Do the Limbaugh
J. Y. Sager | Ramona, CA United States | 10/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I acted in the episode "Do the Limbaugh" on this excellent second season as a guest star (Girl #2) at the prom in the last scene with Billy Bob Thornton and Rush Limbaugh. It was such a pleasure to work with my fellow USC Trojan, the late and great John Ritter (You are missed, you dear man!); as well as Conchata Ferrell; Leslie Jordan; and future movie star Billy Bob Thornton.
"Do the Limbaugh" is still charming, even over a decade later. Viewers will probably enjoy the political banter, razor-sharp wit, and sarcastic references to the many ludicrous scandals of the time (the early 1990s before Clinton and Monica's own infamous liaison--those days that were filled with tabloid fodder about Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafucco, etc.). While those were salacious and disturbing at the time, they will probably seem so tame and laughable to viewers today in our post-9/11 world.
What's really heartwarming is to see the ultra-liberal Georgie, played by Markie Post ("She puts the 'femme' in 'femi-Nazi,'" Rush says), and the staunch conservative Rush Limbaugh (Georgie hears the song "I Get a Rush" when she sets eyes on Mr. Limbaugh) sparring, flirting, and ultimately learning to respect one another's differences.
This show was the olive branch that writer/director Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and her husband director/producer Harry Thomason, Bill and Hillary Clinton's best friends and creators of Hearts Afire, extended to Rush Limbaugh, one of Clinton's most vociferous critics.
If only we could take a clue from this wonderful show. Instead of a culture of argument, competition, fear, and violence, wouldn't it be nice if we could strive to become a community that respects one another's positions and perhaps even celebrates our ability to have multiple perspectives?
Or is that possible only in the wonderful world of Hearts Afire?
I hope others enjoy viewing Hearts Afire as much as I did working with its cast and crew."
Great Show Suffers Some Growing Pains
ManningGal | New York | 03/02/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This show is still a charmer in its second season, but its overhaul takes a bit of a toll on the show. The second season opens with newlyweds John & Georgie Anne Lathi Hartman (John Ritter & Markie Post) and John's sons--Ben & Elliot (Justin Burnette & Clark Duke, respectively)--moving from Washington, DC to John & Billy Bob's small hometown somewhere in Missouri. Along for the move is newly divorced Billy Bob Davis (Billy Bob Thornton) and his daughter, Carson Lee (Doren Fein). John wants to move back to his hometown to give his family a "purer", better life. Thus, much of the political backdrop & terrific supporting cast that was present during the first season is now gone and it shows.
The newlyweds & Billy Bob have bought the local newspaper--"The Daily Beacon"--which is flooded in the season premiere and puts them $75,000 in debt. Now, they must find a way to raise money & get their paper up and running, since they have left their well-paid, important Capitol Hill jobs & Washington, DC behind to move to "Mayberry". On top of this reversal of fortune, John & Georgie, their boys, Billy Bob, his daugther, & the family dog are all living under the same roof (John's parents' house) until they can get their new paper up & running and making a profit!!! And then, there are John & Georgie's anxieties that Georgie will not acclimate or like small town life.
Ed Asner only makes one more appearance as Georgie Anne's father during the series' run for the second season's Christmas episode--"Blue Christmas"--in which Georgie discovers she is pregnant. His absence is another loss for the show during the Second & Third Seasons. However, two new additions to the supporting cast include Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men)--who also guest starred in the first season as John's ex-wife's new lesbian lover, Ruth, and their former marriage counselor--as wise-cracking, self-deprecating shrink Madeline, and Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace) as their big-talent-in-a-little-body printer. These new additions help soften the blow of the series overhaul & keep the laughs coming fast and furious. Beth Broderick also returns for the second season in a different role & hair color as the rich, married twin sister of Dee Dee Starr--who was the ditsy receptionist & "girlfriend" of Senator Smithers in the first season.
Luckily, most of the principal cast remains namely Ritter, Post, Thornton, and the child actors who portray their kids, along with their wonderful chemistry, wit, & comradery. The dialogue remains sharp & witty and the sparring between the leads still remains a stand out, laugh out loud element of the show.
In short, the second season has some pitfalls and false starts, but it remains of the best shows of the 90s and one of the best, most winning romantic comedy TV series ever!!!
Hearts Second Season Starts Slow
Keith Brown | NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI USA | 01/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first season of Hearts Afire rocks! But the writing and the plot lines in the second season are a little weak. I am now remembering being disappointed watching them when originally aired on CBS. But the later episodes this season get a little better. If you were a fan of the show, it's worth the purchase, but if you are trying to experience the show for the first time, the first season is the way to go. Missing from the second are the hillarious characters of Senator Smithers, Miss Star, and Adam. Now all we need are the funny Delta Burke seasons of Designing Women and Women of the House."