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The Bob Newhart Show - The Complete Third Season

4.6 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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It's more of the same in this box set from the third season of The Bob Newhart Show. That's altogether a good thing, as the mid-'70s series (these 24 episodes, compiled on three discs, come from 1974-75) remains a model of restraint in a sea of sit-com overkill, then and now. What a pleasure, not to mention a relief, it is to watch a comedy that manages to be more than a frantic cavalcade of shrill one-liners, would-be witty repartee, and endless sexual innuendo. Not that the show (the first of his two long-running series; Newhart followed in 1982), isn't funny. As Bob Hartley, Newhart brings his usual repertoire of deadpan takes, mild physical shtick, and exquisite timing to the part of a sometimes reticent, often confused Chicago psychologist who's not a whole lot more comfortable in his own skin than some of his group therapy patients; it's his equanimity as a performer that keeps the character amusing without going over the top. And while the other roles (including the reliable Suzanne Pleshette as wife Emily, Peter Bonerz as bachelor orthodontist Jerry Robinson, and Bill Daily as neighbor Howard Borden) are also well-defined, this is genuinely an ensemble program, dependent more on the characters' interactions than on the storylines and gags. Without a doubt, some of it will seem dated; when Emily (Pat Finley) moves in with Howard across the hall, the buttoned-up Bob treats his thirtysomething sister as if she were his teenage daughter, a dynamic that will hardly ring true these days. But The Bob Newhart Show makes no effort whatsoever to be hip. Indeed, its very squareness (cf. Bob's ironic description of one of Emily's outfits as "boss threads") is a big part of its charm, as is the fact that this is first and foremost a show for grownups. Bonus features include commentary (by Newhart and others) on five episodes, as well as a "making of" featurette. Nothing special, but with well over ten hours of material, the set is still a bargain. --Sam Graham

Special Features

  • Commentary by Bob Newhart and others on 3 episodes
  • "Making of" featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Bob Newhart, Suzanne Pleshette, Peter Bonerz, Bill Daily, Marcia Wallace
  • Directors: Peter Bonerz, Alan Rafkin, Bob Finkel, George Tyne, James Burrows
  • Writers: Arnie Kogen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: 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: April 11, 2006
  • Run Time: 610 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E6ES9Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,890 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Bob Newhart Show - The Complete Third Season" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Bob's third season consists of the following:

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING Bob struggles to come to terms with the idea of his little sister, Ellen, moving in with Howard.

BATTLE OF THE GROUPS Bob takes two of his therapy groups on a retreat into the woods, and all they do is complain about the accommodations. Daniel J. Travanti guest stars.

THE GREAT TIMPAU MEDICAL ARTS EXPERIMENT Jerry suggests the doctors treat each other for free. Result: chaos.

THE SEPARATION STORY Bob's up to his neck in patients and Emily's trying to finish her master's thesis, so they decide to live apart for awhile.

SORRY, WRONG MOTHER In an effort to please his son Howie, Howard tries to revamp Ellen into the perfect mom. John Ritter guest stars.

THE GRAY FLANNEL SHRINK Bob gives up private practice to join the corporate world as a staff psychologist.

DR RYAN'S EXPRESS Jerry hires a temp receptionist who can't even remember Bob's name.

BRUTALLY YOURS, BOB HARTLEY Bob discovers that honesty isn't always the best policy.

SHIP OF SHRINKS Bob's first book bombs, making him reticent to go to a psychology convention to Hawaii...even before finding out that Howard is the navigator on the Hawaii-bound flight.

LIFE IS A HAMBURGER Carol announces her engagement to Don Fezler, a man with bad feet and worse poetry.

AN AMERICAN FAMILY It's the Thanksgiving from Hell, because Bob's mother and Emily's father can't stand each other. Barnard Hughes guest stars.

WE LOVE YOU...GOODBYE Bob is kicked out of the all-female consciousness-raising group he started when Emily joins.

JERRY ROBINSON CRUSOE Jerry decides to leave his dental practice in order to follow his dream girl to Tahiti.
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Format: DVD
The third season (1974-1975) of "The Bob Newhart Show" for me is not quite as good as the second season. To be sure, there are many very funny episodes, but there is one area where it seems to come up short and that is the lack of appearances by the main group of patients. In fact, Mrs. Bakerman (Florida Friebus) doesn't appear at all during the season, and for the only appearance of Mr. Gianelli he is played by Daniel J. Travanti (later of Hill Street Blues) instead of by Noam Pitlik who played him in the previous seasons. In addition, John Fiedler makes only one appearance as Mr. Peterson during the season.

That is not to say that there are no Group appearances, because they do experiment with some new groups such as an all woman's group, and an elderly group (including Mr. Carlin), and they even have Bob as a patient in a group (again including Mr. Carlin). They also develop some new or previously rarely seen patients such as Mr. Herd (Oliver Clark), Mr. Plager (Howard Hesseman), Mrs. Loomis (Merie Earle), and the very funny Mr. Vickers (Lucian Scott). Ellen Hartley (Pat Finley) also becomes a fairly regular member of the cast.

In season two there were many guest stars which went on to make names for themselves, and there are a few this year as well but not as many and for the most part they are not as well known as those in season two. John Ritter is great as Dave, a server at an ice cream shop. Edward Winter plays an ambitious executive at an insurance company. Fred Willard plays Ellen's ex-fiancé John Tobin. Also, Bob's real-life father-in-law Bill Quinn makes a couple of appearances as Eddie the Mailman.

There are many very funny episodes this season as well.
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For me, the show's originality was of course fading but the creativity was also suffering. Bob's character was still strong and so were most of the patients (especially Carlin). But overall, the ideas were just not strong enough for believable compelling episodes any more. Really hit and miss with Season 3, with about only 1 in 3 having the old charm and strength of the previous 2 seasons. Howard, who used to be lovable in a kindly endearing was had transformed into a bumbling rather annoying idiot. Bob's sister's presence didn't really add much to the show in way of humor or, well......anything else either. Still enjoyable. Susan Plechette's presence is reason enough to watch, as she's not only gorgeous but extremely talented as well. A visibly strong presence. A woman of strength and character. If I had to do it again, I probably wouldn't have ordered this season. Or waited until I could have found it a bit cheaper.
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I just ordered (and received) Season 4 of The Bob Newhart Show. After watching seasons 1, 2 and 3, I'm now remembering what a great comedy series this is! Every character in this series is such a funny person within themselves, and everyone together just makes the series so very enjoyable. I used to watch this series years ago when it ran originally but so many years have passed that it now feels like I'm watching a new series all over again! And my daughter is watching it with me (obviously first time for her) and enjoys it, too, so you can see it's not just a generational type of show but can be enjoyed by all. Bob Newhart has that dry, almost serious comedy funniness about him - you've got to love him as well as this show. I highly recommend it to those who may have seen this show when it originally ran, who want to relive the fun of this comedy series again like I am, and those younger who've never seen or heard of it. You will truly laugh out loud having fun watching this show!
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