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June 11, 2016

TV Review: The Jamz (2016)

The Jamz is a short series about major changes at a Chicago radio station. Kasey, the morning talk show host at the biggest station in the city, is ready to retire. Several other hosts around the station are all vying to get the morning slot, but they'll have to impress Kasey as well as their station manager, Dan (played by Kathy Najimy). The two overnight hosts, Fitzy and Jay-Jay (played by Jim Kozyra and Chris Petlak, who also created the show), are hapless fools who don't get much right. No matter what they do to take the lead in the race for the morning show, things go wrong.

Sure, this sounds like a typical workplace comedy in a lot of ways, but the change of setting gives it a fresh take on similar shows, like The Office. No, I haven't forgotten about News Radio, but that was shot in the style of most sitcoms before the 21st Century. It also had a variety of characters to pull from, while The Jamz focuses on a pivotal few.

Najimy is great as Dan. She seems to be worn down by the daily chaos her staff gets into. There's almost a "fine, whatever," attitude whenever someone pokes into her office to ask a stupid question. Fitzy reminds me of a goofier Chandler from early Friends episodes. This is where it becomes very Chicago for me, which was my initial draw. Having grown up there, I could see that the show captured the feel of Chicago radio pretty well. This is especially true with Kasey. I do believe he is a blend of several radio hosts. He has the attitude of Imus, his name likely comes from Casey Kasem, but he physically resembles Chicago radio mainstay Jonathan Brandmeier. It's really odd, and possibly deliberate. Who knows?

There are only four episodes of the show, and they're currently available on Netflix. I don't know if they have distribution anywhere or if more episodes are planned. I like where it started, and I would really like for it to continue. The Jamz is fun, silly and light. You can easily breeze through the series in one shot.


  1. I just posted on my blog about my top 10 current TV shows, so I am glad to have stumbled upon this blog of yours. I shall check this show out!

    1. That's great! Feel free to pop your link in here. I'll check it out.