The Bob Newhart Show: Season 4
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Aside from Newhart himself, props are due to the writers. As always, The Bob Newhart Show's humor is mostly low-key, with none of the raunch, tasteless sexual innuendo, and flamboyant idiocy of today's sit-coms. What's more, subjects as serious as death ("The Longest Good-bye" and "Death of a Fruitman"), obesity ("Heavyweights," in which Bob presides over a workshop for "people of the hefty persuasion"), professional ethics ("Who is Mr. X?"), and jealousy on the job ("A Matter of Vice-Principal") are broached without ever becoming sententious or heavy-handed. Of course, three decades after the fact, some things will seem a little dated: the clothes are cringe-worthy, and it's hard to imagine anyone these days getting away with describing Beirut as a place where "everybody looks like Danny Thomas." Still, Newhart's show remains one of the best of the several great sit-coms that emerged in the '70s. Bonus features include commentary (by Newhart and others) on five episodes, a gag reel, and a featurette. --Sam Graham
- 24 episodes on 4 discs
- Commentary on five episodes by Bob Newhart and others
- "A Second Family" featurette
- Gag reel
Top Customer Reviews
The Season is book-ended by appearances by Tom Poston as The Peeper, Bob's college buddy whom Emily can't stand. Of course, Tom would go on to be a regular in Bob's next sitcom "Newhart", and then there is the irony that Tom and Suzanne Pleshette would eventually get married. In-between, there are many events, including the death of Mr. Gianelli ("Death of a Fruitman"), Carol gets married ("Carol's Wedding"), Bob hosts an arrogant French psychologist ("Shrinks Across The Sea"), Bob forms a short-lived partnership with another psychiatrist ("Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time") and many more.
Two of the funniest episodes ever are in this season with "Who Is Mr. X?", where Bob is ambushed by a morning talk-show host and is so flustered he reveals that one of his patients is a public servant. The other classic is "Over the River and Through the Woods", in which Bob gets out of a trip to Seattle over Thanksgiving by claiming that his patients need him. He ends up hosting a party with Jerry, Howard, and Mr. Carlin in which they all drink too much watching William and Mary's worst college football defeat, and make the funniest call for Chinese food ever recorded. I also very much like "Bob Has To Have His Tonsils Out, So He Spends Christmas Eve In The Hospital", and the title explains the plot to that one.Read more ›
1. The Longest Good-Bye - Emily is less than impressed by Bob's legendary college chum, the Peeper--an inveterate jokester who arrives to spend a day and then stays a week.
2. Here's Looking at You, Kid - Howard looks to Bob for moral support when he proposes to Ellen at a crowded restaurant.
3. Death of a Fruitman - The group is angry at Mr. Gianelli for missing their fourth anniversary party.
4. Change Is Gonna Do Me Good - In an effort to shake Bob out of his domestic rut, Emily suggests that they exchange household duties.
5. The Heavyweights - Carol gets roped into a date with an obnoxious tubbo from Bob's overweight workshop.
6. Carol's Wedding - Bob is skeptical when Carol announces that she's getting married to Larry Bondurant, a travel agent she met less than twelve hours earlier.
7. Shrinks Across the Sea - Bob and Emily host a visiting French psychologist, who arrives in the company of another man's wife.
8. What's It All About, Albert? - Convinced that his psychological counseling has done none of his patients a bit of good, Bob seeks inspiration from his old college professor.
9. Who Is Mr. X? - A seemingly innocuous talk-show host uses Bob as bait when she decides to do a hatchet job on the entire field of psychology.
10. Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time - Bob forms an unlikely alliance when he goes into partnership with a well-heeled playboy psychologist.
11. Over the River and Through the Woods - When Emily flies home for Thanksgiving, Bob joins Jerry, Howard, and Mr. Carlin for a bachelor's feast of Chinese food and beer.
12.Read more ›
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The centerpiece of the show is, of course, Bob Newhart, playing psychologist Bob Hartley. Newhart is a gifted comedian and is a master of timing and delivery. Even though he is often the straight man compared to others, he still gets in his share of jokes. Suzanne Pleshette plays his wife Emily, a school teacher who is just as smart as Bob; in fact, in an earlier season, he had to deal with her higher IQ. Bill Daily is the daffy neighbor Howard Borden (he's probably perpetually dazed from jet lag from his job as a navigator). Finally, there are Bob's workplace friends: the dentist Jerry Robinson (Peter Bonerz) and receptionist Carol Kester (Marcia Wallace, probably better known nowadays as the voice of Mrs. Krabappel in the Simpsons).
The strength of the show is that it is so character-driven. No one fits completely into a stereotypical mold. Jerry's façade as a free-wheeling bachelor actually conceals a rather lonely life. Howard, for all his oddness, still is concerned about his son who he rarely sees. In the fourth season, however, it is Carol who undergoes the most change, as she tries to pursue other career options and becomes married after a whirlwind romance.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Who doesn't love Bob Newhart! This series of his is my favorite, and it holds up well. We now own all of them, and enjoy watching them.Published 6 months ago by Wanda Jones
I remember this show on when I was a kid back in the 70s, I never paid much attention to it though; fast forward forty years & I have caught a few shows on me! Read morePublished 8 months ago by R. taran
If one were to purchase only one season of TBNS this is it! It has the classic drunken Thanksgiving episode that everyone remembers! Read morePublished 9 months ago by djmjlcst
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why in the world would you not release season 5 and 6 makes no sense at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feb 13, 2009 by martin elmore | See all 7 posts
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