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Ed Koch gives a reality check for ''Spin City''

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New York City is the backdrop for this situation comedy set at City Hall. Spin City Hall. Spin City is very funny and well worth watching.

It won’t give you completely accurate insights into the workings of City Hall, but you will enjoy the sophisticated dialogue and excellent acting. The makers of Spin City have captured the atmosphere, interior layout, and architecture of City Hall quite well, and the scenes showing the outside of the building are the real McCoy.

As the knowledgeable deputy mayor, Michael J. Fox’s Mike Flaherty is adept at addressing various crises — although most deputy mayors and City Hall employees did not speak the way these characters do. I never met anyone in government who had a well-delivered and, more important, well-timed punchline for every situation — I know I didn’t. But in Spin City, almost everyone does. Ultimately, it would be boring to be around such people every day.

The mayor, played by Barry Bostwick, is not such a wit; perhaps a dimwit. He comes across like a stiff dummy playing a Brahmin. Mayor John Lindsay looked like a Brahmin, but he wasn’t stiff or dumb. Mayor Abe Beame was certainly no Brahmin, and he wasn’t stiff or dumb either. In fact, he could be quite droll when he chose to be. Including Mayor Rudy Giuliani and myself, I would have to say that former mayor David Dinkins came over as a Brahmin more than any of us in the heightened concern he demonstrated about his attire and his showering several times a day at City Hall.

The relationship between the deputy mayor and the mayor in Spin City is overstated. A deputy mayor usually manages everyone other than the mayor. While a mayor does rely greatly upon a deputy mayor for advice, the mayor in Spin City is almost paralyzed without his deputy’s presence and is unable to make even small decisions without guidance. Every New York City mayor I have known made many decisions on his own.

One of the deputy mayors from my administration cowrote the screenplay for the movie City Hall. When I reviewed it, I said that if I had known that the deputy mayor was more important than the mayor, I would have run for deputy mayor. The same might apply to Spin City. I can see becoming attached to it on a weekly basis.

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