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The Bob Newhart Show: Season 4

4.7 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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(Sep 19, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The complete fourth season of the TV series Bob Newhart.


"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" was clearly comedian Bob Newhart and company's motto during the fourth season (1975-76) of The Bob Newhart Show, all 24 episodes of which are preserved in this three-disc set. Even with the show's ratings dipping somewhat, there's no shark-jumping going on here; Newhart and producers Jay Tarses and Tom Patchett clearly understood what made this show tick, and notwithstanding a little tinkering, they stuck with it. "It," of course, largely depended on Newhart himself. A brilliant reactor, he continues to bring his array of deadpan takes and brilliant, understated timing to the part of Chicago psychologist Bob Hartley, who's surrounded by the usual group of family (primarily Suzanne Pleshette as wife Emily), friends (Peter Bonerz as best bud Jerry Robinson), neighbors (Bill Daily as the tactless Howard Borden), staff (Marcia Wallace is always a riot as receptionist Carol Kester), patients (Jack Riley is the standout as the neurotic Mr. Carlin, but they're all good), and various guest stars (including Rene Auberjonois, Tom Poston, and Lawrence Pressman). Carol gets married a few episodes in, and Emily is promoted to vice-principal at her school, but these are largely cosmetic changes that do little to alter the series' overall tone.

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

Special Features

  • 24 episodes on 4 discs
  • Commentary on five episodes by Bob Newhart and others
  • "A Second Family" featurette
  • Gag reel

Product Details

  • Actors: Bob Newhart, Suzanne Pleshette, Peter Bonerz, Bill Daily, Marcia Wallace
  • Directors: Peter Bonerz, Alan Myerson, Bob Claver, Eddie Ryder, James Burrows
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: September 19, 2006
  • Run Time: 607 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G6BL7O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,401 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Bob Newhart Show: Season 4" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The fourth season (1975-1976) of "The Bob Newhart Show" is right up there with the second season, and perhaps even a bit better. Some of the funniest episodes from the fan polls are from this season, and while there are perhaps a few fewer recognizable faces as guest stars, you will still see a few. The writers and cast by this point have both hit their stride, and the chemistry is phenomenal.

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.
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Season 4 contains 24 classic episodes that never fail to deliver. From classicsitcoms.com, here are the episode summaries:

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.

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The Bob Newhart Show is so far better than any of the nearly worthless shows on TV currently. To make it even worse Fox has NO PLANS for releasing season 5 and 6. They say it is due to low sales. If you have any comments please call or write:

New and Upcoming Release Information

For more information on new and upcoming DVD or VHS releases, please email foxdrop@4icc.com or call 1-888-223-2FOX.
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It's hard to not lump the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Bob Newhart Show together. For years, they ran together in prime time, they both ended while still good (and before the ratings really dropped) and even in syndication (like when I was first exposed to these shows), they tended to run one right after the other. The Mary Tyler Moore Show won all the awards and has always been regarded as one of the best TV comedies ever. As much as I enjoy it, however, I have always enjoyed the Bob Newhart Show even more.

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.
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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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