Some readers of this blog are not fans of mysteries, detective shows, crime shows (both true and fake), etc., so here’s a little gift for them: an urgent admonition to get on Netflix and watch Great News, if they haven’t already. I discovered this little gem on our flight to London in October 2017, and I honestly don’t know why I haven’t written about it yet. It’s a comedy from executive producer Tina Fey that had me laughing out loud on the plane. And couldn’t we all use a little comedy right about now?
Briga Heelan stars as Katie Wendelson, a segment producer for the news program The Breakdown at a cable channel in New York. Her professional life is upended when her mom, Carol (a hilarious Andrea Martin), is hired at the station as an intern. The entire cast is wonderful: John Michael Higgins (long a favorite of mine) as Chuck Pierce, a vain, egocentric, old-school news anchor; Nicole Richie (surprisingly good!) as a vain, egocentric, millennial news anchor; Adam Campbell as an uptight British executive producer (and Katie’s boss/love interest); and creator Tracey Wigfield as the program’s really strange weather forecaster. Tina Fey is terrific in a supporting role in Season 2 as a ruthlessly ambitious station boss.
Great News originally aired on NBC, which had the gall to cancel this delightful show after just two seasons. If you love comedies along the lines of 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, then this will be just your cup of tea. I loved being introduced to Andrea Martin, who I know I’ve seen in things over the years but hadn’t really seen enough of to appreciate. She is a national comedy treasure (even if she does live in Toronto). If you need a bit more of her after watching Great News, I recommend Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Episode 11: “Kimmy Googles the Internet!”
In the movies, villains always have British accents — even the Nazis! How is that fair?
— Greg, Great News, Season 1: “Chuck Pierce Is Blind”