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Bob Newhart returns to the TV as Dick Loudon, as he and his wife Joanna decide to leave life in New York City and buy a little inn in Vermont. Dick is a how-to book writer, who eventually becomes a local TV celebrity as host of "Vermont Today."
Looking for the perfect getaway? Check in to Newhart, finally open for business on DVD. Lets consult the travel guide: "Nestled in a grove of majestic maples just a stones throw from the ivy covered walls of Dartmouth University lies the authentic colonial comfort of the Stratford Inn. Your jolly and congenial hosts are well known author Dick Loudon and his wife, Joanna." Its the ideal setup for the understated Newhart who is right at home in this quaint and bucolic setting. Between the guests and the colorful town characters, he has ample opportunities to do what he did so expertly on The Bob Newhart Show; deal with the crazies (as he so elegantly puts it in one of this sets bonus featurettes). Newhart stars as Loudon, a successful New York writer of how-to books, who, with his more reluctant wife, Joanna (Mary Frann, who rises to the unenviable challenge of following Bobs first TV wife, Suzanne Pleschette), uproots their lives to buy and run the venerable Stratford. The place comes with some colorful history (in the pilot, it is revealed that the inn once served as a house of ill repute, and in another episode, Bob learns that a woman hung as a witch is buried in the basement). It also comes with George Utley (Tom Poston), the handyman, who may have more than one screw loose. Newharts first season provided the series with a solid foundation. It just needed a little tinkering. Kirk (Second City veteran Steven Kampmann), owner of the neighboring café, is introduced as a habitual liar, a character trait that is thankfully phased out as the season unfolds (his character would exit the show after two seasons). Pam-pretty and sweet Leslie (Jennifer Holmes), the maid, an heiress who wants "to experience the real world," would be replaced in season two by Julia Duffy, who is introduced as her cousin in the episode, "What is This Thing Called Lust?" But the series most welcome additions are backwoodsmen Larry (William Sanderson) and his silent brothers Darryl (John Voldstad) and Darryl (Tony Papenfuss), who make their auspicious debut in the second episode. An instant hit, they were brought back for another before becoming regulars in season two. Newhart is four-star character-based comedy. There is nary a cheap or easy laugh in these episodes. Lines such as "There go the dregs of society," "I havent got $80," and "What would you say if you werent a college graduate," arent funny out of context, but spoken by these characters, theyre boffo. The DVD box lists four extras, but there are only three. The best is "Getting to the Heart of Newhart," in which cast members Newhart, Duffy, Sanderson, and Voldstad reflect on the series and pay moving tribute to the late Poston and Frann. Considering how much fun they all say it was to work on the show, a gag reel (including the classic blooper in which Newhart accidentally calls Franns character, "Emily") would have been a nice amenity. --Donald Liebenson
It's irritating to read SO MANY reviews (good and bad) for Newhart, which is a completely different series. Read morePublished 2 months ago by BensMom98
I just knew I would love this series,remembered from many years ago.For me it's a laugh a minute and oh how I relished seeing the first appearance of 'Larry,his brother Darryl and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Oliver Langan
One of the best things that came out of the 70s...Bob Newhart is hilarious in a simple pure form, no need for adolescent bathroom humor, no racial charged comments. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Skip C Walnut Creek CA
hubby & i are big fans of bob newhart from way back.although i miss suzanne pleshette as his wife!Published 3 months ago by nothingbetterthanbooks
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|Annoyed with Fox? Here's contact info!||
You are absolutely right. I would also specify 'among others', includes "Green Acres" and "The Flying Nun".
Jan 2, 2008 by Eric Henderson | See all 4 posts
|Disc's are skipping||
I'm having a problem with my disc too. The first one has a "disc error" on it, or so my DVD player tells me! I only played it once and didn't even get to see all the episodes.
Apr 30, 2008 by Jane | See all 2 posts
|Newhart's first season here was on videotape but...||
I actually like the fact that the first season was shot on live-look videotape (a la "Living Single" or "Martin"). It gives it a more intimate look and feel than film did. Later seasons, though, they switched to videotape that I believe was processed with Filmlook®... Read More
Mar 1, 2008 by The Angry Charlottean | See all 4 posts