View Full Version : Bob - The Complete Series DVD Review
If you ever watched television in the '70s and '80s, you know Bob. From 1972-1978, he was Bob Hartley, the Chicago area psychologist dealing with problems both at work and at home. After that, there was a little bit less Bob until 1982, when he returned as Vermont inn-keeper Dick Loudon in the series Newhart, where he remained for eight years. But perhaps what people remember the least is his return to television in 1992, again on CBS (always returning to CBS as Lucille Ball had done for nearly 30 years), with the series Bob, where he was now cartoonist Bob McKay.
Bob McKay was the creator of a comic book superhero in the '50s called Mad-Dog, and it had the potential to be big. But in the the McCarthy era, his material was considered by a United States Senate sub-committee to be subversive and a contributor to the corruption of the youth. That was the end of Mad-Dog and Bob went on to become a greeting card artist for many years... until his employer, AmCanTranConComCo, revives the superhero and wants to put the comic back into publication. With a little encouragement from his family, including wife Kaye (Carlene Watkins), daughter Trisha (Cynthia Stevenson), and friends, Bob reluctantly gets back into the comic book business which he left forty years ago.
The series was retooled significantly for the second season (which only received an eight episode order, and of those eight episodes, three didn't even air until a special airing on TV Land in 1997), where Bob's company was sold and he was fired. But not all is lost for Bob. Sylvia Schmitt (Betty White), the wife of his former boss, hires Bob as the president of the greeting card company which he left earlier.
Read our review by skees53 here:
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04-03-2012, 09:33 AM
I dont have the DVD set, but I have a copy of the episodes from season one, from original airings.
"The Phantom Of AmCanTranConComCo" originally ran 23:15 so its likely edited, there is a part towards the end where one character turns the tv on, and sings along to "i wish i was a fish" from The Incredible Mr. Limpet. This could be what is edited out.
12-05-2012, 02:22 AM
I'm a pretty big fan of Bob's and bought the set for his 3rd sitcom earlier this year. The first thing that will really jump out at everyone who takes the time to watch through it..this is definitely NOT Bob Hartley, Dick Loudon, or George Stoody (I hope I got his last name right from George and Leo!) In this series, Bob plays a brand new character that at least in Season 1 has more in common with George Stoody in my opinion. Is the show bad? Not at all! I will say this, and kind of throw it out there as a friendly warning: I liked Season 1 a LOT more than Season 2! The gap between the end of Season 1 and the beginning of Season 2 was pretty significant, and they re-tooled almost the whole frickin show and concept from top to bottom. I liked how in Season 1 they had him actually returning to his job illustrating his old comic book character much much more than what they did with him in Season 2. I liked the cast of characters surrounding Bob in Season 1 a LOT more as well. I just felt, as a show and concept Season 1 gelled together and worked a lot better than Season 2. Season 2 just changed way too much, way too fast. I didn't think his character fit into that greeting card company at all really and the cast of characters surrounding him during that season didn't work so well. Season 2 the show just got lost and I have to say I was disappointed. :( The massive gap between the 2 seasons, plus the pretty much complete overhaul of the show are a huge reason why it didn't go beyond Season 2. If they'd stuck with, and expanded on his comic book career, the comic book office, and those characters..honestly, they probably could have gotten a SOLID FULL 3 seasons out of it, if not 4 or 5. I honestly felt there was enough for Bob and the creative team to work with to get that far. I mean hell, the end of Season 1 even ended on a small bit of a cliff hanger even. If Bob had stuck with that foundation and concept I really think they were on the right track with that and the show could have lasted quite a bit of time. I'll forever question in my mind just what on Earth caused them to think that complete overhaul was such a great idea. :( Fantastic potential, the best TV potential for Bob since Newhart..ruined by that total overhaul. If you compare Season 2 to all of George and Leo, George and Leo was the FAR better show and in that show you can see the potential Bob had for a long lasting series again. At least George and Leo didn't get massively overhauled.
This is my summary of Bob:
Season 1: A+. Honestly, I really recommend it to big fans of Bob's. It's got his dry, witty humor that he's known for, a great concept, premise, characters, supporting cast. Why why why why did you change things so much after this Bob? Ya should have just stuck with the original foundation and concept :( Some truly great Bob Newhart moments this season. Best damn episode of this show's entire run was the episode with the wanna be Barney!! That was comedy gold! If you watch only one episode of the 2 seasons make it that one! But anyway, Season 1 is totally worth the time to watch.
Season 2: I'll be very generous and give it a C-. In my mind and heart though I really do want to say season 2 is a D- effort. It was painful to watch and hard to get through those several episodes. Too much change, waaaay too fast :( IF they'd very gradually and sensibly transitioned to what the show had ultimately become I think it would have been better for that. The only things that remained from Season 1 were Bob's wife, daughter, and dog. Everything else totally and completely overhauled. Even their house was different this season!! The idea of him working for a greeting card company COULD have been very interesting and extremely well done if they'd been smart about it. I just think what did happen was a train wreck. A lot like a puzzle with pieces that will never fit together and at best will only get partially completed. The supporting characters and cast just didn't gel well with Bob or his character I felt. Especially the last 2 or so episodes, that was showing through big time on Bob's face I think. Just terrible what happened to the show. Massive potential from Season 1 ruined. Very sad.
Overall, if you can borrow the show, PLEASE do watch Season 1! If you can get the set for cheap, again at least watch through that first year. It really is some of Bob's best work and that season is truly up there with his best Bob Newhart Show and Newhart Seasons. Season 2..well I'll say if you have the time and are heart set on seeing what they tried to do and the train wreck fiasco that ensued go for it. I'd love to know who's idea those massive changes were :( I sure hope they weren't Bob's. In a word..you'll walk away from Season 2 disappointed. Severely disappointed most likely over what coulda been.
Bob's final sitcom, George and Leo, was a much much better overall series compared to Bob and hopefully that one will finally get to DVD too!
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