Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Fanatical Review - "The Mike O'Meara Show"

The Mike O'Meara Show came to life yesterday afternoon at 3PM EST on the WJFK airwaves (and through syndication across the country). Normally, when something like this happens (usually in TV), it is considered a spin-off. It could be two ways - either like Frasier or The Tortellis. Personally, I was hoping for the former but preparing myself for the latter.

After listening to the entire show via Podcast (at the WJFK website - no iTunes support yet), it was neither as I found a talk radio show that decided to find its own voice by mergering a bit of the old bits and trying out some new things resulting in a somewhat off-balanced broadcast. That comment is, by no means, a half-empty, pessimist opinion.

The first part of the show was devoted to trying to establish what the new show was going to be about - from cast member involvement to topics being cover to even (gasp) live calls from listeners being taken. The talk seem somewhat stiff and guarded as th new direction of the show was being detailed. The ground got even shakier in the third segment when Craig Laughlin, the color analyst for the Washington Caps, was brought on the show to answer questions from both the cast and the callers. Midway into the segment, I thought that I had walked into this millenium's Ken Beatrice Show. It's not like I hate sports radio, but there's enough of that call-in radio show going around the dial right now.

Once that segment was out the door, I think the show began to find it's legs by highlighting its stars rather than outsiders (guests and callers). It started with a segment with Buzz Burbank giving short hits of news (a new bit that is scheduled for the top of each hour) and finally, the crew relaxed and began to banter back and forth with more frank discussion. Subjects such as Robb's hidden Catholic ties, the Obama/Clinton spinning of the word "bitter", Beth Ann's new enhancements and their choice of personal lube were great. The bit about the Employee of the Month was pretty solid as well. And of course, the news with Buzz was just as it was before, with Mike and Robb interrupting and improvising with voices and jokes with a gem about the John Adams HBO mini-series in the middle of the seventh segment . The end was somewhat unstructured and abrupt but that should become better as the show goes along.

The Mike O'Meara Show does carry the weight of 23+ years of The Don and Mike Show influencing listeners as it tries to stand out on its own. So, they are already at a disadvantage going in. Monday's show more or less tried to balance the general feel of the old show while providing some new content. The final results are still inconclusive but overall, the show looks like its heading in the right direction as long as it avoids the oncoming call-in radio format.

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The Coaster Critic said...

Nice review. I'm interested in seeing if I like the show more without Don.