my favorite on the show. He definitely brings in the biggest laughs! That episode was classic where he was hired as a screenwriter for porno films. Every time someone would utter any sort of sexual innuendo, he would jot it down on his typewriter. Ruck is a superbly talented comic actor. His facial expressions alone, which reveal exactly what he's thinking, just make you want to crack up.

Michael Boatman is funny in sort of straight role--which is a very ironic statement, being that he's playing a gay character. He never tries too hard for a laugh, yet knows exactly the right timing and delivery. But I did notice a plot hole, concerning his character. In one episode, he's trying desperately to quit smoking. Yet they never showed him smoking in previous episodes. That should be listed in the "goofs" section.

Richard Kind has the goofiest role as Paul, the bumbling speechwriter. I can't imagine anyone playing the part better than him.

Barry Bostwick is also quite funny as the Mayor. His deadpan delivery makes his dialogue all the more funnier.

I have to admit, sometimes the show gets too farcical and out of control. Virtually all sitcoms suffer from this--the characters end up saying or doing something ironic for a cheap laugh, even if it doesn't make sense.

But even though the show has its share of lame gags, I'm often dying with laughter every episode. As goofy as it gets, as senseless as it gets, "Spin City" never fails to make me laugh. The cast is excellent and the writing is often sharp. There's not much more I can ask for. I hope the show continues to be a success and lasts about five more seasons!

My score: 8 (out of 10)
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10/10
Funniest show I've seen in the last 10 years!!
outsidersfan1522 December 2006
Spin City is the funniest show I have seen in a long time. Michael J Fox and his delightful cast add a lot of spunk and funniness to the show. I recommend it to all people who are Michael J Fox fans, as it is one of his best. It was funny to see the different antics that were going on in each episode. Charlie Sheen replaces MJF in the 5th season and thats when everything started to go downhill. 3 other cast mates left after MJF left. It only lasted 2 seasons after MJF was replaced by Charlie Sheen. So, if you are just getting hooked on this show, I suggest that you only watch seasons 1-4, the rest aren't really worth it. I give this show 10 out of 10.
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10/10
simply awesome
ecw063 October 2006
This fantastic American sitcom is just to put it mildly simply AWESOME. From 1996-2002 it was the best sitcom on TV. better than Frasier, Becker, drew Carey show and certainly much better than the over rated and disgustingly over hyped FRIENDS, thats not to say those shows weren't good (save for friends)but spin city was refreshingly different. Michael j fox in the seasons he played the arrogant but caring deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty were some of the funniest TV performances i have ever seen and he thoroughly deserved his Emmy awards and of course who can forget the supporting cast... just brilliant. Stuart Bendeck (ALAN RUCK)i personally believe should have got a spin off show the man is such a perfect comedic actor his sexist remarks and facial expressions are just priceless, Carter Heywood (MICHAEL BOATMAN) as a gay rights activist and the only person who seems to be totally sensible and is yet just as neurotic and wacko as the rest is superb,The sexy as hell Nikki (CONNIE BRITTON) oh my god the thoughts I've had about her.... anyway another fantastic cast member who was MJFs love interest from the first season till MJF left in 2000 was totally superb and much sexier than any of the female cast in friends put together, and of course how can anyone forget Paul (RICHARD KIND)a lazy, offencive, crazy yet lovable press officer. some of his scenes especially with James (ALEXANDER GRABHAM) were just genius. of course i could talk about the other cast members most notably (JENNIFER ESPOSITO) and of course The mayor (BARRY BOSTWICK). They were characters i will never forget. Of course the introduction of Heather Locklear raised a few eyebrows and i for one was sceptical of the decision to bring her in, i don't know why maybe it was because the show was working really well that it didn't needed to be tampering with, but apparently the powers that be thought otherwise but never the less she proved herself to be an adequate acquisition even though it meant some of the cast that had been so brilliant in support was more or less moved to the background and when MICHAEL.J. FOX left in 2000 because of his Parkinsons disease i don't think it came to much of a surprise that a few cast members Ir, Nikki, James, Stacey etc. Getting Charlie Sheen in as MJFs replacement as the equally arrogant deputy mayor Charlie Crawford was another inspired piece of casting and he was more than a able replacement for MICHAEL J FOX and he was able to Carry Mike Flahertys traits and personalities and manifest them into his own selfish, egotistical way quite superbly. This show was for 7 years the freshest, sexiest and downright funniest show on TV. It was a damn shame that it got took of the air in 2002 and that the TV producers had decided to stick with friends (im sorry but i just think that show is so corny and syrupy and is nowhere near as funny that or people like to think it is)or Frasier etc, etc as entertainment, not that there was anything wrong with Frasier it was just time for them to call it day and thankfully not long after spin city ended it did. I personally feel that SPIN CITY can still be a success now as it was when it finished if some people just had a lot more believe in CHARLIE SHEEN. I personally don't think there was a better person to carry SPIN CITY in what was ultimately its final years than CHARLIE SHEEN so its good hes went on to even more success in the equally hilarious TWO AND A HALF MEN. God bless SPIN CITY. I give this 15 out of ten
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Great show ......Until Heather Locklear Came Aboard
dlermajr200311 April 2005
Jeniffer Esposito was the hottest chick they ever had on the show. She was ten times better than Locklear. Don't get me wrong. I like Heather just as much as the next heterosexual male, but I don't think that comedy is for her. Anyway, enough of that.

Michael J. Fox made a great comeback with Spin City and Barry Bostwick really showcased his talent for comedy in this show. I first became familiar with Barry Bostwick in "Weekend at Bernies II." His role in that film was hilarious--he was probably one of very few actors that was funny in that movie. Anyway, I knew him from that and I just knew he would kill on Spin City.

Alan Ruck is "DA BOMB" - NUFF SAID Also, I saw Michael Boatman and didn't think he would be that funny. Since I am a die hard Quantum Leap fan, I recognized Boatman from an episode of Quantum Leap. However, the character he played was serious and tragic. Anyway, I'm glad I was wrong because he was pretty funny in it too.

Charlie Sheen came along and was funny enough for me. Apparently he wasn't too funny for the ratings. Oh well.......everything must come to an end some time.
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7/10
It's Been Said Before, Locklear Ruined This
LLCooLJoE11 January 2007
Charlie Sheen got a ton of blame for ruining this show, but Heather Locklear killed it before him. This show was hilarious because all of the side characters contributed just as much as the main one (Michael J. Fox). They were all funny and their different personalities complemented each other nicely. With that said, Locklear came on the show and just took away so much screen time from everyone else, that it became more of a show about her and Mike. Once Fox left because of illness, Sheen completely killed the show. He's a terrible actor that is around because of his last name. They also got rid of characters like James and Nikki, which eliminated many of the funny things going on with the show.

Basically, this was a wonderful show in its first 4 seasons. Then it became watchable, but not nearly as funny. Finally, it was just plain awful.
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A funny look at the inside of a political office. And Heather Locklear continues to look just fine.
Brian-2721 November 2000
I just started watching this sitcom just this past season, and though it's not an all time great show it has enough humor and wit to make it enjoyable to watch. Primarily the reasons I started watching "Spin City" in it's fourth season are Charlie Sheen and Heather Locklear you can tell that great chemistry exist between the two. Though take nothing away from Michael J. Fox he was brilliant as always, but his replacement Sheen seems to be filling the big shoes well. I always liked Charlie it's nice to once again see him getting work in Hollywood even if it is on TV instead of the big screen. Sheen is not only great but hilarious as the womanizing assistant deputy mayor. Locklear complements him perfect as a direct straight to the point assistant who keeps him on his toes, and just to mention you thought Heather was a knockout back during her "Melrose Place" days then prepare to be double knocked out she continues to look fine wherever she goes I tell you Heather is my dream woman for life. The supporting cast is decent with the intelligent Michael Boatman and funny Alan Ruck and Barry Bostwick is very suitable as a crazy unaware New York City mayor. Start watching this show if you haven't already Sheen and Locklear are a delight also "Spin City" provides great laughs. It's nice to make fun of the political world for a change.
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10/10
A great show, ruined by unnecessary actors
blsflnthng1325 February 2008
What a terrific show... from the start, the humor, the characters, even the plots made this show hard not to watch. Yet, as always, producers never know when to say "enough." they felt the need to replace J.Espo with.... HEATHER LOCKLEAR?!?! what the hell were they thinking!!!! As if that wasn't enough though, they actually had to turn the main relationship of focus away from Nicki (Who was, by far, the best match for mike character-wise (and also significantly more bearable to watch)) and focus it on the Blonde Bimbo who couldn't act her way out of a paper sack (and, my god, is she annoying to watch). Yet nonetheless, i watched further onwards until the moment came for Michael to say goodbye, and i thought to myself, "well, at least they're ending the show before it could lower itself any more..." WRONG!!! Here comes Charlie Sheen, with half the cast (I feel betrayed) and none of the charisma, and in case you didn't know, They switched filming to Los Angeles!!!! My advice to these producers for the future "Recognize Necessary Limitations!!!" Still, i will never stop watching the first 4 seasons... best show in the last 10 years, and my best to Michael J.
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9/10
An absolute ABC classic!
Catherine_Grace_Zeh3 July 2007
"SPIN CITY," is my opinion, is an absolute ABC classic! I'm not sure I've seen every episode, but I still enjoyed it. It's hard to say which episode was my favorite. However, I think it was always funny when a mishap occurred. I always laughed at that. Despite the fact that Charlie Sheen was good, I liked the show more when Michael J. Fox was the leading man. It seems that no one stays with a show throughout its entire run. Everyone always gave a good performance, the production design was spectacular, the costumes were well-designed, and the writing was always very strong. In conclusion, I hope they bring it back on the air for fans of the show to see.
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The Best!!!
ElskerJer23 July 2003
Spin City, is simply the best comedy-series EVER!!!! I have never seen a comedy, better then Spin City!!! It's perfect!!! It's sexy, funny, cute, sweet, hot and lovely!!! It's sexy because Stuart and Charlie is SO perverted, and because Stuart, Charlie, Mike, James and Carter are cute!! It's funny, because the Mayor and Paul is SO stupid!!! It's sweet, Because, the cute guys, say or do something, there's so cute!!! There maybe hurt them!!! And it's hot, because of all those cute guys, and lovely, because of it all!!!

From Long to Short >> I LOVE IT!!!!!! IT'S JUST LOVELY!!!!!!!!!!!! Nothing, NOTHING is better, than Spin City!!!

A huge Thank U 4 Gary David Goldberg and Bill Lawrence 3rd, for creating Spin City!!!
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The Best TV-Show on Earth....
clabbe_889 September 2001
This is the funniest TV-Show that ever been made...And it will never be the same when Michael J Fox is gone...=( but Charlie Sheen has done a great job so far...

You just can't stop watching!
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Absolutely cool!
Th_blackice3 April 2001
That's one of the best and most funny sitcoms I've ever seen. Michael J Fox is unbeatable in his part as the Deputy-Mayor of New York. I strongly recommend this sitcom to everybody who like that kind of entertainment.
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10/10
Yet Another Great Show!!!!!!!!!!!!!
fkdurrani30 January 2008
Well i have read many comments here describing this is Michael J Fox show or this is Charlie Sheen Show. I would like to say that this was a unique show where every actor played his or her part very well and we have wonderful 6 years of joy and happiness.

For me it had three different phases. Phase 1: First three season of Michael J Fox and the team. Every body did play their part very well and a wonderful chemistry between Mike and Nikke made me forget about Ross and Rachel.

Phase2: Season 4 with the entry of Heather Locklear and her interaction with Michael J Fox. I was sad as Michael had to leave but he did a great job in holding up and if some characters were not involved in the later season..i have to say i was not at all surprised.

Phase 3: Season 5 and Season 6....wonderful performance from Charlie, Heather and the rest of the team..especially the Mayor and Carter as they have much more stronger screen presence and they all did their job very well and provided us two wonderful seasons.

So folks...if you watch it and then watch it for what it is..not like Mike is gone..it is not going to be the same...etc etc. For me it was like a fun ride though different stages and once you make your mind you love it for what it is...

My vote..10 out 10....have fun with the show!!!!!!!!!!!
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Great show...then came Heather...and Parkinson's
ferris2099 February 2006
For three years, this show was awesome. The chemistry between the characters was amazing. It was so believable that all of them had been working closely in an office for years. The jokes never got old. That was all before Hurricane Locklear hit the stage and crippled the show. Then Parkinson's took out Michael J. and Charlie Sheen was brought in which was the death blow of this show. 1996-1999 seasons are the best and the only one's anyone should watch. Connie Britton was so much more hotter than Heather Locklear could dream of being. Britton's legs are more than perfect. Michael Boatman, as Carter Haywood, played his role perfectly and convincingly. I think he played the Gay role with respect and it wasn't always the subject of the show, which as a straight conservative Texan, I appreciated. Richard Kind as Paul Lassiter, what else can be said but the perfect bozo, great actor. Alan Ruck may not be a womanizing prankster in real life, but when he plays Stuart Bondek, how could you see him otherwise? Barry Bostwick showed great acting ability and superb comedic timing that only an actor of his level could pull off. Finally, we have Michael J. Fox, a great actor and comedian. It was a sad day when I learned he had Parkinson's Disease. His character Deputy Mayor Mike was the key man in the whole series. He was needed to make everything come together. Of course, I agree with several of the other comments that Charlie Sheen wasn't all that bad and, was a pretty good replacement for Michael J. But again we come back around to the Locklear factor of terrible. I'm sure that as the years have passed all involved with these shows will be able to look back with complete satisfaction of these few episodes.
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Gone, but not forgotten
Agent1019 March 2003
I only consider this show great during the Michael J. Fox years. Between those four delicious seasons, political satire and humor were at a peak on television. Fox and his assorted cast of friends and co-workers were exceptional, making this one of the best sitcoms in the history of television. People will disagree, but come on. Friends? Seinfeld? Please!!! In an age where reality TV is becoming a norm, I can always look back to this show in syndication and watch one of the last good shows that hasn't been stretch thinner than a Hollywood actress' waistline. The most underrated actor in the show wasn't even an actor. The lovable rat/dog/wombat "Rags," a scene stealer everytime he was carried onto the screen. All of my favorite episodes have Rags in it, especially the episode when Rags rediscovers his libido and the episode when he brought back to life by Christopher Lloyd. Good stuff all around, and its too bad Fox had to leave the show.
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The M.J. Fox Years
bob the moo16 January 2002
The story of the happenings inside New York's town hall, focusing on the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and his staff. However this never really got into clever political satire and remained a sitcom in a different setting.

The stories were mainly around the sitcom standard of on-off romance, but they always contained enough side plots involving the other characters to distract. These side stories were always where the best comedy was - they weren't always very realistic but they were often very funny. Fox's romance stories were generally funny and also allowed for more touching moments.

But all good things come to an end. The first series was brilliant due to the chemistry between Schaeffer and Fox. However Fox's real life partner was a bit concerned with the chemistry between them and she was replaced for the second series. The cast shake up saw the existing characters added to by Nikki (Connie Britton) and Stacey (Jennifer Esposito), with Nikki becoming the on/off partner for Fox. This continued for several years until about 99/00 when Esposito was replaced by Heather Locklear - this was also to be the last series with Fox, before he was replaced by Charlie Sheen. Unfortunately Locklear was not given a good character - she was always up against Fox but she did it in a humourless way. This is a big loss as Esposito's character was sassy with sharp lines, where Locklear is quite dry by comparison. This coincided with the series itself being drier and more tired than the others and the overall effect was that the whole series lacked freshness and humour. I haven't seen the Charlie Sheen years so won't comment - but to me the best years have gone and even Fox's last series was pretty poor.

The characters were great for most of the series'. Fox was always witty and funny. Britton as Nikki was good but never as good as Schaeffer was in the romance role. But the strength of the series was the depth of the supporting cast of characters. The Mayor was a great buffoon played well by Barry Bostwick who always was funny. Richard Kind as press secretary Paul Lassiter was one of my favourites - always the clown, tight to the end, always making a big deal out of little things and thus providing many of the best side plots. Many of the characters aren't exactly huge leaps of imagination but were still very well used - we had a sexist (Stuart played by Alan Ruck), a gay man (Carter - Boatman) and of course they lived together after a while, and an idiot (James - Gaberman, not always the best used character but still quite funny). The women were less well used but often got great lines. Esposito was good as Stacey and got all the best putdowns etc. Britton as Nikki always felt dry beside Schaeffer but was still good. Dillard as Janelle was the least used - she got one run as the Mayor's girlfriend but other than that she was only ever given brief lines etc. As I said Locklear is very dry - she was given a very big role but she never fitted in with the fast moving, smart mouthed feel of the show and really dragged the humour out of the programme..

I'll wait and see how Sheen, Farrah Fawcett, Queen Latifah et al. will manage with the loss of Fox and so many other familiar characters. However unless something dramatic happens the final Fox series may have been the death of it. For me the best years are gone and it may have been better to end the series at the same time as Fox was forced to call it a day.
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It's mighty good!!!!
Hawks_Girl10 June 2000
Michael J. Fox did a great job in this sitcom. So did Alan Ruck and all the others. But now he's gone, the show will NEVER be what is was...

Too bad! I enjoyed the funny dialogues and the great interference between the actors. Like most of the viewers, my attention was mostly drawn to the weird connection between Stuart( Alan Ruck ) and Carter ( Michael Boatman ). And hey, who didn't laugh with Paul's stupidity or the Mayor's 'age problems'.

The only thing they really shoudn't have done was adding Heather Locklear, according to the reviews I read on several sites. But since I'm still waiting in vain to see the fourth season - VT4 only gave the first three seasons, you see - there will be plenty of time to judge her.

Anyway: Keep the Spin on the Apple!!!
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Good until they replaced Michael J Fox, then it bit!
dem11265 January 2003
The first five years of this series were really good. Some better than others - as is always the way - but over all the level of each of the first five series was fantastic. Even when Heather Locklear came along it managed to stay good - she and Michael J Fox had a lot of chemistry and they worked well. But it was not just them - the supporting characters - Carter, Stuart, Paul and especially James, Nikki and Janelle - all added to the mix.

Then Michael J Fox left, and along with him went James, Nikki and Janelle. And they replaced him with Charlie Sheen.

Sadly Charlie Sheen is NOT a funny man. And when a series loses four of its funniest characters and replaces them with one guy who is not funny, its bound to suffer. I saw about ten shows of the two years after Charlie Sheen started and they were no where the level of the previous five.

I get why Michael J Fox left the series, but to be honest they should have finished the series then and not dragged it out with a obviously inferior cast. (Cheers learned this - it finished when Ted Danson wanted to leave because it would not have survived without him).
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