The Good

A very well put together show with commentary tracks that only enhance it.

The Bad

I wish these DVDs contained some of the shows scripts on DVD-Rom.

As a devotee and purveyor of shows from the 1970s, I was very happy to be given The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Third Season to review. These tales of Dr. Robert Hartley, a psychologist with a boatload of psychological problems himself, are nothing short of hilarious. Whether Bob is separating from his wife Emily, playing tennis with Emily or dealing with his friends, the laughs are never far away in this show. Also, the reason why it works so well is because The Bob Newhart Show dealt with serious issues yet couldn't deny the overt funniness in these situations.

All in all, The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Third Season isn't much different than The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Second Season, but I don't think that has anything to do with the writers, actors, producers or directors being lazy. I just think this show is good enough to not have to make the material anything other than what it is.


Commentary Tracks

There are commentary tracks for the following episodes: "The Battle of the Groups," "Sorry, Wrong Mother," "Tobin's Back In Town," "The Way We Weren't" and "The Ceiling Hits Bob." A couple of the tracks feature Bob Newhart and the director of the show Peter Bonerz. Other people like actor Fred Willard and Jim Burrows also appear on these commentary tracks. I really enjoyed them a lot because I got the feeling that Newhart and everyone else knows that they created something special, but they never felt the need to call to much attention to that.

Making Of

This is a simple "making of" in which Bob Newhart talks about the effects of the show, working with a young John Ritter and just about everything else. He doesn't try and explain why he thinks the show was so successful, he just seems to have accepted the fact that it was. Interesting stuff from one of the most interesting people in the business.


Full Frame - 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio. These shows looked fine. I didn't see any hits in the picture although they seemed to resemble how 1970s shows look on TV, as opposed to how they sometimes get bumped up on DVD. Either way, there wasn't anything going on that impeded my viewing experience and overall everything was fine.


Dolby Digital - English and Spanish Mono - Subtitled in English and Spanish. Closed Captioned. This is a show that seems so easy, yet you know that comedy just isn't done that way. What seems effortless on the screen is so very hard to pull off and everyone involved does it without batting an eye. How does this play into the sound? Well, I was able to hear all the jokes without ever having to really turn my set up that loud.


In what I can only describe as "backgammon colors" pervading this front cover, Mr. Newhart stands in a very 1970s suit with members of the cast in small pictures next to him. The back features some black and yellow shots from certain episodes and the landscape of Chicago, with a description of the show, DVD features and the disc's technical specs laid over it. The three discs come housed in two slim cases with the same layout as the front cover on them. The backs give us episode listings, descriptions, which episodes the commentary tracks are on, as well as some more technical specs. Pretty simple stuff here but the packaging is quite economical.

Final Word

I love what Bob Newhart said about his show compared to something like Lost. I have never really watched Lost but I do know what it's about. He brought up such an interesting notion of how because The Bob Newhart Show kept things simple, it seems like it could have a much easier time than something like Lost which has to raise the stakes week after week.

All in all, The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Third Season will make fans and the newly initiated very happy to have these episodes on DVD.

The Bob Newhart Show was released .