Murphy Brown Revival

Was anyone else expecting more from the Murphy Brown team?

I know Candice Bergen, and Diane English, are liberal and very anti-Trump.

But I was expecting a little more than 30 minutes of Trump is Stupid jokes.

Not even much originality in the jokes, I am not sure what I was expecting, but I did hope for more creativity from the team than we got.

I saw it. Seemed a little stiff. I’m willing to watch it all the way through - I forgot how much I loved that show growing up. Possibly that show is the reason I went on to major in journalism.

Candice Bergen really did go in a date with Trump back in the day. She talked about it on Colbert.

It took me a moment at the beginning to realize “OMG! That’s her son!” And I was wondering if we’d see Eldin. Alas, he ran with the bulls.

PS: reported so a mod can fix the title typo.

I’m not sure why this was surprising. Murphy Brown was a product of that particular era, and its high water mark was a response to Dan Quayle’s legendary idiocy. The eponymous character was essentially a liberal Archie Bunker; personally offensive in nearly every way even to friends, and inflexible in outlook. The irony of the Dan Quayle reference was that the show later minimized focus on Murphy’s single motherhood because it proved to be unpopular and difficult to write interesting stories around even as it was a move common issue in public discourse. (It turns out that being a mother is difficult, and being a professional single mother is a great source of sitcom humor.)

There is a lot to be said about the “Trump Era” of American politics, but perhaps not of much relevance by 'Nineties sitcoms that adulated Clinton politics while ignoring what a complete ass Bill Clinton was to women, or in general how reactive even the supposed liberal wing of the Democratic party had become to progressivism. Murphy Brown is firmly rooted in an era in which a right-leaning shift as a response to the success of Reaganism dominated the political landscape, and being a self-absorbed jerk was de rigueur regardless of political affiliation.

That being said, Candice Bergen has long been a great actress. It’s unfortunate that the Murphy Brown revival was indifferent and reflexive, but mediocrity breeds mediocrity, and Trump could best aspire to being mediocre. I just wish Bergen had aimed higher into a VEEP level of satire.


I remember the original. As someone who leaned Right in his youth I always thought the office team interactions were better written than the occasional political jab.

I’ll give this one a watch but I expect it to be Rosanne for flaming Liberals.

I watched and remember enjoying the original version. Watched the new version most of the way through and switched back to my book. Perhaps I’ll give it another try in a few weeks. I will say Candice has held up fairly well though.

Liked the original, but haven’t seen it since the original airings. The new one seems kind of strained, and the “gag every 10 seconds”, laugh-track based sitcom format seems so dated. (Yes, I know that they still make those–but they shouldn’t.)

This. :slight_smile:

The “Run with the bulls” line got some laughs, but my understanding is that the actor who played Eldon OD’d. Clearly some reference there that I don’t get. And about Jim Dial. The actor is still alive, did he just not want to do it again?

He is in his 80s. I think he’s 82. I saw him about 6 years ago in a revival of Harvey and he was looking pretty old then. I’ve heard he will guest star in a few episodes though.

I’ll give it a try for a few weeks. I found it odd that the “secretary” seemed the most natural actress of the cast. Corky’s rant about global warning was nice in that the character seems to have evolved.

First episodes are always overstuffed with time needed to introduce the characters and give them background, introduce the setting and explain what that implies, and introduce a sitcom plot with a beginning and a resolution. That’s an hour’s worth of material stuffed into 20 minutes. Worse, every line seemed designed to get viewers to click the Like button.

For all that, the show didn’t do a bad job of set up and some of the laugh lines were funny. I’ll give it a few weeks to let it regain a normal rhythm.

I think the only “reference” is to the fact that Robert Pastorelli is dead. When he first left the show, I think the excuse was that Eldin had gone to Spain for some reason (he only returned for the last scene in the finale); I vaguely recall a reference to this in a Christmas episode (Avery wanted a fictionalized version of whatever the hot action figure at the time was, and Murphy tried everything imaginable to get one; at the end, she couldn’t get one, but it turned out Eldin had gotten one in Spain, where they were available all over the place).

Anytime I see Robert Pastorelli, I think of his line in Dances With Wolves when they find a dead body out in the middle of the open country. “Now his mama back at home probably thinking, ‘Why don’t he write?’”

I wonder if laff trax will ever become extinct. I very rarely watch broadcast sitcoms; when I do the laugh tracks are jarring and seem so dated.

I enjoyed the revival in a nostalgic mode and because I love Candice Bergen, but it’s not a great show.* I’ll DVR it and probably watch an ep here and there.

*We watched “Book Club” recently just to see Bergen, Keaton, and Fonda together. It’s an awful, wholly predictable Funny Old Broads flick but a lot of fun.

I’ve seen Hillary Clinton on late-night talk shows in the past year or so, and she seems to avoid saying, “I told you so” or “You could have had me in office instead of that clown” but on this show, she said exactly that.

Aside from that it was OK, although Donald Trump and the racist, extreme end of the Republican Party are easy targets. (I mean, you could get laughs by just quoting him directly.) Will the show poke fun at the other side? I realize that it’s supposed to be a sitcom, but if it’s done well it can also make fun of the Democratic Party.

And given that “Wolf News” (Avery’s new employer) is obviously Fox News, any chance that they’d give the token liberal the 7-9am timeslot?

It was 27 munutes minus commercials. It ran long.

The on-screen cable guide for the next episode does list Charles Kimbrough as a cast member. Yeah, maybe he’s up for it, just not full-time.

Considering the political leanings in the original, why would you expect anything else in this one? Just so you could express surprise that they went there?

I finally got to see it. I enjoyed it actually. It had me laughing at times. I watched it off CBS on demand, was there an Aretha tribute broadcast or just the password being arethaforever?