The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Fourth Season
DVD Reviews | Nov 1st, 2006
Starring Bob Newhart, Suzanne Pleshette, Marcia Wallace, Peter Bonerz, Bill Daily
Written By: David Davis, Lorenzo Music
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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I do not remember what night of the week The Bob Newhart Show was on. I think it preceded The Mary Tyler Moore Show on Saturday evenings. Back then, that was a coveted spot for any television program. Mary Tyler Moore had one of the hottest shows on television. It was must see TV’. I remember not leaving the house on Saturday evening until her show was over. Matter of fact, I think most clubs’, or discos were pretty quiet around that time of the evening because party folk just had to watch Mary and her pals to see what kinds of trouble and adventures they would get themselves in.
With the help of her husband, producer, Grant Tinker, Mary Tyler Moore formed her own company, MTM Productions. It launched 2 spin off sitcoms from The Mary Tyler Show, Rhoda, with Valerie Harper, and Phyllis, with Cloris Leachman. Both shows were hugely popular. The casts were primo.
Along the way, perhaps even prior to the spin-offs, MTM Productions picked up a half hour sitcom about a psychologist and his everyday dealings with patients, his wife, family, friends, a zany secretary/receptionist, and the dentist who shared the office suite.
(Yes, I’ve finally reached the subject at hand) The psychologist was played by none other than the talented, low-key, comedian, Bob Newhart. The charming actress of the silver screen, Susanne Pleshette, played Bob’s wife. Ms. Pleshette stared in the original Love Bug motion picture, as well as Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. She has a distinctive raspy and sexy voice, and a good sense of comedic timing.
The talented Maria Wallace played Bob’s secretary/receptionist. The Peter Bonerz played the dentist. After The Bob Newhart Show, Marcia went onto lending her voice to The Simpsons, and Peter played supporting roles in Home Improvement and Just Shoot Me.
Like most very popular sitcoms, the actors became well known and were regularly featured in magazine and newspaper articles. The formula and talent made The Bob Newhart Show a huge success. Watching each of the 24 segments took me back in time, a little. In the early 70’s, most women did not work outside the home. There were very few female doctors, lawyers, or executives. Women fought for the right to become bus drivers, and fire fighters, and postal workers, and police officers. Back then, in the not so distant past, fire fighters were called firemen. Postal workers were called mailmen, or the mailman. Police officers were called policemen. Thus, there was a royal, rip roarin’ battle of the sexes going on during the time of The Bob Newhart Show. And, it was reflected in some of the weekly segments.
For instance, there is a scene in a restaurant where Bob’s sister and her date join him and his wife for dinner. The sister has just come from interviewing a football team in the men’s locker room. She is the first woman to do that. She is very excited, and several jokes are made about it. In another episode, Susanne Pleshette is reading the sports page at the breakfast table. Bob asks for the paper. She tells him to wait until she finishes reading. He asks her if she understands one word of what she is reading. She says sure, “Georgia”. Ha ha ha…
Still, there are some wonderful scenes with some wonderfully talented guest stars. Watching, I was reminded of how talented those people were. Their sense of timing, and ways with a joke, made for some serious chuckling and a few belly laughs. Some of the therapy sessions were very funny too.
It took me three episodes to warm up to the program. My knowledge of the times interfered with the enjoyment. However, once I got over the hump’, I found the rest of the set to be relaxing, and fun. If that is what you are looking for, this box set is for you.
Audio Commentary On Selective Episodes
A Second Family Featurette
Hilarious Gag Reel
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Mono CC
Standard 1.33:1 Color
Running Time: 624 minutes